A Not-So-Bella Notte

, , , , , | Legal | May 3, 2021

We recently got a new German shepherd puppy named Bella. We live in a decent neighborhood, but there have been several instances of pets going missing. To avoid that, someone is always with Bella.

One day, my mother was alone with Bella in the front yard, and Mom went inside to use the restroom. When she came back, Bella was missing. Mom searched for hours and we joined her when we got back. Mom cried because she felt so guilty, and we were angry with her for leaving Bella alone. 

Then, we got a call from one of our nicer neighbors saying he’d seen Bella and she was with another neighbor whom we did not like and who did not like us. 

My dad and I went to confront the nasty neighbor, and we saw Bella right away in his house, barking her head off. My dad rang the doorbell and the nasty neighbor answered.

Neighbor: “What do you want?”

Dad: “Give us our dog back.”

Neighbor: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

He kept playing stupid. My dad would have punched the dude, but I held him back and called the police. A police car came a few minutes later and we explained the issue. She went to go talk to the neighbor and then asked us to provide proof that Bella was our dog. We showed her the pictures and Bella’s rabies tag, and she ordered the neighbor to give us our dog back. She asked us if we wanted to press charges, and we said yes. Our neighbor was charged with stealing our puppy and lying to police for telling the officer that the dog was his. Now he glares at us every time we’re out, and we’re more careful about watching Bella.

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It’s A Neighbor-Eat-Neighbor World Out There

, , , , | Friendly | April 25, 2021

Every day, I walk my dog for at least a mile around our neighborhood. We take a different route every day. One day, we are walking down a short street that we rarely take, a few blocks from home. I hear a sharp barking and look up to see a small dog come flying out of a house, through the open gate, and up to my dog. The smaller dog keeps barking, while my dog is quiet, but both do try to bump noses as dogs do when they meet each other. Since I don’t know this dog, I pull my dog away, shouting, “Please get your dog!”

There is a sign, provided by our local government, on their lawn, stating that it is the law that dogs must be on a leash and picked up after.

Eventually, two teenage girls appear, and after a little chasing, they finally catch their dog. I am expecting to have a laugh with them about how silly our dogs are, but instead, they begin scolding me!

Girl: “Why can’t you control your dog?”

Me: “The law requires dogs to be on a leash.”

I point to the sign on their lawn.

Me: “My dog is on a leash.”

I point to my dog’s leash.

Me: “Your dog is off your property without a leash.”

Girl: “But this is our house!”

Me: “Yes. That is your house. But this is the sidewalk. You do not live on the sidewalk. It is public property.”

In the meantime, their parents come out to yell at me, too, and I yell back because I do not allow others to speak to me disrespectfully, especially when they’re the ones in the wrong and I am not. Then, I go home, calm myself, and go on with my day.

My neighborhood is quite the community, and I learn from other neighbors that this particular family is very hostile, believes that they are superior, and tends to act like they own the whole block. They get angry when other animals get anywhere near their property, but they allow their dog to do whatever it likes.

However, one neighbor has this to say.

Neighbor: “I saw the whole thing and your dog was the aggressor! Daily you get dragged down the street by your dog, and you went through their gate into their yard. Your dog was barking the whole time and attacked their dog, and they had to take it to the vet because it was bitten on the leg.”

Me: “My goodness! It sounds like you saw me commit at least three crimes! Why didn’t you call the police?”

Neighbor: *Pauses* “You’re spending too much time on this!”

Since then, I’ve refused to set foot on that block, with or without my dog. Too many crazy people live there.

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It’s Not Safe To Operate ANY Vehicle In This Neighborhood

, , , , | Related | April 19, 2021

My father has a knack for making every story about him. We are visiting with some old neighbors we haven’t seen in years.

Neighbor #1: “Remember the time that our son scratched [Neighbor #2]’s car with his bike?”

Dad: “Oh, that wasn’t your son; it was me! And it wasn’t a bike; I was driving my car. And it wasn’t [Neighbor #2], it was [Neighbor #3].”

Me: “So, in other words, it was a completely different story altogether?”

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Branching Out Will Do You No Good

, , , , | Friendly | April 10, 2021

Next door to us is a rented house; we don’t know the owners but we get along with the tenants.

No one takes care of the gardens on the property and weeds and plants grow wild. I guess the tenants should take more care, but they seem to not even use the outside space. We trim what comes over to our side and ignore what’s happening over the fence. 

Over the years, the tree growing in the back gets bigger and grows further over the bounties. I trim outside, but no one does the back fence that is shared by the car park.

One stormy day, I notice the branches sway and creek. Underneath is a guy’s shiny BMW. In chatting with him, it’s his pride and joy; he is worried about the tree but has nowhere else to park it.

I can’t stand to see what happens next, so I do some sleuthing and find the agents who manage the house; the tenants “forgot” or don’t care enough to look.

Me: “Hi, do you manage [address]?”

Agent: “I’m sorry, I cannot divulge that information.”

Me: “Ah, okay. Well, just so you know, if you do, they have a tree that is surely going to lose a branch, which will crash into a new BMW that parks underneath.”

Agent: “As I said, I cannot divulge that information.”

Me: “Err… Yeah, I’m not asking you to. I’m sure if I was the owner I would want to know about a possible lawsuit if you were representing me.”

Agent: “And I cannot tell you if we manage that particular property.”

Me: “Okay, this is going nowhere. If you represent them, then tell them.”

She tries to interrupt but I carry on

Me: “Either way, I will be putting a letter through the door, marked for their attention, to say that I have contacted you on this date to inform you.”

Agent: “As I said, we cannot divulge—”

I hung up. She wasn’t getting it. Or, she was just being belligerent. I wrote the letter, marked it as “For owner,” and gave it to the tenants. They didn’t care about any of this and told me that they hadn’t seen the owner in months, anyway.

I gave up; it felt like a marathon trying to help anyone. Next year, another storm hit, and a sizable branch broke off and smashed the windscreen of the BMW and scratched a load of the paintwork. It sat there for months as the resulting legal work carried on.

The owner came round to shout at me for not telling them or not making enough of an effort. I told them where to go in short words they would understand and slammed the door.

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It’s Curtains For This Budding Friendship

, , , , | Friendly | April 4, 2021

I have never had to do much cooking. I always lived with a parent, roommate, or boyfriend who enjoyed it. My fiancé’s mom, who lives with us, loves cooking and hasn’t been letting me help her with that or with cleaning up the kitchen after. She will walk at me until I am forced out of the kitchen. However, she is currently hospitalized and will need to cut back on doing things that require standing when she gets home.

As I am cooking a skillet low-carb lasagna this evening, I am making a gigantic mess. I have chopped onions and cheese everywhere, spilled spices, bowls, and cutlery — it looked like a tornado hit the kitchen! I also have not cleaned up the dishes from making eggs and bacon earlier, though all of them are at least in the sink.

While the lasagna is in the oven, I get every bit of mess except the skillet in use cleaned and put away. I may not cook much, but that means I always happily take cleaning duty — except while living here, of course.

My neighbor enjoys tending his lawn. Through the large kitchen windows, I can see him, and he can see me. He can also see me make two plates of lasagna and take them downstairs. I have a virtual church meeting to attend and barely finish making food in time to attend.

When I go back to the kitchen an hour and a half later to put away the leftovers and clean the skillet, I see that my neighbor is still in his yard. Since it is dark by now, I find this odd, but I don’t think much of it… until he walks across my driveway and knocks on my window! I open it.

Neighbor: “Hey! I’m sorry to bother you. I just wanted to tell you how impressive that was!”

Me: “Thanks! But what was impressive?”

Neighbor: “Your cooking! That mess! How fast and well you cleaned it up! I haven’t seen you cook before, and I was disheartened by the mess. Big messes really annoy me, and knowing I was going to have to see that mess until you finished your dinner was stressing me out. But you got it so clean, so fast! I’ve never seen you in the kitchen before, so I was expecting you to be an utter disaster. And wow, I can smell what you made! Smells good! What was it?”

Me: “Uh, low-carb lasagna. My fiancé is trying to lose weight. It was my first time making it, but it turned out well, I thought.”

Neighbor: “Oh, yeah, that fat guy? I thought he was your dad. He’s your fiancé? He done good, picking you! Yeah, he really does need to lose weight before he becomes a drag on society. Good for him for making that change.”

Me: “Well, uh, yeah, he’s been working on that for a while. I really need to finish tidying up, though.”

Neighbor: “Yeah, I asked the ol’ ball and chain to hold dinner for me so I could talk to you. I’d better get going myself. See you around, neighbor!”

After he walked away, I just stood still for a moment, flabbergasted. I get that he was trying to be complimentary, but dang, was he insulting about it! I also think we need to invest in some window curtains so that maybe this won’t happen again!

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