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Walk Of Blame

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 10, 2018

(Back in 2005, just after we moved cross-country, we met a family who lived in the house behind us. With backyards connected, we chatted with them frequently. They were a kind family, and their teenage daughter was very nice to little me and my three-year-old brother. Skip ahead a year: it’s 2006, and we have a new baby brother, as well as a new puppy! The puppy is gentle with the baby and is overall enjoying his toys and treats. The teenage neighbor from behind us knocks on our door. I am in the room when this happens, but my mother answers. Most of this is from my mother’s memory.)

Neighbor: “Hello! Aww, you have a puppy! What’s his name?!”

Mother: *cheery* “Scooby. He’s nine weeks old.”

Neighbor: “He’s so cute! You know, I walk dogs to make a few extra bucks. If you ever need someone to walk him, just let me know!”

Mother: “Thank you! Though I think my kids enjoy walking him around the block with their dad. Thank you for the offer, though!”

Neighbor: “Oh… I mean… okay. But seriously, I’d really like to walk your dog! He’s just so cute, and like I said, I need to make a few extra bucks for school. I charge 15 bucks for every 30 minutes.”

Mother: “Fifteen for thirty minutes?! How long do you expect to walk our dog? That’s a little much.”

Neighbor: “Puppies need a lot of exercise. Geez, you obviously have no idea what to do with a puppy. Let me walk him, and I may consider lowering my price.”

Mother: “Again, we’re fine. Thank you for coming.”

(She’s about to close the door when the neighbor forces it back open.)

Neighbor: “No. No, no, no. You don’t know what you’re doing. Why even have a puppy if you won’t walk it? I’ll call animal control for puppy neglect!”

Mother: “We aren’t neglecting him, though. We just want to walk our puppy on our own. Now, please, leave. You’re scaring my daughter.”

Neighbor: *grunts and leaves*

(My mother closes the door and immediately locks it. Life goes on normally for about an hour or so before we hear a knock on the door. My mother answers once again.)

Mother: “Hello?”

Animal Control: “Ma’am, we received a call that you were neglecting a puppy. This is a serious charge. We’ll have to have a look around.”

Mother: “Animal neglect?! We aren’t harming our puppy, though! We just refused to let our neighbor walk him. We want to walk him ourselves.”

Animal Control: “Ma’am, I’ll need to have a look around, anyway. Just to be sure.”

(My mother lets him in and he notices the abundance of toys, the puppy bed, the filled water bowl, and the semi-filled food bowl. He spots the puppy snuggling next to my baby brother and me as we are watching TV.)

Animal Control: “Hmm, seems to be fine. This is your only pet?”

Mother: *nods*

Animal Control: “All right. I’m sorry for the disturbance, ma’am. I’ll alert the teen and her parents that nothing is in the wrong here.”

Mother: “Thank you.”

(She closed the door the moment he left and instantly ran off. I can only assume she went to tell my dad, as the last thing my mother and I remember of this is my dad telling the teen off one day. I never saw that neighbor again, and her parents would glare at my mother whenever she was out in our backyard. Thankfully, we moved away a few months later and found a new home with kinder, less-intrusive neighbors. We had that puppy until he was ten, and he was happy and loved until the end.)

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