Forty years ago, you and your newlywed wife bought a single house in the suburbs. It was much too big for just two people and a dog, so filling it with the pitter-patter of little feet seemed like the right thing to do.
When all the child-rearing was complete, four confident pairs of shoes walked out the front door, and it was surely an eclectic array of personalities. There were high heels, sneakers, work boots, and a pair of wingtips.
As proud parents, you and your beloved faced each other at the threshold, breathed a sigh of relief, extended a congratulatory high five, and re-entered a sadly unfamiliar abode…a big quiet empty house. Even the sounds of barking could only be heard in Heaven.
Within months, the decision was made to move into a townhouse development. You opted out of the usual exodus to a retirement community. You both tirelessly raised four children but weren’t completely exhausted. And you definitely weren’t ready to eat dinner at 3:30 and play bridge every Friday night.
The townhouse was an opportunity to still be around the action. You welcomed the sight of young couples behind strollers, the playful screech of kids getting caught in “Tag,” the sounds of music and BBQ’s until midnight, and dogs excitedly barking, big dogs to be exact. Little dogs are great, but a dog over 50 pounds, “woofin” at the siren of a fire truck, now that’s a neighborhood with energy.
You purchased an end unit, so you only have one connected neighbor. And as fate would have it, they check all the boxes. They are in their mid-twenties, have two little ones, enjoy grilling in the yard with friends, and have the most lovable Pitbull in the world.
attached to neighbor’s AWESOME DOG
His name is Spike! And when you bend down for welcomed petting, he slobbers your face with kisses.
But here’s the problem. Both the parents work, and the two youngsters are in daycare. That leaves Spike home alone all day. And let’s just say, he’s not thrilled with the lack of human interaction five long days a week.
His favorite act of rebellion is to chew things to pieces. The window blinds, mail, throw pillows and remote controls have all faced his wrath. Also, he’s had a couple accidents that have stained the carpeting. However, you surmise they are more likely related to nature than spite. Spike has a big appetite.
So to stop the destruction, the owners decide to keep him outside all day in their very small enclosed yard. You see, with these modern townhomes, the builders squeeze in as many properties as possible. They all have a second floor deck, but the yards extend only slightly further below. And all the yards are surrounded by a 6 foot high privacy fence.
Neighbor’s Solution Is Questionable
You are retired and home most of the day. Every morning like clockwork, you grab your coffee and newspaper and head out onto your back deck. Spike always hears your sliding glass door opening, and he proceeds to bark, “Good morning Mr. Smiley Face with a cup and peepee paper in your hand!” And you happily reply, “Well, good morning to you as well…You’re such a handsome boy!”
But not everyday is suitable for breakfast outdoors. Rain is inevitable. And how many times you’ve watched the weather forecast, hoping for the occasional thunderstorm to pass quickly. You anguish over witnessing Spike’s reaction out the back window. He cowers under the picnic table during every earthshaking boom.
The table is located under the deck, so even though water seeps through spaces between the boards above, Spike can stay relatively dry. But when the rain is driven by strong winds, the table is hardly shelter. Spike gets soaked.
And lately, which might be the impetus for your decision to Callemonit, your region is undergoing an extensive heatwave. Just because Spike can stay out of the direct sun, he looks dehydrated from relentless heat. He has a water bowl, but by 1PM, you could boil an egg in it. And even if the water is cold, speaking from experience since you often covertly add ice cubes, it’s simply not enough to bring his body temperature down.
You’ve been the new neighbors for only five months. You seem to be getting along splendidly with the adjoined residents, and are nervous about their comeback from a well-intentioned encounter…but then again, maybe they’ll be appreciative of your concern, not actually realizing the severity of Spike’s circumstance.
Your thoughts are bouncing back and forth like a Harvard debate team. You know the dog is loved. The parents are always hugging on him and walking him through the neighborhood…but…on the other hand…Spike can’t speak for himself.
You are seriously stressed about the wellbeing of your furry friend. He’s a great dog, and he needs a proper doghouse for rainy days. And when the temperature is too hot to be outdoors, he should be indoors with air conditioning. You can’t even imagine how Spike would suffer during the cold winter months.
You’ve even considered buying them a doghouse and paying for obedience training, but reconsidered, thinking you might come across as the nosey neighbor with money who judges how people run their households.
Still, giving up on man’s best friend is not an option.
How would you help Spike? Have you ever witnessed animal abuse or neglect? Did you Callemonit directly, or possibly contact the police or Animal Control or maybe the SPCA?