weird neighbors

by sam on 12/20/2004

Pamie and Dan are two of my favorite bloggers, so when Dan said to check out his friend Darren’s new blog I ran right over to read it. It’s quite amusing. His first entry was actually about some of his odd neighbors, which made my think of my own recent encounters.

I got home one night last week, at an actual reasonable hour, to find that several of my neighbors had put up one of those "safety-gates" in the middle of the hallway. Why would they do this? why, in order to create an artificial play area for their little dogs. Part of me found this amusing, but the part of me that had to actually get to my apartment on the other side of the gate was somewhat annoyed (and yes, they did move it for me, but still).

Here’s the thing. I love dogs. I grew up with both dogs and cats (2 of each). But the reasons that I don’t keep a dog in the city are that I have a crazy schedule and a small apartment. There’s a certain amount of common sense that goes along with having a pet as well, and part of that is recognizing that dogs (like children) don’t give you carte blanche to start ignoring the rules of society. Carpeted hallways? not play areas. Particularly not play areas to set up fire hazards in the middle of. If you don’t have the time/energy/inclination to take your dog outside for exercise (or the money to pay someone else to do it?), particularly when one of the nicest dog runs in the city is only a few blocks away? you shouldn’t have one. And yeah, I know I was just complaining about the cold weather, but if your dog is too fragile to handle it, buy it a damn sweater.

Heck, my dad spends so much time in Central Park with his and my stepmother’s unusual menagerie of three dogs (two jack russells and a Bernese Mountain Dog) that several of my friends have mentioned seeing him, even though they’ve never met him. As soon as I describe the dogs, they’re like "oh, we see that guy in the park all the time!".

I guess it’s really that I was less irritated by the dogs themselves, which were cute, than by the idea that these new (human) neighbors were apparently not taught proper boundaries.

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