I can't stand it. Google hates this, but I wish so intensely to bite the neighbors that I'm reproducing a post that just went live at my regular blog, Funny about Money. Et allez-vous faire fou*re, Google!
Ruby and Cassie are up and ready to go by 6 a.m. Normally, we would avoid the park on Sunday morning, because gaggles of morons like to meet there on Sundays and let their large dogs run loose. No. It's not a dog park. Yes, it's against city and county laws to let your dog run around off the leash. No, none of them gives a damn. They all think their dogs are their children and kids need to run around the park.
However, our usual route, bypassing the park through a neighborhood of aging half-million-dollar shacks, has an inhabitant whom I also would like to avoid at this hour. He's this adorable, sweet old gentleman, just the nicest old guy. He has an eccentricity: He loves to feed the neighbors' cats and dogs.
I think he's lonely, and this little hobby is a way to get out of the house. It also attracts people who like to chat with him. So as hobbies go, it fulfills an important need.
The shade-tree mechanics have a couple of big old scruffy cats, large and fat and calm, fixtures in the neighborhood. These cats live outdoors, left to take their chances with the cars and the pair of coyotes that cohabit the ’hood with them.
Our friend drives up to the front of the mechanics' house at 6:30 or 7 a.m. every morning, parks, and walks down the side yard with cat food in hand. There he fills the cat-and-coyote dish to the brim. From there he goes around sprinkling piles of dog and cat kibble on the sidewalks.
If he sees a dog-walker, he'll offer dog treats.
One tries to be polite. I would prefer that Cassie (in particular) not eat these things, because sometimes they make her sick. But more to the point, Cassie the Corgi is getting fat in her old age. And nothing is worse for a corgi than obesity.
It's very hard to say "no" to this guy. He's sweetly insistent: "They come from Trader Joe's! They're ORGANIC! They're good for your dog!" Meanwhile, of course, your dogs are salivating and going batshit for the biscuits he's waving around.
Yesterday, Ruby choked on one of the things. And really, it was looking serious there for a minute. We were half a mile from home and there was NO way I could get her to a vet in time to save her life if she couldn't get it out of her throat herself.
She gagged and wheezed and horked and gagged and wheezed for several very scary minutes. Finally she managed to get rid of it. Thank God. If she hadn't, there would be no Ruby to write about this morning.
So...that's another route we have to avoid. At least early in the morning.
Really, it's very frustrating.
You can't go to the park because there's likely to be half a dozen large out-of-control dogs racing around.
You can't walk up into Richistan because there's a crazy old guy who wants to feed your dogs stuff they shouldn't have.
You can't walk along Conduit of Blight because of the nitwit woman with the out-of-control Great Dane dragging her down the street, a dog that tries to attack your little corgis every time it sees them.
That doesn't leave very many directions you can go in.
Think how much better the world would be if there were no humans in it, except for me and you.