Our wonderful house sitting host, Monika Wen, comes back on Sunday from her two months in Mexico – and Pancho and me will very sadly move back into our Battery Park apartment on Saturday. Our really good friend Will does not know when he will be moving out of his Candler house – allowing us to move in there with our awesome friend Tom Kilby and very cool 19 year old son Ian – so we will be in our old apartment at Battery Park for some number of days or weeks.My current plan is to give my 30 days notice to Janet, the Building Manager at Battery Park, on October 1. While I am believing that it is probably certain that we will be moving to Candler, it is not for sure that we will be able to move there in October. Giving our notice to be out by November 1 is a little risky, but I sure don’t want to be stuck with the November rent.
Today, inside of an hour visiting with our friends/dog sitters Diana and Angie at Battery Park, we had three very disturbing encounters with angry dogs and their clueless masters/sitters.
Diana and my last dog, Toni, who – as much as Pancho – adored her and vice-versa.
1)Diana and Julie and I were sitting on the rock wall in front of the building, enjoying cigarettes, each other’s company and the presence of a very peaceful Panchita. Our housemate Eileen was unloading her groceries from her car. Diana, knowing that Pancho does not like Eileen’s actually very sweet and submissive Fleur (a very recent adoption), warned me that Fleur would soon be getting out of the car. The last time Pancho encountered Fleur and Eileen – maybe two weeks ago – Pancho had barely wrinkled an eyebrow from our path towards our car. But this time, for whatever reason I will never understand, she was upset with Fleur’s presence and started to growl, then bark.
The obviously very aggressive and dangerous five year old chihuahua-mix Pancho, who I rescued from Rusty’s Rescue in Marion – after she had spent a full month in a smallish crate, being terrified of all the barking dogs in the other cages.
I will never understand why so many clueless dog owners don’t understand Principle #1 of managing dogs – don’t let your dog go close to a dog that doesn’t like them. Eileen doesn’t seem to understand this basic principle and unconsciously let Fleur’s leash go slack – and Fleur, demonstrating a lack of basic doggie instincts, kept walking toward a dog that was already barking and growling at her. “Get her away from us”, I said – not screaming or swearing (yet), but very, very stern. Eileen obediently pulled her dog away, but apparently did not like my tone and yelled, “You need to learn how to control your dog!”What? My dog was sitting right by my side, still up on the rock wall, on a very short leash – and had made no gesture to move towards her stupid dog. This was too much for me and I kind of snapped: I screamed “Fuck you Eileen!” – which really got her attention. She muttered her upsetness, then warned us that she was about to walk our way. “Thank you for warning us”, I said – genuinely appreciating her for this moment of clarity and responsibility. I took Pancho in my arms – the ultimate act of control and comforting – and Pancho did not bark as they walked closely by. When they had walked about 15 yards past, Eileen had apparently not had enough of the hostilities and turned to yell some more upsetness (none of which I really listened to).I, clearly violating the building policy against threatening your neighbors, said – kind of quietly, no longer in any way out of control, but definitely menacing “Don’t make me come over there.” With that, I had absolutely had enough of her stupid ass and turned to talk with my soul friend Diana while Eileen continued to yell at me. One of the things she yelled was “I will never talk to you again.” You can imagine how devastating that threat was to me. I totally ignored her and let out a good laugh to Diana at how thrilling it had been to set such a clear boundary.2) Diana and Pancho and I had gotten on the elevator to go to #6 for Diana to go home and #2 for me to use the bathroom. Someone in the basement had called the elevator and we went down there first. On the way back up, the elevator opened again on the main floor, and there was Roberta and one of Pancho’s arch-enemies, the extremely aggressive little Nyabi. The two two dogs immediately started to growl and bark at each other. Roberta, the queen of doggie unconsciousness, still moved to enter the elevator. “Don’t you bring that dog in here.” My tone was completely under control, but the power of my very clear boundary setting backed her right off. This encounter had been an unqualified success, but still made me very tired.3) Somewhere along the way, we encountered Cynthia – walking some stupid aggressive dog whose name I don’t remember. Cynthia gets lots of dog-walking business in the building, but has lousy understanding of boundaries in her own relationships and clearly does not understand Principle #1 – that you don’t let your dog get close to another dog who clearly is angry at her. She is forever letting the dog in her charge walk right up to another dog when they are already barking at each other. One very strong “Stay away” backed her right off. I felt satisfied – and got even more tired.
Pancho had done so well in our countrified temporary home. I will walk her a lot in the nearby beautiful, tranquil neighborhood of Montford – sometimes visiting our really good friend Amanda Graves over there, and often returning to Monika’s place in Oteen to walk the nearby Mountain To Sea Trail, even setting up my laptop in Monika’s state park of a backyard, and when we are lucky enjoying Monika’s sweet company.
But it will be a long number of days or weeks ’til we can get out to Candler and the wonderful Tom and Ian Kilby.