Sunday, July 31, 2005

Billie the angry border collie

We don’t really talk to our neighbors. For the most part, we keep to ourselves. On our right, lives an angry 3-generation extended family, complete with angry, mean pets. My partner, Ric, was trimming the trees off of our roof and fixing a gutter today, and told me he had a show the entire time he worked. He heard the kids fighting and slapping each other, their mother yelling at them, calling them retards, and her mother, across the house yelling at everyone. While they were yelling, they have three dogs that get keyed up and start barking. Then other various family members yell at the pets to shut up.

This is pretty standard from our neighbors. We’ve lived next to them for over three years now, and we don’t even know their names. Once in a while we accidentally get their mail, and instead of giving it to them, we just throw it out because we don’t want to have to get to know them. Besides, 2 of their angry dogs reside in the front yard and seem intent on causing us bodily harm. Our neighbors’ property is gated, but one of the dogs, a mean border collie named Billie, has gotten out before and assaulted a guy up the street who was walking his dog.

The morning the assault happened, it was really early, probably about 5:45 AM; right before my alarm clock would have went off. I woke to Billie’s incessant barking, and after a few minutes it began to annoy me. First of all, if I am in a dead sleep, in a bedroom in the back of a house and Billie woke me up, why aren’t Billie’s owners more in tune with what’s happening? I put on my bathrobe, and went to the front door and looked out to see what was going on.

Billie was out of the yard, and across the street in on someone else’s front yard. He was barking like crazy, jumping and snarling, trying to attack a guy walking his smaller dog. The guy was holding his dog, and yelling, “HELP! HELP!” and “GET AWAY!” at Billie, who was trying to knock him down and trying to bite his arms. It was really horrible, I felt like I was witnessing one of those dog maulings you see on the 10 o’clock news. I ran into the bedroom and shook Ric awake. “Ric, Ric, get up, you have to do something, Billie’s out and attacking the guy down the street!” In the urgency, Ric responded, jumped up and grabbed a big, old, metal bicycle pump. He flew out the door and leapt across the street, wielding the bicycle pump like a sword he dove between Billie and the unsuspecting pedestrian and swung at the angry border collie. Billie raced around Ric, trying to get behind him to attack him, but Ric kept Billie engaged. “GET AWAY, NOW!” Ric yelled at the scared guy, still holding his little red dog. Instead of leaving the scene to get to safety, the guy Ric just saved started yelling at Ric, “DON’T HURT HIM” meaning Billie. Meanwhile, this guy now bore bruise marks on his forearms in the shape of Billie’s mouth. Ric ignored him, and was able to corral Billie back into his yard, and shut him inside the gate. Billie continued to stand at the gate barking at us, but it seemed that he wasn’t going to leave the yard. Ric walked back across the street to ask the guy if he was all right, and he started bitching at Ric about swinging at Billie. That conversation elevated into an verbal altercation about Billie, and ended with Ric telling the guy to go F himself. Ric came back inside, and we put the radio on and proceeded with our daily morning rituals.

I hate Billie. Whenever I am coming home from somewhere—work, shopping, errands, or if I’m doing yard work, that stupid dog stands at the fence and barks at me. Whenever we are in our back yard, the dog comes up to the fence and either barks at us or look at us all mean like. He barks at my cats a lot, but I think my cats intentionally tease him.

Last summer, our friend Fred left some spicy beef jerky over our house. This is a product that Ric and I absolutely wouldn’t eat, but instead of throwing it out, we threw it over the fence when Billie was standing there glaring at us. He scarfed it down, and went back inside as usual. Later that night, we heard the father yelling at Billie from an open window, “Godammit Billie, you stink! Get outside if you’re going to fart!”

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