Saturday, January 30, 2010

Not so great neighbors


There are a lot of dogs in our neighborhood. You know what's coming next, don't you? With dogs comes dog owners who are less than responsible. The issue of dog shit on the sidewalks is one that plagues us wherever we live. It was a problem when we lived in Jersey Heights, a problem when we lived on Harrison Ave, a big problem when we lived in Harlem, and starting to be a pretty aggravating problem in Union City.

I'm not afraid to call out dog owners who don't pick up, but I chose carefully. If it's a kid or a lady, or an old guy - I'll usually just call out "do you need a bag?" which usually shames them into picking up. If it's the more common type - the huge tattooed dude with a massive pitbull, I usually say nothing. Our neighborhood has a fair share of the latter variety, and my husband got into it with one of them yesterday... I heard some yelling outside and went to look, and he was yelling at a guy across the street. Of course, when my husband asked if he was going to pick up after his dog, the guy said mind your own business. Jay wouldn't let it go, and kept asking if he was going to pick up. Of course, the guy countered with 'you pick it up' and 'why don't you call the police - you know what happens to snitches, right?' Ugh. I went to the door to call Jay in - he was by then in a rage and needed to be snapped out of his head. So like the fishwife I hoped never to be, I was yelling at him to get inside the house before it escalated to a physical altercation.

So now we're screwed, unless we want to live even more in fear. While I'm proud of my husband for standing up to this guy, I'm scared that this guy will take it further. Of course I don't want to call the police, as I'm sure that there will be retaliation. Now, if anyone else calls the police, he'll assume it's us. I feel like a total chicken being scared of this guy, but we've dealt with neighborhood bullies before, and it's no fun. I just want to live peacefully and not have tension around our home.

I was half expecting to open the door to a big pile of dog crap on our steps this morning, but no. Maybe I'm just too paranoid and the guy was embarressed and will simply do nothing more than walk his dog somewhere else where nobody will say anything.

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