Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Crazy Neighbors part deux

I've neglected my duties of my blog in not getting to some of the more interesting takes I have in recent weeks. Having said that, here's the second set of observations on my unique neighbors.

Our next contestant, I kindly refer to as "Schnauzer lady". The two houses next to mine are owned by Schnauzer lady, the house right next to mine was rented out by her and both of them share the same fenced in yard. Upon moving into our house and getting our pug Edgar we became acutely aware of a pack of 5 schnauzers that would run over from her house and terrorize Edgar at the fence.

They'd usually be out in their backyard for a couple hours at a time and would congregate right against our fence as soon as Edgar came out. Barking away and stumbling over one another to get in our new puppies face.

Besides the constant yapping that the schnauzers did they did seem rather harmless. (they were in fact a bit fun to taunt, unfortunately my pug never decided to join in with that as he'd cower away from them).

Within a week of our moving in Schnauzer lady would walk over to the fence and attempt to engage in conversation, to say that she may not be all there would be a bit of an understatement. She often spoke in broken sentences and unusual statements. Every time I saw her near the fence and I couldn't avoid her, I'd cringe. The best way to describe it would be to put a set of headphones on with the sound of nails on a chalkboard running through it and with no ability to remove the headphones.

Talking to her wasn't the hard part, I soon realized that she really wasn't listening, or for that matter even directing her conversation at me. She would ramble on in an almost non-sensible matter, if I had to give you a visual, I'd compare it to Gollum from Lord of the Rings obsessing over the Ring. It was like she was having a conversation with herself and had somehow drawn me into it. It wasn't hard to see that the picnic basket was short a few sandwiches.

Let me interject for a moment, the women is elderly and I understand that with age comes some very debilitating conditions. So while I do poke fun at times at the situation, my goal here is to recap some of the interesting observations I've experienced during our time as neighbors, even while realizing that this person is a bit unfortunate for what they maybe dealing with.

In the first couple years we lived here she seemed to have a younger person (daughter maybe) come by to help her, this younger person seemed to stop coming after the first year or two we lived here. Her sister (similar age, well at least what I assume is a sister, they look similar) also appeared to come over and help. A couple years ago the sister moved in. Her sister also never seemed quite right. I managed to avoid most engagements with her, but she has managed to corner my wife on numerous occasions. (The engagements I did have with her, were the same feeling I had in dealing with schnauzer lady, except the sister would stare directly at you where Schnauzer lady tended to look everywhere else)

One of the more memorable episodes was when my wife was out back during a period when we were struggling through fertility treatments and the sister engaged my wife asking about our kids. When my wife advised we didn't have any (over and over again), the sister upon finally getting that we didn't have any proceeded to tell my wife repeatedly how we would. If you've ever been around a woman struggling with fertility treatments you know how difficult it can be for them, even a person not familiar with understanding someone else's emotion would typically be able to pick up the signs that a conversation was becoming uncomfortable. Just another example to what I could best describe as dementia for these two women.

Anyway, back to Schnauzer lady, so I mentioned her 5 dogs, slowly over the next year and a half, the dogs dwindled one by one until they were all gone. How you might ask? Well it's hard to confirm, but during the winter months she'd leave them outside and my guess is either the house next door's gate was open or there was a hole in the fence and they would get out. It didn't appear she'd notice they were missing or attempt to track them down. This would happen every couple months where we'd notice one less schnauzer running up to the fence barking. Occasionally if it was one of the smarter ones it would get out and then find it's way back into the yard, only to repeat the process in another month or so. I believe most died during the winter months as they'd get out and freeze. Again it's very hard to tell, because by the time we realized what was likely happening it was almost too late to do anything. Besides that, it's not like we were finding dead frozen schnauzers lying around the neighborhood. For all we know they were actually given away or died of natural causes and buried (highly unlikely but possible). My guess is they got out and died but it is just a guess.

To say this was unfortunate would be an understatement, especially if the dogs froze to death through neglect. It does go to show though that sometimes people just don't get it, if someone is barely able to take care of themselves how in the world are they allowed to have 5 dogs to take care of as well.

It's been a number of years since the dogs disappeared. Since that time, if we see her or her sister , they are sitting on their front porch or walking in front of their house. Thankfully they never come over to our fence in the backyard anymore. In the last year or so it appears that they did get another dog. Which lived with them but was never let out in the backyard alone. Another set of 'unusual' neighbors from down the street came down and walked the dog on a daily basis. (Let me just say the fact that the 'schnauzer sisters' and the 'unusuals' from down the street have teamed up for dog watching is fascinating. This is like the Beatles and Elvis during their prime doing concert together. The amount of weirdness that must be present in that circle is unprecedented)

It appears that the dog was doing fine for awhile, well that is until last week, when I went out on the porch and noticed a police car and animal protection vehicle out front. All I saw was the 'unusuals' and 'schnauzer sisters' being interviewed (I really feel for those police officers, they had to want to stick a fork in there eye after having to decipher any of those conversations), I didn't see any signs of the dog. Given that the animal protection van was there, I'm guessing that it was being neglected and someone called it in, it bit someone, or it got run over by a car. Since I haven't seen the dog since that day, I'm pretty comfortable in assuming that it's either been removed from the premises or was another doggy victim.

Not much else to say on Schnauzer lady, and speaking for dogs everywhere, I hope there isn't a lot more that is blog worthy in the future.

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