1085. Dog neighbours

Barbara made almost enough to get by on. She had two little children, and a little dog. Her partner had long left on a container ship. He had no intention of coming back. It was with a great deal of relief that Barbara managed to rent a little house within her budget.

The next door neighbour also had a dog; a pit bull terrier. It was a violent thing. It barked and smashed into the boundary fence like it wanted to kill Barbara and her children and their little dog. However, the man and woman living next door kept it under control.

And then the man died. He dropped dead in the middle of the night, slap bang at his front door.

After that, the woman living there had no control over the pit bull terrier. Barbara kept her mouth shut. She didn’t want to create a fuss at such a mournful time. But Barbara’s children couldn’t play outside, and nor could the little dog. In fact, Barbara was too scared to go outside to hang the washing out.

Barbara went to see the lady next door and explain. “Phh!” said the lady. “Phh! That was my partner’s dog. It’s precious. Surely you don’t expect me to get rid of my late partner’s dog? How heartless. Get a life.”

Things with the pit bull terrier went from bad to worse. Barbara went to the police. The next day Barbara’s little dog lay dead on the front porch. There was a note under the door. If you go to the police again your kids are not safe.

Barbara packed her kids in the car and headed for the Women’s Refuge Centre.

Next night her uninsured house burned down.

13 thoughts on “1085. Dog neighbours

  1. umashankar

    It may be my personal whim, but as you have said Barbara lived in a rented house, I hope what you meant by ‘her uninsured house’s is the rapacious dog owner’s house, not poor Barbara’s. Or else, I insist for introduction of a gunslinger in the sequel, even if you don’t believe in consequent drama.

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      In NZ if the renter doesn’t have house insurance and the house burns down – then the renter is libel… (apparently) But all shall be revealed in the sequel. (P.S. I have finished the five ghazals for July and have started on another form for August. I’m thinking of only writing poetry – I’m getting such a kick out of it!)

      1. umashankar

        All eyes on your blog for the sequel and the ghazals! Psst.. can you make the deserter come back from whatever container he is cooped up in and…

        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          My experience tells me this: if I try too hard I can’t do it. One of the more memorable things I remember in life – I was a semi-adolescent university student – and they interviewed in the university paper Janet Frame (possibly my favourite author). (Incidentally I introduced Frame to Cynthia who became utterly enamoured of Frame’s autobiography). Anyway – Frame said in the interview something like” “I wandered the cafes of Paris with all the other aspiring artists. In the end I went home, locked the door, drew the curtains, and wrote a novel.”

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Same neighbour – we’re thinking of moving… again… as we don’t want to get the town council involved – they’ll simply tell us to put up a $10,000 fence and everything will be alright.

  2. knowyourneighboursblog

    How horrible it must be to live next to such an aggressive dog, what fear you must live in to be next door to such a beast. I hope that you find some peace and can live next to something more peaceful, or find a way to not see the next door dog as a big threat that can potential harm you. How horrible it would be if you had kids or dogs of your own that could be hurt by this vicious thing. This dog needs to be taught well so that it does not hurt anything else in the future, not only for other peoples safety but for his too. Dogs get put down so easily now a days, that its a risk for the dog to be so aggressive.


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