How to handle this tactfully? My next door neighbor (rental property) has hated me since shortly after they moved in during the summer. There was a stray kitten in my front yard. I live across the street from a park so people are always dumping poor animals in the park. That's a whole different problem. Anyway, I can't have a cat because I am highly allergic and also because my greyhound will have no part of it. Anyway I was trying to make sure the kitten was ok, it was really small, and find a home for it. I put some food and water on the front porch. The neighbor on the other side was also looking for a home for it. We happened to go outside at the same time to check on the kitten and the neighbor, his wife, small children and extended family were outside on their driveway. My other neighbor asked them if they had seen the kitten and he replied "yeah I saw it and if it comes around here again I'm throwing it in the back with my pits." Now, those of you that know me will know that it's not the pits but the statement that angered me. People like him are part of the reason that they get such a bad rap. Anyway, right after that we spotted the kitten under their car (which was parked on my grass by the way) and we were calling it to come out and he squirted it with a hose and the little boy (barely old enough to walk) was trying to hit it with a stick and they did nothing to correct it. My other neighbor grabbed the kitten and took it to her friend's house. Shortly after that someone complained about their dogs. It was not me, but because of the above incident they are convinced it was. I told them I didn't do it, but they don't believe me and it has been very uncomfortable living next to them ever since.
Jump to the past few weeks. The husband got called in to serve in Iraq. Please don't think I don't appreciate that because I do more than you can know. The problem is now that he is gone the wife can't handle the dogs. Well, dog. They are down to one pit, after the complaint. She told a mutual friend that she can't handle him and especially not with two babies. In the mean time that poor dog has been thrown to the back yard 24/7 and barks incessantly (sp?). I don't want to bring it up to her because one, I know she is having a hard time, two they already hate me, and three her brother is often over there and they are very menacing. That's another story too. Anyway, I can't stand the constant barking. My dogs are in and out as they please, but anytime they are outside and start barking and carrying on I make them come inside so as not to bother all the neighbors. I understand that she's in a tough spot, but it's not ok for that poor dog to be neglected. A/C would put him down if I called and they found anything wrong, but lets face it, leaving the dog outside with no human contact isn't illegal (just stupid and cruel imo) as long as the dog has food, water, and shelter.
I am not sure how to approach people like that...maybe show them the kind of care you'd like to see them show their dog.
If you know their money's tight, maybe surprise her with a bag of food and a Kong or two to keep the dog busy.
Sometime's it takes generosity and love to open a door. She may be open to suggestions about keeping him more busy during the day if she doesn't think your our to get her or her dog? two little one's and her hubby overseas would be rough, she may really appreciate your concern about the situation/dog.
Just an idea. keep me posted on how thing's turn out.
I agree with Michelle, you should try the highroad first and offer the woman some ideas, she is probably stressed out and doesn't know what to do. Go over when that other guy isnt there, and if she is a total b*tch tell her she needs to think about rehoming those dogs for the dog's sake.
Thanks guys. Any ideas on how to approach her about this? I don't feel like I can just go tell her I understand you are having trouble with your dog, can I help? Given the history I don't think it would go over very well.
I don't think their money situation is tight, I think she is just overwhelmed. I dont' blame her and I would like to help if I could, but honestly I'm a bit scared of her.
You could always write her a letter about your concerns and tell her you relize the situation between the two of you but want to help out any way you can. Say that you would really like to help as it would give you something to do. Then you could give her some help with the dog, like introduce her to things like kongs, bones etc etc. Invite her over for coffee.
You have no reason to be scared because you are not in the wrong. You are trying to do the right thing, and it is neighborly to offer help if you see someone who might need it. And that's all you can do, really. If she refuses to accept help, that's her problem and her loss. This is an opportunity for you to become friends with your neighbor, so you can put the ball in her court and hopefully she'll toss it back. If it gets to a point where you aren't getting anywhere with her by being nice, then you have to do what you have to do. You have a right to live in your house, your neighborhood, peacefully.
Thanks, I think a letter is a great idea. It will give her time to mull it over instead of not answering the door or closing it in my face. I will give it a shot. Maybe it will pay off. She has told the person we both know she can't "get rid of the dog" because it belongs to her husband. I can understand that, and I would like to help her, I just don't want the dog to pay the price.