In the pic they’re patrolling in Placitas, New Mexico. But it’s the same here.
Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.
There’s a rich-people kind of house up the hill, a quarter-mile south of me. It sits on 90-odd acres of land, has a barn worthy of the name, and it’s been sitting vacant during all the years I’ve been here. Vacant, but for sale.
But a couple of weeks ago a couple of strangers pulled up in front of the cabin on a four-wheeler with side-by-side seats. It’s the first time I’ve ever had an unexpected visitor here except Gale or Gale and Kay. Naturally I scrambled out to find out what they wanted.
Turned out he’d just bought the place and wanted to introduce himself to his nearest neighbor. That done, he left saying they’d be moving in soon. Friendly exchange.
Then yesterday I went up to Gale’s and he was there. They’d just done their moving into their new home. He and Gale were discussing things and I sat down for a quick cup of coffee before going on about my business.
“I’m hoping you won’t shoot my dog.”
“Is it a chicken killer?” Thinking whatever danger there was to his dog probably came in the form of dead chickens.
“It’s never been around chickens. It’s a mutt, a rescued dog, part lab, part herder, part pit-bull. What killing it’s done was cats. I had a lot of feral cats on the last place I lived.” He paused. “I know you have cats down there.”
That gave me pause for thought. While I was thinking, he added, “If you see him, he’s gun shy. Just fire into the air and he’ll run away.”
I’m a man who has a huge respect for how badly neighbor problems can intrude and make life a hell for both neighbors. But I’m also aware that animals can cause neighbor problems lightning-fast. Quicker than almost anything else. For instance, there’s almost nothing that will piss a man off worse than killing his dog, no matter what the dog was doing at the time of demise.
“Tell you what. I’ll make sure my cats don’t come up here killing your dog if you’ll make sure your dog doesn’t come down here killing my cats.” Seemed a fair enough proposition to me. I pretty much figure if my cats go up there attacking his dog, anything on his place, he’s welcome to shoot them, but it would be more fitting if he came down here and put a bullet between my eyes.
He expressed a concern that his dog might mistake me for a cat, saying that since I’m around them I’d have their scent on me, but I assured him that wasn’t a concern. I’ve never met a dog I couldn’t stand off. And I shouldn’t have any reason to be around this one. During my years here I’ve only set foot on that place a couple of times. Once because of cows, and once challenging some people who were up there loading things into a truck. I just politely asked if they had permission, and noted the license number of the vehicle.
The man’s 74 years old, seems a nice guy. Ex-pilot. And if we need to talk we probably will enjoy most things we might discuss.
I surely hope my cats don’t go up there attacking his dog, though, because I’d expect him to shoot them.