Friday, May 29, 2009

Uh Oh...

For those of you who are parents, perhaps you've experienced a moment when your child did something or said something that left you perplexed, wondering and questioning if your sweet, innocent, *perfect* child is actually capable of doing such a horrible thing. Perhaps it was the first time they got a detention at school, or the first time another parent called you to inform you that your child was bully theirs, or perhaps when your child displayed unsportsmanlike behavior in a sporting event. Whatever the case may be, I'm sure for many parents there comes a time when your child engages in such an action and as you question your child's behavior, you wonder if, somehow, it is your fault. This is all speculation since I am not yet a parent. But, despite my status as a non-parent, I recently had an experience similar to this.

An experience that caused me to ask myself, "Did I do something wrong? Is this my fault? Did I not raise her right?"

People...my dog got in trouble from the Dog Police.

When we returned from the weekend at the in-laws, we were greeted by a bright yellow notice card from the Humane Society sitting on our mail shelf. On the card we were informed that a complaint had been made about our dog.

We went upstairs to ask our landlord's if they knew anything about the notice. They told us that on Saturday a humane society officer had come by looking for the owner's of a "large black dog". Since we were away, he spoke to them and informed them that a complaint had been made about a large black dog at our address displayed "aggressive behavior". They told us the officer was very kind and was just interested in speaking with us.

Could it be true? Could this sweet, gentle, precious baby possibly be capable of displaying aggressive behavior? Capable of inflicting harm?

We called the number that was left on the card and left a message. A few days went by and we did not hear anything. Finally, last night, the dreaded call came in. Apparently, an elderly couple had called in a complaint last week stating that "a large black dog approached them aggressively" as they were walking past our house. The Officer said he explained to the couple that dogs in rural areas are expected to act differently than in urban areas and that when you walk in a rural area you need to be aware that there will be loose dogs. He also suggested to the Fabulous Dude that it is quite possible that the complaint was exaggerated and that a dog running to the road barking is likely not being "aggressive" but just saying hello. Regardless of the state of the claim, however, she is still our responsibility and it is up to us to ensure that she is not posing a problem for walkers, cyclists and cars on our road. The Officer did not suggest that we need to keep her on a chain but he did warn us that if any further complaints are received, we could possibly face a fine.

She is now 2 1/2 and has gone inside and outside on her own terms since she was a puppy. This is the first complaint we have ever received. Most families on our street know her, just as we know all of their dogs. Since we live in the country, it is kind of the norm here that dogs run around and visit each others homes. Hopefully, this complaint will be a one time occurrence and we won't have to worry about facing a fine or having to keep her on a chain. Most of the time when she's outside she's fast asleep on the grass but I guess she still has her moments.

By the way, in case you are wondering how I'm handling this situation, Nika is grounded and will be until she apologizes for her actions and demonstrates a sincere desire to change.

10 comments:

Tereasa said...

Oh you poor dear! How could anyone possibly make this accusation against your sweet baby? Honestly, I can't imagine Nika giving anything but a friendly Hello! Could you give her a little mercy and take her off the grounding early?

Love,
Aunt T

...Mrs. Southern Bride... said...

Oh goodness! I hope you don't get any more complaints...

Jessica said...

Awww how could anyone think that cute little baby is aggresive? We live in the country also and our Chocolate Lab runs loose. I would be devastated if we had to chain her because she loves running around so much.

We don't have any type of animal control in our area so individuals can take their own actions to protect themselves. That can be kidna scary if you don't know your neighbors but luckily we live next to in-laws on both sides and only 2 other neighbors down the road.

Hope everything works out and nthere aren't any other complaints.

Taryn said...

Oh dear- good think she is grounded!

p.s. I LOVE her name. is it short for anything?

Evan Kirkland said...

Ummm...your dog...ummm...ya...she bites people.

Lucy Marie said...

No, Taryn, it's just Nika.

Miss(es) Canadian Pie said...

Oh no! This week I have actually been so scared that we would get a dreaded yellow notice. Our female is in heat and our two males are going nuts at being seperated from her. We have a large kennel in our garage (basically it's the entire garage in a cage) that they stay in during the day to be seperated from Bee. Well, all they do is howl and whine. Our dogs are Springs but you would think we had blood hounds because Jake just howls and bays. Oh it's awful!! I finally said enough and had to put them in their little kennels bc I was far to scared our neighbors would call animal control thinking we were abusing our dogs. Sheesh!!!! So glad though that the officer was nice and understanding. I think I'd have bene scared that right away he would make you chain up your pooch. Hopefully there are no more complaints!!!

Brittany Ann said...

Oh, this is exactly how I feel when we take our big dog to the dog park! In his excitement, he's been known to barrel over puppies trying to play. I'm always following behind him apologizing, embarrassed! I raised him better!

Shauna said...

I am new here! What a great blog :)

Wendy said...

Is it wrong that I'm laughing just a little? Maybe b/c I can relate...our dog walked right up to the Animal Control van parked down the street...and she spent the night in the pound b/c of it.
You are being a good mommy by grounding her. :D
~ Wendy