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.