Friday, August 7, 2009

Bring On The Buffalos

What do you do when the moving truck pulls up to the property next to yours and your new neighbors begin unloading Rottweilers the size of buffalos who roar like lions? There are many folks who are terrified of dogs, yet in our society, our “best friends” live among us as cherished family members. There are a number of laws in place that speak to the barking, biting or nuisance caused by dogs, but the very best way to meet the needs of people and pets is to establish good relations with the neighbors from the very start as well as comply with the laws.

For twelve years I owned and loved one of these “buffalos” that could roar like a lion when she wanted to. I had a large home at the end of a dark cul de sac and “Nicki” served as a loving deterrent to strangers who need only take one look at her.

From the very moment I brought Nicki home, I introduced her to the neighbors. As she grew, we continued to walk the neighborhood and always complied with the leash law. If a dog owner is in violation of the leash law and the dog injures someone, courts generally hold the violator liable. No “trace” of Nicki was ever left behind for a neighbor to find.

Even though the neighbors grew to love her and she loved children, I never left her alone with anyone as a strict self imposed policy.

Recently a family relocating to the North Shore from the mid west visited a property and fell in love with it. They have three “buffalos” with massive shoulders and paws like catchers’ mitts. None of the neighbors are aware that the “buffalo bills” may soon be howling at the moon next door or leaving “traces” behind within the neighborhood itself.

New home owners are wise to check with the town hall to learn what regulations exist for pets. It is even wiser to fence in an area to secure the pets and never leave them outside without being monitored.

Presently there is a pair of little dogs in the same neighborhood and they bark at trees, clouds, oxygen and just life in general. They bark when the sun comes up, when it stays up and when it starts its descent. They bark when the moon appears, while it continues to shine, and until the sun begins to rise again. The neighbors will do well not to feed them to the “buffalos” because the Barking Laws in many towns are stacked against the neighbors.

In real estate, we see so much of life behind closed doors. We see the good the bad and the ugly. What is always a pleasure is to see people happy in their homes. It does not take a lot to make most folks happy from what I have learned, but it is most disturbing to see the unhappiness one neighbor can cause another. The fault never lies with an animal when it frightens, injures or disturbs a neighbor. If there is any fault at all, it is usually attributed to the pet owner for not having controlled the pet.

Use fences. Monitor your pets. Bring them inside if they continue to bark after you have determined that it is for no other reason but that the moon is out. Do, however, pay attention to whatever has alerted your cherished family members. They have an uncanny way of protecting us from harm far more than causing it.

Enjoy your new neighborhoods and be sure your pets become good neighbors as well.