Looking at life... from an oblique angle / and I sometimes Twitter (normally only when riled up): @brindafella

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Nathan and Alice

WARNING: The content of this post, though widely known on the internet, contains some words that may offend some people, particularly dog owners and lovers.

New tenants moved in to the rental property next door about 3-4 months ago. They have two dogs. Both are "quite affectionate" according to their owners.

Frankly, though, I find their "barking at shadows" to be quite annoying. Usually, when ever any of our family so much as open the back door then they're yapping at the fence; go into the car parking area on that side and they go nuts; open the door to the garage there and they are positively feral, and bite at the metal fence and paw at the gap seeking to get under. The bigger one is particularly viscious and attacked and ripped off a fence paling before the new metal fence was installed a few weeks ago.

Now, it's not as though we moved into their territory! And, we've never teased them, set the hose on them, or whatever. (The neighbours tell me they are now spraying them with a dilute mixture of vinegar when ever they bark, to seek to deter them.)

We could rightly be considered to be part of their pack, albeit an oblique and only heard-but-not-seen part thanks to the fence. At what point should the dogs get used to us, then? 4 months, 6 months, 12 months?

I can only share with you a celebrated piece of dialogue from the movie "The Long Kiss Goodnight" written by Shane Black who also wrote the Lethal Weapon series. [script]

This dialogue tells of someone's wonderment at what a dog will do, seemingly endless and without point or prompting, with no end in sight. (Pardon the pun.)

NATHAN: Your dog, Alice. It and my appetite are mutually exclusive.

ALICE: What's wrong with the dog?

NATHAN: It's simple. He's been licking his asshole
for three straight hours. I submit to you that
there's nothing there worth more than
an hour's attention, and I should think
whatever he's attempting to dislodge
is either gone for good or there to stay.
Wouldn't you agree?

Do you get it?

And, no, the dogs are not named Nathan and Alice. I've never gotten close enough to have wanted to ask them for their names.


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