Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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So the local head of my neighborhood's Neighborhood Watch called.


We have a house next door that functions as a rental. For a while a man lived there with a dog named Buster. I have been tempted to write about Buster before and his negligent owner. But it was draining and I let it be.

Summary: Buster is a Boxer-Rottweiler cross. In general he's a good dog, a sweet dog, a smart dog. But he's also got a heck of a mouth and has no problem barking at people. As a result, most of the neighbors assumed he's also mean. As far as we know, Buster has never hurt a person, but has gone after other smaller dogs. This doesn't mean that he would go after a human, but one shouldn't assume he wouldn't either.

I got on great with Buster. We had an understanding. He got on with my kids, too. He also got on great with my dog.

We didn't get on with his owner. His owner allowed Buster to roam the street, tagless, unaltered, so he could get himself into trouble. He even left Buster alone (theoretically someone was looking in on him twice a day, but when we noticed the neighbor was gone we started keeping an eye on Buster and on the place -- no one was watching out for Buster) for several weeks in which animal control started coming out.

It's a long story, but the owner and Buster were even taken to court because Buster attacked one of our friend's dogs and Buster's owner wouldn't do anything about it, e.g. call Buster off the other dog.

Buster no longer lives next door. He and his owner moved to Nevada to be with the owner's son. This is also just after all hell started breaking loose in the neighborhood over Buster. He'd roam, bark, and scare young children and little old ladies.

Of course, the local neighborhood Neighborhood Watch head got involved. (Some of the people scared of the dog started talking about it in church in front of Mr. Neighborhood Watch's wife.) And then Buster moved and it didn't matter anymore.


I just got a call from Mr. Neighborhood Watch, otherwise known as Larry.

The rental is currently empty, so Larry took it upon himself to go beyond the fence into the back yard of the house to poke around. He looked in sheds and all over. He found things he didn't like. He called the authorities, who will be over to file a report and cite the owners.

On the one hand, I see what Larry's doing -- he's trying to clean up the neighborhood. On the other hand, the idea that Larry is trespassing and is poking around on someone else's property to get them in trouble so they'll hopefully rent to a "higher class of people" freaks the bloody living hell out of me.

And what can I do? Say, "Larry, have you considered getting a hobby?" doesn't seem to be an option here. He's GUNG HO.

Can I call the cops and say, "I think Mr. Neighborhood Watch is getting a wee bit excited here...".

Or call the number on the rental sign and say, "Were you aware that Larry was poking around and is calling the authorities in on you?" (Who, by the way, have been over there cleaning the place up quite a bit. They've filled at least one dumpster full of stuff.)

Or does Neighborhood Watch have a number one can call when their region leaders cross the line?

Or is it just me? Is he allowed to do such things because of his "authority"?

I don't know. But yeah, it creeps me out and I really don't think he should be doing such things.

I should have called the police on him when he was poking around. Neighborhood Watch and all that. I don't think I was here at home at the time, sadly.

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