The sun was shining when the barking started. We have a neighbor who sees nothing wrong with letting his dog (who we will refer to as the "f*cking white dog" or FWD for short) out at 6am to run through the neighborhood, raising the ire of every dog in every yard he passes. You can track FWD's progress by the cacophony of barking that rises up and sweeps through - from the dead end where he begins by raising the hackles of the three dogs that live on all sides of that cul de sac, all the way up to the main road 4 blocks away. As the howling and barking and growling rise up from every corner of the circle of homes, one by one each house along his route is awakened as he trots down the street - walking boldly into unfenced yards, and pressing his nose against fences that block his path. Usually he will stop to pee on a shrub just outside the fenced in yards, effectively marking the territory as his own - which drives the dog who actually lives there absolutely bananas.
If you are lucky, FWD will choose your yard as the perfect spot to take a huge steaming dump before wandering off to wreak more havoc. If you are really lucky, you will step in it on your way to get in the car for work or school, or maybe while mowing the yard or getting the mail. During all of this, the owner of FWD stays home, reading the paper or taking a shower or perhaps even climbing back into bed now that he has let the dog out to do his business.
There have been a series of confrontations between the FWD owner and the neighbors - with and without dogs of their own - who are sick and tired of these shenanigans. No one wants to be woken up at 6am every single Sunday morning forever and ever until the end of time. And no one wants that dog running free through the neighborhood, shitting and pissing everywhere, for them to clean up.
A few weeks ago, when the barking began before dawn, Sam lost his mind.
"THAT'S IT" he leaped from the bed with his hair flying and his eyes wild.
"Oh for god's sake." I muttered, rolling over and burying my head under the pillow.
"I'm going down there." he announced as he pulled on a pair of shorts.
"I really don't think that's a good idea."
"I really don't think it's a good idea for that asshole to let his dog out loose."
"But Sam, you can't just go down ther-"
"Yes I can. YES I CAN."
He turned on his heel and stomped away.
"Zip your fly" I shouted after him.
10 minutes later he was back.
"Please tell me you didn't hit anyone."
"Of course not."
"Did you talk with the guy?"
"No. I stood in his yard and yelled 'HEY!' until he opened his door. And then I told him to keep his fucking dog in his yard."
That was two weeks ago. Yesterday, it was almost 7am when the barking started - but Sam was still not having it. The dogs were all going nuts. Our dog Boston was alternating between leaping 4 feet in the air trying to launch himself over the fence, and racing in circles around the yard barking and snarling as the FWD sniffed along the property line. Sam went outside to see if he could corner the FWD and call animal control. When he got out there the FWD was taking a massive shit.
Which hit the fan.
Sam was enraged. He went and got Boston's leash. "Why do you need his leash?" I asked as I shuffled to the refrigerator for coffee.
"Because, that dog hasn't done anything useful in his entire life, and I have continued to feed him and make sure he doesn't get fleas or heartworm, and now I need him to do something for ME."
"Um. Like what, exactly?"
"I NEED HIM TO TAKE A SHIT ON THAT GUY'S LAWN."
"Okay, listen. Boston doesn't even sit when you tell him to. Plus, he's always constipated. He never poops. Ever. That's why we love him so much. There is NO WAY he is going to go along with this."
"Well, he better." Sam said darkly.
"Good luck with that." I turned back to my iced coffee preparations. Sam stormed out the door, leash in hand. He stood on the porch and whistled and clapped. Boston eyed him warily from under the deck where he had retreated at the sound of Sam's raised voice. Boston wanted nothing to do with any of this. He lay down and looked guilty, but he wasn't budging. If Sam wanted backup, he was going to have to carry him down there like a lap dog. Since Boston weighs about 40 pounds, that wasn't going to happen.
"Really, Boston? REALLY? I need your help. When are you going to grow a pair?"
"He had a pair" I hollered from the kitchen. "We cut them off."
"Jesus." Sami shook his head and threw the leash down. He grabbed a shovel from next to the garden, and headed down the stairs.
"What are you doing now?" I asked from the window.
"I am bringing that asshole his dogshit."
I watched through the window as Sam walked over, scooped up the mess that had been deposited in our side yard, and marched down the street, shovel held aloft in front of him. He walked right onto our neighbor's yard, and dumped the contents of the shovel right in the middle of the porch, just as the church bells began to chime.
He came back to the house, stuck the shovel blade into the garden soil and came inside to wash his hands.
"Who wants to go to church?" he shouted over his shoulder. The kids (who have never been to Sunday mass in their life) sat and stared at him. I snickered into my coffee. Boston, however, crawled out from under the porch, and stood at the gate wagging his tail.
7 hours ago