Sunday, February 6, 2011

Oh Dear ..... Life Was so Simple Before Pets and Kids

My house sits on an average city lot. I'm sandwiched in-between two neighbors, a really nice gentleman and a schizophrenic behaving woman. The man had a dog when he moved in but the dog got old and died. He loves Cody and she always runs to get a pat from him when we go to the car. We chit-chat a little when we work in the yard and he's just a pleasant neighbor. I feel blessed.

Five years ago, a woman moved in the house on the other side of me. Twice I've tried to introduce myself when we were outside but she runs into the house and slams the door. Another time, I rang her doorbell after I had seen her drive in her garage and I knew she was home but she wouldn't answer the door. Her shades are always pulled and she's never outside. I always wonder how she gets her mail when the box is on the street. She hires people to do the lawn, shovel show and general maintenance. I call her behavior odd but perhaps she truly wants to be left alone. I accept that.

Early this morning, between the dark and the daylight (thank you Longfellow), I was outside shoveling a couple inches of new fallen snow. I really get into my snow shoveling and for a time, I forgot Cody was outside with me. Obviously Cody doesn't understand boundary lines. When I looked into the dim morning, I saw her standing in the weird neighbor's yard peering into a hole she'd dug through the foot of snow that was already on the ground. Her little Aussie tail was wagging with intent of digging a mole out of the ground. OMG there were three tell-tale holes with dirt spattered snow so I knew she had hit earth.

Photo taken from beside my garage. Kinda hiding. No, I was really hiding. Looks bad, doesn't it?

What do you think? Does that look like she got to the grass? Panic. What to do? If it were the nice neighbor, I'd inspect the damage, knock on his door, apologize and tell him I'll repair any damage in the spring. But what's weird lady going to do? I'm sure she wouldn't open the door for me. I prayed for two feet of sudden snow but that didn't happen.

Cody's in the dog house. No, she went in her crate on her own, probably to get warm after all her outdoor activity. What could I say to her, she was just being a dog. I was the one who wasn't watching her. Oh Dear !!!! Oh, if it would only snow !!!!!! Got any ideas?


  1. Leave her a note, if she won't answer the door. That's what I would do. And, if she doesn't respond to the note with her own note or some other mode of communication, than, I say, let it go. She sounds rather intriguing though. And, in case, she's following your blog, "Hello Manzi's Neighbor!"

  2. Erm.. can't you shovel snow you've shovelled out on these holes?! Oh dear!!!

    I like Su-siee!Mac's advice though. It's best to keep as neighbourly as possible and putting a note for your neighbour means you've done your best to tell her.

    Cody is just adorable though. I hope your neighbour will soon feel comfortable enough to be able to return your hellos! Take care

  3. Yep, a note seems the way to go. But I wouldn't worry too much about it. After all the snow this year, the lawns below will undoubtedly suffer from all that excess water anyway. From your description, she doesn't seem like she has much interest in her yard anyway. Actually she sounds kind of weird, she may not even notice!

  4. I agree with Mellodee... I doubt she'll notice if she never comes out of the house.
    That reminds me of a few years ago when your next-door neighbors moved away for health reasons. We ran into them sometime after. They mentioned they were going to assisted living, so they were going to have to put down their old, near-deaf Bassett, Pete. We told him, no, no. We'd take him if that's what they were having to do. So we did.
    Well, he remembered the old place so well that he'd always go back to his old house to do "business"--never our yard.
    We had him only a few months before he died of old age, but we never got busted for it.

  5. Well, dogs will be dogs. I'd leave it and if she does get upset she can come to you and maybe it will be the beginning of normalcy.

  6. Su-sieee,
    I burst out laughing at "Hello, I'm Manzi's neighbor." That would be a funny thing.

    Old Kitty,
    I like your idea of putting more snow on, but if she would see me digging around in her yard with a shovel, it's probably just as bad as Cody digging. Unless I go out around 2 AM and do it.... Oh boy, this is getting unreal!!!!

    Thanks. I have no idea what to expect of her since we've never even said, "Hello."

    Big D,
    Oh funny but how nice of you to take the old basset so they didn't have to put him down. And also sweet of the new neighbors to let him do his business in their back yard (his yard). Sweet story.

    I've done a few things for her but I don't know if she's aware I even do. In summer, I water her blvd. trees. Poor things get so dry. I've even shoveled her sidewalk a couple of times. Last time we had a huge snowfall, nice man and I cleaned her sidewalk together. We do it for the school kids because they walk past our houses to catch the bus on the corner.

  7. Haha! Trust an Aussie to do something so anti-social!! I suggest you combine a couple of the comments above - put a note in her letterbox but include a throwaway comment about the stuff you already do!

    PS Pardon my Aussie ignorance about snow, but doesn't it kill the grass all by itself without the dog pee??

  8. Sounds like Cody may be trying to initiate a 'meeting' between you and weird neighbor lady. Do dogs have an intuition about such things?

    Or, then again, maybe THE MOLES made those holes (yeah, that's it...)

    xoxoxo, cd

  9. Pretty sure she is in the witness protection program so I doubt you will ever hear anything from her.
    Snow melt should cover the deed or if you really want to tick her off, scoop up Cody's deposits and dump them in the holes as a filler.

  10. Ya know, I think I would acknowledge the damage? Cody had done with a short note. It seems like the ground normally has a way of repairing itself come spring, but if it doesn't, rake the spots and throw a little seed on it and call it done. The problem I would have, is that I would see the holes/bare ground and feel guilty. As a dog owner, I've been there...ha ha ha!!!

  11. Red Nomand Oz,
    Ha ha to the anti-social Aussie dog. She's part Aussie, part Border Collie. Nope, can't kill grass. Need the snow. Can get winter kill where there is no snow. They don't use the phrase "grass roots" for nothing. The roots are almost impossible to kill and believe me, I've tried!!!! Snow is good. Everything is sleeping and snow protects.

    Hey that's an idea... Moles do tunnel under the ground. You can sometimes watch the long bumpy line they make on the ground. I think Cody must feel that no one lives there and it's our property. Of course, dogs think the whole world is "their" property.

    I love your answer. Never thought of that..... Witness protection. She certainly acts like it. Can you believe that in 5 years, I've never heard her name. I know absolutely zip about her. Oh, she takes food from "Schwan's" .... a truck that deliver's processed foods. Are they nationally known?

    Your deposit of the Cody poopy would be a boost to her lawn. I cook all of Cody's food and it's organic. What great fertilizer that would be!!!! I wouldn't think of feeding Cody Schwan's food. Ha
    You crack me up.

  12. Manzi: If she's as nutty as you suspect, I would not talk directly to her. Instead, I would talk directly to her.

  13. You know nothing.

    By the time spring comes and the snow is gone, it may not even be noticeable. But don't say a thing.

  14. Fill the holes with snow while waiting for the next snowfall. Poor Cody, he was just doing doggy things.

  15. She's probably agoraphobic and terrified of leaving her house. At least that is what it sounds like since she hires everything done and even has food deliveries. I actually witnessed the process of my daughter's girl scout cookie mom develop the disorder. It's quite sad. No telling what people go through that brings them to such odd behaviors.

    I personally don't think I'd get too tweaked about the holes...stuff happens. Send her a neighborly note just wishing her a good day. It will probably make her day :-). Then if it is an issue this spring you can cross that bridge when you come to it :-). ~Blessings, Janet

  16. JJ,
    Nutty would be a good word for it. Maybe she thinks I'm bizarre.

    ryoko 861,
    That sounds very good to me. We got around another foot of snow yesterday... Yeahhhh.

    I didn't want to go in her yard with a shovel in case she saw me but we did get snow. I'm posting a picture.

    I know you're right about the people who have agoraphobia. Marilyn's sister had it for years and years. She wouldn't leave the house and was afraid of everything and if you read my posts with Marilyn, her sister was the one who introduced us. At that time she was gregarious and a dance teacher and art student. She developed it sometime in her 30's I think. Now shes fine again and I don't know if she had any special treatment.
    It did snow so I'm posting a new picture.

    Thank you everyone for your unique ideas. It snowed.... so what's new for Bozeman???? so I'm posting a new picture. Love you all...Manzi

  17. Great post, I can not believe I am going to write this (me the Desert Rat) but thank goodness it snowed.
    I was going to say, maybe your neighbor would think she had gophers!
    Loved your posts about Marilyn,nothing is better than a close friend.