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My difficult life in Billings, Montana.

October 22, 2015

Fine old dog we rode horses with last summer.

Fine old dog we rode horses with last summer.

My neighbor’s dog, “Annabelle,” a sausage dog, shits on our yard. No. I think she does, but I haven’t seen her do the dirty deed. Why am I so suspicious? Because Annabelle’s owner hardly speaks to me! If she let her dog crap on our lawn (yes, it is not a perfect lawn at all. Lumpy, patched with various varieties of grass and weeds, sprouting with sumac, it barely qualifies as a lawn) that would explain her silence. I’ve been good to her! Once I hauled 500 lbs of oily boards from the floor of her garage! The man at the landfill nearly charged me for the weight! Yes, she thanked me more than once, but that wouldn’t excuse Annabelle from using our yard as her cesspool.
Annabelle is an old gray dog. I was down in the basement a couple days ago, looking out a window, and I saw her nosing around on our side of that ridiculous little fence her owner built. I waited for her to squat and squeeze one out, but she didn’t perform then. Not then. She did sniff around my window and I was livid. No. I was hopeful. I wanted to catch this miscreant in the act. Mustn’t overstate my feelings.
The fence. For some reason our neighbor wanted to erect a fence between our properties. I was good with that. I found a surveyor’s stake. A pipe, really, about a foot in from the sidewalk. I measured, sure enough. Fifty feet from the other side of our driveway. Houses in Billings are mostly built on two 25-foot lots. Ours is on lots 7 & 8. A long time ago I watched my old neighbor, Don, digging around the edge of his yard with a shovel. He showed me the pipe that marked the edge of his property. That’s how I knew to look for the pipe. I found it by measuring 50 feet with a tape, then probing around with the big screwdriver. Yes, “clink,” I found it. Then I dug and put a spike into the pipe’s orifice. My neighbor used the spike to start her ridiculous little metal fence. Looks like a lacy metal fence, only kind of small. Perhaps two feet tall. It would keep Annabelle in, only the fence peters out after about 30 feet in each direction. That allows the little bugger to come and relieve herself. If indeed, she does. I have no proof, only deep, dark suspicions.
In the back we have a wooden fence I built perhaps 25 years ago, that has stood the test of many inhabitants of the house next door. My wife, God bless her, said we’ve had about five different neighbors over the years. The first one to rebel against the established order was the woman who owns “Annabelle,” the sausage dog.
To be clear, I have no interest in the woman next door, although she did put a hot tub behind her garage, next to our fence. On our side of the fence we have a tree house that I built many years ago for our grandchildren. About a week after she put in the hot tub, I happened to be up in the tree house inspecting the floor boards. I heard her say, “hello, neighbor!” How mortified I was! I didn’t look at her, but I suspect she was partially nude!

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