Several months ago I got a new neighbor. He’s new to the building, but not unknown to me. I live in a small town, so we all know each other at least in passing, but I would say that I know him a little better than that. I used to be friendly with his ex-wife. So friendly, in fact, that I used to babysit for their youngest son when he was a toddler. When the kids were younger (he also has one who is my daughter’s age), he and I used to chit-chat at the park or the municipal pool on a fairly regular basis. He’s a very involved parent. So involved that he retained custody of his three boys following the divorce. Oh, and I like him. I always have.
Our building has a “No Dogs Allowed” policy. (Who is now hearing AND visualizing the “No Dogs Allowed” montage from “Snoopy Come Home”? — Poor old, Snoopy wandering around with his little hobo bag trying to get back to The Daisy Hill Puppy Farm where he will, eventually, be adopted by Charlie Brown!) My neighbor does not, per se, own a dog — but his new girlfriend does. It’s not a big dog. But, still, it’s a dog. And it seems to be spending a great deal of time downstairs, which in and of itself is not problematic. I really don’t care that there is a dog in the building. I like dogs.
There is, however, a slight problem with the girlfriend and her “guest” puppy. The girlfriend, for whatever reason — although, I suspect that I know the reason — does not leave little Pepe or Pierre or whatever the hell the stupid poodle’s stupid name is (I’ve been introduced, but who can remember these things?) — something French and uninspired, I know that much — at her domicile. No. She brings him over here. For the sake of argument, let’s just call the dog Jean-Luc (because I like that name).
Jean-Luc spends a great deal of time over here lately, which is fine. Like I said, I like dogs. I don’t have a problem with dogs. What I have a problem with are dogs that, when left alone for large stretches of time, take to incessantly yipping, yapping, whining, and moaning. (In that order!) Jean-Luc spends a great deal of time alone. Instead of leaving him at her home by himself, she brings him here and subjects him to what amounts to solitary confinement. As a result, poor little Jean-Luc resorts to the above-referenced yipping, yapping, whining, and moaning. I’ll bet she doesn’t leave him at her residence because her neighbors have complained, you know, about the yipping, yapping, whining, and moaning.
Because I like my neighbor, because I like dogs, because I am a kind and good-hearted person, I have decided not to poison Jean-Luc. (Really, it’s not his fault!) I have, however, been toying with the idea of taking the air out of Jean-Luc’s owner’s car tires or baking her some laxative-laced cookies, but I won’t do either of these things — not because they are not the acts of a kind and good-hearted person, but because I don’t want to get caught.
My plan, which I hope will keep Jean-Luc and his owner safe from the crazy neighbor lady who wants nothing more than a little peace and quiet on her day off, is to invest in a good pair of ear plugs. I hope that solves the problem. But just in case, I’m going to throw some Ex-Lax in my shopping cart when I’m at the grocery store today. And, perhaps, a pair of funny nose and glasses — in the unlikely event that I use the Ex-Lax in some freshly baked cookies!