Our Gulag is under siege and it is disrupting our life. Two stray dogs show up daily and try to get on the deck, into the house and into the dog’s fenced area. These two dogs seem very sweet but they are not welcome at my house. I do not want my dogs escaping to join them on this irresponsible romp. No one seems to know who owns these dogs, they run away when they see me. Although, I’ve been growled at when I’ve encountered these dogs alone while gardening or checking the mail.
We love our dogs. Their safety is paramount. Everyone knows or should know that Siberian huskies can never be left off leash and need a minimum 6 foot fence to contain them. I know if they get loose, I stand a very good chance of never seeing them again. Our dogs mush our dryland rigs at 22 mph; running free, they would be in Virginia or one of two other counties in an hour. They could be hit by a car, might run into the woods and become feral or be picked up by animal control. If they are picked up by animal control in another state, they could be euthanized before I could find them.
These realities terrify me. But, I am also concerned for my neighbors. I like to think of myself as a good citizen, neighbor and human. I appreciate that many people are terrified of dogs, either from a childhood trauma, fear for their safety or even common sense. I understand this. I love walking my dogs but when a stray dog approaches, I am placed in a very dangerous position. I can not imagine how terrifying this must be for an elderly dog walker or a child.
So, I can only wonder. Do my neighbor’s not care whether their dogs terrorize their neighborhood? Are they 100% confident in the behavior of a rescued dog out of their sight, because I am not confident in my dog’s behavior out of my sight -they are dogs. They are not furry little humans with an understanding of our technical world. To assume a dog will be perfectly behaved on their own, when your children can not even live up to such trust, only a fool would be so reckless.
My dogs have occasionally rushed a door or dug out under the fence. When this happens, I am out the door, desperate to catch them. I immediately call my husband and he leaves work to assist me. We do not want them to get hit by a car, run to the next county or state, scare a neighbor or heaven forbid eat a farm animal. Siberian huskies are prey driven, they are often shot by farmers for eating sheep, goats, chickens, etc. This is why we do everything within our power to provide safe shelter and suitable enclosures.
A few years back, I called the fire marshal on a young man who set a fire in the land behind my house and then went home. The fire actually reached my property line around midnight. The next day, this young man threatened to poison my dogs if I ever ‘messed’ with him again. My friends in other parts of the country do not understand why I don’t call the police or the animal shelter and stand up to these bullies. I know of three people whose dogs were poisoned and the thought paralyzes me.