Good dogs make good neighbors?

I met a neighbor when his dog crawled under our gate. Uncle Stan thought an animal had been coming in, and we could see how it/they’d dug away the dust for easier passage. So we attached tree protectors and visibly closed the gap. But this border collie met Booker through the fence and had no trouble nosing under to sniff up close. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.

I guess that’s what happened. From our homestead we can’t see the gate (we’re considering remedies cause this is a drag, but we also don’t want to hang out exposed at the gate). I noticed Booker and Hannah were both gone from my side and that’s unusual, so just as I was getting up to investigate I heard Hannah barking and saw her running toward the border collie smelling Booker. Hannah?! If you know her you know she’s afraid of dogs and would rather hide than have to sniff one. But she was clear. “Get out of here!” She ran toward him (but didn’t get too close).

I saw a boy a few meters down the road and called out “Hola, buenas tardes, is this your dog?” And just as I realized I’d switched to English he was speaking back in English, saying it’s his dog.

We stuck up a conversation through the chain link fence, even shaking fingers through a diamond. I should’ve let him in but we lock the gate with a long heavy chain wrapped around and around and then stick a padlock through it, so it’s awkward.

Emilio, age 13, lives next door with his older brother and parents. I learned about their previous dogs (some sad stories) and this border collie, Torce, named “twist” for the way he held his head crooked and one ear was crooked as a puppy.

As Emilio and I got acquainted, Torce got to know our dogs. The boys love him but Hannah kept vigil out of smell range.

If you read a previous post you know that dogs were the impetus for meeting neighbors a couple weeks ago with abundant negativity. I’m relieved that a good dog encounter can precipitate a pleasant neighbor meeting.

Torce came back four more times that day, and Hannah took off running and barking at him. but not every time.

Assuming she warms up to him I don’t mind if Torce comes over, he’s adorable and gentle. But what if our dogs follow him out? They won’t understand traffic and might not understand how to get back in.

The next morning I saw another dog was coming in, curious, so I started bringing rocks up to fill the gap.

I haven’t been eating much since I’ve got some bug, and it gets hot quickly here. Standing up with rocks I had to grab the wall to keep from falling - after the fifth time I quit. There are so many people working in the sun all day here and I’m sure a bunch of them live with stomach bugs, so I want to gain some endurance (and I think we better filter the water we’re using to wash our hands and dishes, cause that’s probably my problem - we are sunning the dishes though!). Work on the gap continued in the cool of the day.

Perhaps Emilio recounted our pleasant exchange to his mother because when she next drove by and I was in view, she stopped to chat and, I’m relieved, she also speaks fluent English (they spent a year in Canada), since I haven’t made much progress with Spanish.

So we’ve met half the neighbors on one side, two more sets of next-door neighbors to go. Thanks Torce! Cause it is challenging to meet neighbors when the only shared space is the road, no one has front porches or any living space near the road, and somehow I have the impression that showing up with a plate of cookies would be totally weird. But we are really weird, so I just might try.


mom July 01, 2018

yea! for positive dog and neighbor encounters! sorry to hear you’re still not feeling well :-(. are you drinking that yogurt stuff?

Anna Lisa Gross July 01, 2018

our kefir hasn’t recovered ( we put it back in the freezer recently and just got it out yesterday ) so I’ve been waiting on it. in the meantime the dogs still love it! I did remember, finally, that we had some recovery salts from Arundhati so I’m using those.

Beth July 01, 2018

What a great story! Looking forward to hearing that you got over the tummy bug . . .

Beth July 01, 2018

Torce looks as if he’s very happy to have neighbors!

Anna Lisa Gross July 01, 2018

he is! he came by this morning with another dog (who I saw in here the other day) but Hannah barked quite seriously at them - still can’t get over that - so I took her side and told them no, a bit sadly. but then they found a big stick and ran off together with it, each holding an end:-)

Anna Lisa Gross July 01, 2018

I look forward to telling you…:-(

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