October 17 Editorial

By: Kelly Woodard

In my head I envision the perfect life, in the perfect neighborhood, surrounded by perfect neighbors. Think Wisteria Lane meets any neighborhood from the TGIF lineup in the 80’s. In reality, I live in a nice neighborhood surrounded by houses full of people that I have yet to meet. But that all changed early yesterday morning, when I had the pleasure of meeting one of them in the most unfortunate way. And the perfect neighbor, I apparently am not.
After a long day of running errands and straining my eyes looking at the computer, all I wanted to do was curl up in some freshly washed sheets and catch some zzz’s, but apparently my fur children had other ideas.
The three of them tore through the doggie door over and over as if they were playing a rousing round of tag. As I looked at the clock ticking past midnight, I decided that it was time for us to all have a “talk”. I called them all in and calmly said, “Come on guys. It’s time for bed,” as if they had understood a word I said.
Fast forward to 3:30 am. My eyes flew open at the sound of Jake, my Australian Shepherd’s, vicious barking coming from the back yard. I sprang from the bed, grabbed a flash light and headed for the back yard. When I opened the door, I was cautious, not knowing if I was going to encounter a rabid raccoon I needed to run from or a prowler looking to sport some fresh new lead.
I soon realized that both of my Aussies were engaged in a ferocious game of “who can bark the loudest”, and clearly there was no winner. I called them to come to the house which they happily did until they realized that they were about to be scolded. Leia ran for her life to jump into her “diva bed” while Jake hid quietly under the kitchen table. Back to bed I went.
At 4:30 am, my eyes once again popped open when, yet again, Jake was barking like a mad man in the back yard. I sprang from the bed, called him back in with a tone of voice that let him know that this time I meant business, and led him to the bedroom where I closed the door with all three dogs and I safely tucked inside. I thought, “This will surely solve the problem.” I was wrong.
My heart skipped a beat when I woke up to the sound of my bedroom door opening. Thinking that an intruder had finally made his way into my home due to me silencing my alerting dogs, I prepared myself for battle. That is when I noticed that Jake was standing on his hind legs with his front paws on the door handle. In a flash, he actually opened the bedroom door and made a beeline for the yard. This dog is a diabolical genius.
I ripped the sheets off of myself and sprinted like a mad woman towards the back door. The sun was now almost up, and I was officially over this rambunctious behavior. I tore through the door, ready to show Jake who was in fact the pack leader around here, when I realized that at some point in my restless sleep I had removed my pants. There I was in all my bottomless glory, chasing a dog that was having the time of his life.
I instantly froze, then managed to pull my tank top down, hoping to slink back to the safety of my living room when I saw my neighbor looking out her bedroom window. Positive that she was going to be angry over the constant commotion that had occurred throughout the night, I expected a dirty look that I was going to have to later apologize for, but felt my face turn red when her smile turned to full blown laughter. I grabbed Jake’s collar to lead him inside, allowing a full moon to shine before giving her a defeated wave and retreated into the house.
Once I was inside, the shock of what had just happened began to hit me. I closed off the doggie door in hopes that I would never, ever have to go into my backyard again to retrieve these furry maniacs. I mean, I had never even attempted to meet my neighbors, but apparently they now know more about me than they ever cared to.
I spent the rest of the early morning hours contemplating how to apologize for not only the noise, but for my peep show. I thought of baking cookies or buying a lovely pie but once someone has seen you flailing around your yard like a psycho naked, I just don’t think baked goods are the answer.
When my husband finally woke from his Rip Van Winkle-ish sleep, he could see that I was distraught. He asked, “What’s wrong with you today?” I looked at him square in the eyes and gave him the only answer to the problem I had come up with in hours. “We have to move. Immediately!” Welcome to the neighborhood.