Friday, March 4, 2016

Cars, dogs and neighbors

Winter finally showed up.  We had 12 inches of snow last week and 7 more this week.  This morning was cold and clear.  The roads are very icy and we have limited visibility.  In rural areas, fog carpets the lower areas.


One of the women where I drink coffee was in a single car traffic accident.  She slid off the road and creamed a road sign.  She is very distressed that she was issued a traffic citation.


In other news, Mrs ERJ and I were walking when a neighbor stopped their truck and chatted with us.  They wanted to talk about our neighbor just to the west.

The neighbor driving her truck was bent out of shape by recent events that involved her dog and the other neighbor's dog. 

The truck driver's 140 pound dog had gotten loose, crossed the road and bit the other neighbor's Jack Russell "rescue" dog.  The JRT was in its owner's backyard on a run-line.  The 140 pound dog is a livestock guard breed and is notorious for being territorial.

The damage to the JRT was extensive and the vet bill was about $2000.

The owner of the 140 pound guard dog was issued a citation and required to destroy the dog. 

The owner of the guard dog is very aggravated.  The owner of the JRT is demanding that the the owner of the guard dog pay the $2000 in vet bills.

The common thread between these two events is the Existential philosophy of the actors.

Thus, human beings, through their own consciousness, create their own values...  Wikipedia

Both actors were dismayed when cops did not see things from the same perspective they did.  The driver who hit the sign damaged city property and why should the entire city be economically penalized for her misjudgement.  She knew it was slippery.  She was already going 15 mph below the speed limit.

The owner of the Jack Russell Terrier was already out $2000 that they could not afford.  Their dog was under control.  The owner who did not control their dog is attempting to shirk responsibility by claiming they would never spend that much on a dog's vet bill.  It is a spurious claim because it was not their dog that was mauled.

This is likely to play out poorly.  The owner of the JRT does not have money to pursue litigation and the tensions are likely to become toxic.

Living life vicariously

Sadly, many dog owners live their lives vicariously through their dogs.  The owner has to go to work.  The owner has to pay taxes and shovel the snow.

They figure "I did not move to the damned country so I could chain up my dog."  Actual quote.

They fail to realize that anti-social behaviors are anti-social behaviors regardless of the population density.  We can "get away" with more things because distance is a wonderful buffer.  But we are just as responsible for bad outcomes as folks living in a trailer park.  It does not mater if the agent of the damage is a vehicle, an errant bullet or a "running" dog.  We are responsible if it was our feet on the pedal, finger on the trigger or if it our dog.


  1. Even in the country, a stock owner has the responsibility to fence his stock. Cattle, sheep, dogs are considered stock.Chickens and ducks, too. If your stock gets out, you're liable for damages. Good fences make good neighbors. End of story.

    "The owner has to pay taxes and shovel the snow."

    I have to pay taxes, but I do not have to shovel snow. Shoveling snow is a choice. Move South. You'll still have to control your stock, though.

  2. It sounds like your neighbors could use an exposure to Uncle Eric's books (a series).
    In the books he explains two rules that most of the civilized world adheres to:
    1. Do everything that you have agreed to do.
    2. Do not encroach on other people, or their property.

    Further he states that these rules are not accepted in a part of the world that he labels...Chaos-stan. If your neighbors won't live up to their responsibilities, then they belong in Chaos-stan.