I promised to tell about some of my other neighbor experiences but in order to understand I need to explain the foundation of why some of these neighbors may have (as unbelievable as it seems) REALLY disliked us. Ok, no sugar coating, they hated us.
After Bob & Ann moved out, we first had a couple move in from Alabama. They were very sweet and very country. They had two teenage daughters, maybe like 13 & 15. The older daughter had leukemia and was wild as a buck. I don’t know if there was a correlation, but, I’m thinking maybe they just let her do what she wanted since she was so sick. The first I guess year they lived there she was in remission and then started getting sick again. We ended up moving to Virginia while they were still there and their oldest daughter passed away not too long after we moved and they ended up moving back to Alabama.
When we moved to Virginia, we tried to sell our house for a few months and got no takers, so we rented it out with an option to purchase. The “deal” was that they wanted to buy our house. We had never rented out OUR house to someone else before and obviously did not do enough research on the subject beforehand because we ended up getting royally screwed in the process. We let them talk us into lowering their rent under the guise that they were “saving” for a down payment for our house. Had we been smart and done our research we would have known that the correct thing to do would have been to take a portion of their rent each month and put it in a separate account to use towards their down payment or to have just lowered the price of the house by that amount. BUT…. Of course we weren’t THAT smart!
It ended up that at the end of their lease, they took the money that we had helped them save and bought ANOTHER house. When they left they took our garbage cans, took the wheels off the racks of the dishwashers and left us with a big power bill and FILTY carpets that we had to spend a lot of money to get back to where we could rent the house again. We called them in a couple of weeks, once we had had time to inspect the property and told them they would not be getting their deposit back. I thought that was all we had to do. We got a letter a few weeks later from an attorney demanding their deposit back since we had not informed them in writing by the specified amount of time by Georgia Law. We were not aware of that law since we thought all we had to do was TELL them. Wrong… we ended up having to return their entire deposit, couldn’t even subtract any damages because we waited too long after they moved out to inform them in writing. You live and learn… oh, we also had to pay THEIR attorney fee which didn’t seem quite right, but… who am I to argue w/ Georgia law?
The neighbor problem was that they, “the new neighbors”, Jack and Diane, had gotten to know them (the renters) as neighbors before they knew us and all they got was THEIR side of the story. Needless to say when we moved back in, the new neighbors, Jack and Diane, did NOT like us, at all. They ACTED cordial enough, but you could feel the ice underneath. They liked our renters and they did NOT like us.
We HAD rented it out to another couple AFTER the first couple, but that lasted less than 4 months and we ended up having to kick them out. Seriously, getting the sheriff involved and having them removed from the property but that is another blog too! Jack and Diane also knew THEM before us and after having to have them removed from the property it’s hard to tell what in heaven’s name they may have said about us, but, I digress.
So, after living in Virginia for a year and a half and Tennessee for 6 months, we moved back into our house. We immediately tried to “make nice” with the new neighbors but only got their less than friendly attitude back. The next spring hubby, trying to be a good neighbor, noticed when he was mowing the lawn that their grass was a little high so he mowed the entire section between our driveway and their house all the way from the fence to the street instead of just mowing up to the property line, which was even with our shared fence. I thought this was more than generous of my husband considering that #1) he has allergies which make being outside longer, more miserable, #2) He’s “allergic” to cutting grass, #3) he HATES cutting grass. If nothing else, I thought it was a very sweet and neighborly gesture.
The neighbor comes home and we see him “working” out in the yard but don’t really pay attention to it until we go out later and realize that he has taken a can a red spray paint and sprayed a BIG red line down the property line from the fence to the street. I kid you NOT. A frigging RED spray painted line! And the next time we happened to catch him backing out of his driveway he just glared at us through the closed car window. I happened to catch him a few days later getting his mail and TRIED to apologize for obviously offending him when we were just trying to do the neighborly thing and his response was “Well, just DON’T do it again!” I replied “Well, I’m sorry we were TRYING to be friendly and good neighbors, but, don’t worry, it won’t happen again!” He said that hubby had cut the grass “too close” and “butchered” his lawn. Well, excuse the heck out of me!
My husband’s solution was to “kill em with kindness”. After a few instances of them being annoyed that our kids were playing too close to their yard or driveway, they began to wear down a little and soften somewhat. And actually almost started acting like neighbors!
Then we made the fateful mistake of trying to be good people. Let me ‘splain. We had been to a wedding reception for someone at our church WAY out in the country. It was at a “park” which wasn’t really near any houses and someone had dropped off a litter of puppies that probably weren’t any older than about 4 or 5 weeks old. There were I think 4 of them and someone took all but one little runt. He had been dropped by one of the kids at the reception (there were only a gazillion kids trying to play with them) and hurt it’s paw, so it was limping but walking on it nonetheless. I felt sorry for it and just knew if we left it out there it would starve to death, it was already skinny and sickly looking but just as sweet and friendly as it could be, so I planned to take it home and nurse it back to health while we tried to find it a good home. Remember, now, this isn’t even OUR dog.
At the time, we had a couple of cats and a black lab named Lucy. Lucy was a outdoor dog and fairly big so we kept the puppy inside for a couple of days and then let it go out in the back yard. I’ll be darned if the little puppy didn’t disappear on us. We went out and looked for it, but, since it didn’t have a name, and it was so young, we were afraid it was a goner. We lived in the back of our subdivision so the traffic in front of our house wasn’t that bad and behind us with a big field of cows, but, on the other side of the field was a fairly busy road, so, we were afraid it would end up finding its way down there and get hit by a car.
Fortunately, (I think) he did not make it to the road but apparently had fun playing with the cows for several days and must have gotten to experience the cows up close and personal because when he finally made it back several days later, he had a big “wound” around his mouth and jaw area that was already pretty much healed. It was red and nasty looking, it looked bloody, like it was an open wound, but it was dry. We speculated that he must have gotten a little too close to one of the cows, maybe trying for milk? He must have ended up getting kicked in the jaw from one of the cows. It had apparently been at least dislocated, but there was no longer any open wound, and he was eating fine, it just looked nasty. He didn’t seem to be in any pain or anything, he was just a little more “ugly”, if you will.
We had not planned on keeping the puppy and really didn’t have the money to take it to get it “fixed” by the vet, but, nonetheless, I called several vets the next day and asked them if I could bring the puppy in and have them look at it, and then leave them a post dated check or something to pay them the next week. Only one of the vets said he would do it and he wasn’t going to be there the next day so he said since it was the weekend, and the puppy was in no obvious pain, that I could bring in to the office around lunchtime on Monday and we’d work out something on the payment.
The next day, I think it was either a Friday or Saturday, I had already planned to take the kids to Six Flags all day so I left the puppy out in the yard again with Lucy, with plenty of food and water. The kids and I went to Six Flags. When we got home it was pretty late. It had to have been around 9 or later because it was dark and it was summer time. We called and called the puppy from the fence before we even went in the house and it didn’t come. GREAT… it must have crawled under the fence AGAIN! I go up the front steps and there is a note stuck in our front door that says “We have your puppy, Jack and Diane”. WTF???
I go over to their house and there is no answer. I call Dwight, LIVID, because they had obviously gone INTO our back yard and gotten the puppy. A little while later I get a phone call from Diane telling me that they are at the pet emergency vet with the puppy and I need to get down there ASAP. I’m thinking maybe the puppy DID crawl under the fence and got hit by a car or something because Diane was crying on the phone when she called. I rush off to the vet, which coincidently is one of the same vets who REFUSED to treat the puppy unless I had the money to pay at the time of the visit.
I get to the vet’s office and am “accosted” (I seriously thought they were going to hit me the way they were all yelling at me) by my neighbors, the vet and his assistant all yelling at me and telling me what “horrible” person I am for not having taken the puppy to the vet when I first got it. I tried to explain to them that #1) it was NOT my puppy, I was TRYING to do the right thing by finding it a good home and NOT letting it starve out in the country by itself #2) I had already called THIS VERY VET and they had REFUSED to treat the puppy #3) It was already healing when the puppy came back home #4) I already had an appointment to take the puppy to another vet on Monday. I asked them to kindly let me just take the puppy and go home unless they knew someone who wanted to take it.
The vet said he could not allow someone who so obviously mistreated animals to leave with it but wanted me to pay the bill from treating it. Yeah, RIGHT! Then my neighbor lit into me about how cruel I was for letting the puppy walk around all week with a broken paw. I told her I didn’t KNOW the paw was broken since it was still walking around on it and she said “Well, would you let your KIDS walk around with a broken foot for a week?” I told her I was pretty sure my kids would let me know if it was hurt but I had no way of knowing it was broken. I was just trying to do the right thing by trying to find it a good home. She and the vet, BOTH then asked me if I couldn’t afford to get it treatment, then why didn’t I just have it put to sleep???? WTF??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You chastise me for not getting it treatment and then ask me why I didn’t just KILL it? I thought the whole point was to keep it ALIVE? What kind of people was I dealing with? And they thought I was the crazy one?
After assuring the vet that I was NOT going to pay him one red cent since my neighbors had broken into my yard and stolen the puppy from us, that as far as I was concerned THEY could pay the bill and I then left and went home, leaving them all standing there with their mouths open, staring after me. I was so mad I was crying AND shaking.
Monday morning, hubby and I are sitting at the dining room table when our doorbell rings. I go down to answer the door to find two animal control officers and a police officer standing at our door! Our neighbor AND the vet had brought “cruelty to animal” charges against us!! They were there to “inspect” our premises to make sure we weren’t endangering our other animals and to see if it was warranted for them to confiscate our other animals. I escorted them to the back yard so they could inspect Lucy’s “living quarters” and also escorted them around the house so they could inspect the cat’s food and water bowls as well as the cat boxes! To say we were a little perturbed is putting it very mildly. The animal control officer and police officer assured us that the charges were totally unwarranted and would be dropped and that they would return the puppy to us with no charge to us.
I took the puppy to the vet, as planned and he thoroughly checked him out and told me there was nothing he could do about the jaw (just as I had suspected) that he was healthy and it obviously did not deter his ability to eat, it just looked bad and that there was really nothing to do about the paw since it had also pretty much healed by the time I had found it again. He told me to keep the puppy confined in a small a space (like a bathroom) for about a week so it wouldn’t jump around too much since it was a rambunctious puppy and then it would be fine to let it out. We did just that. Again, the VERY first day we let the puppy out, it disappeared. I swear, to this day, I think our neighbors stole it again. I had put the puppy in the back yard, ran to the store and was home in less than 20 minutes and it was gone. Never saw the puppy again and never really had anything much to do with those neighbors again.
Thankfully they moved away within a year which still wasn’t soon enough for me!
Next I’ll have to tell you about the neighbor who had (and still has) the hots for hubby!