My first introduction to the new next-door neighbor wasn’t the typical, “Hi, how are you, my name is…yada, yada, yada.” There were no pleasantries traded. Not even an exchange of names. But for this story, I’ll call her Ann. It went something like this:
I was on my way back from my mailbox when a Shih Tzu trotted onto my front lawn, squatted, and left me a little present. Ann walked over, picked up the furry little trespooper, and said, “I’m so sorry. Sweetie seems to like doing her business on your lawn,” and took the dog into her house.
In light of the fact that the pooch was caught red-handed, one would think that Ann would have done the considerate thing by coming back to clean up the dookie. But that didn’t happen. That was two years ago, and true to Ann’s observation, Sweetie really does like using my lawn as her personal toilet.
You’re probably wondering why, after years of being dumped on, I haven’t gone over and politely asked Ann to keep her dog in her own yard. After all, she has a fenced-in back yard, so there’s no reason for Sweetie to run loose. Fair enough, I’ll tell you.
Simply put, Ann scares the mess out of me. Since she and her teens moved in, there have been fist fights in front of her house, police interventions, arrests, and plenty of loud arguments at all hours, all profusely laced with “F” bombs.
So, how do I love my unlovable neighbor? For one thing, I pray for her. With all the chaos in her life, she’s got to be miserable.
Another way of loving her is by not mirroring her bad behavior. Sure, I’d like to throw open a window at 1:00 a.m., shout “Shut up!” at the top of my lungs, and pepper my language with some choice words of my own. The evil, vengeful side of me wants to put Sweetie’s droppings into a paper bag, put it on Ann’s doorstep, set it on fire, then ring the doorbell and run. But those things would be wrong, childish, and wouldn’t solve anything.
In short, it’s sometimes hard to “love thy neighbor.”
But I am trying. Hard.
I Shih Tzu not.
5 thoughts on “Loving Thy Neighbor”
How funny!!! It is hard to continue loving your neighbor. Once again, you have a intriguing story. I’ll be sure to read the next, and the next post that you have. 🙂 Keep up the awesome work.
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OMG, Irene, you really do have a neighbor to test someone’s better nature. I applaud you for taking the high road and not the path most would follow. I know it has to be a daily battle, but your post is a great reminder–especially at this time of year—to “love you neighbor.”
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I loved this. I admire your tolerance level. Not sure I wouldn’t have to lovingly tell her to please put her dog in it own back yard to do its doos. Bravo, Renie.
My heart goes out to you and also to Ann. Her life is in shambles.