Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Neighbor dispute

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  • This topic has 77 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 4 weeks, 1 day ago by avatarEle4phant.
Viewing 12 posts - 13 through 24 (of 78 total)
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  • #953431 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    “ , I do worry about legalities if the kid gets hurt from either the dog biting or from hanging on our fence that’s in very poor shape”

    These are valid concerns, and have you framed it this way with the mom? If you’ve been coming at it from the angle of, the kid is over here too much, and mom is at the breaking point from dealing with her kid 24/7 for 5 months, I can see why she may feel like you’re being too rigid/unreasonable.

    To Alex’s point above, were your kids 4 years old in a pandemic and severely limited in their ability to do anything at all away from home, isolated from friends, etc.? These are really different circumstances.

    #953444 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Have you said to the kid, “honey, please don’t hang on the fence, it’s old and could fall down?”

    You could also explain to the mom that you’ve heard scary stories about dogs biting kids when they’ve had enough, or biting through a fence because they get territorial, and you haven’t had the dog long and aren’t 100% sure what he may do

    But again, it’s tough if previously you’ve just framed it as the kid spending too much time at your fence.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by avatarKate.
    #953463 Reply
    avatarHelen
    Guest

    I’ve been quarantined since March with 2 kids about that kid’s age. Its brutal. But I’ve never yelled at my neighbors or allowed my kids to be pests (repeatedly). Can you reframe the girl’s visits as important socialization for a puppy? Do his training sessions inside and let the girl and a ball wear out the puppy outside? You can get some extra chill time out of this too. Puppies are exhausting and full of energy

    #953476 Reply
    avatarHelen
    Guest

    I’ll add that my kids love to see what the neighbors are up to when we’re all outside. They’ll hang on the fence and stare at them for as long as I let them. Kids are feral creatures. I pull them down immediately and explain why that’s rude. Kids need even more socialization than dogs, and your neighbor sounds like she’s neglecting to do that. That kid also sounds like a huge handful. She’ll mellow out eventually

    #953485 Reply
    avatarBondgirl
    Guest

    Kate, tbh I’d kinda felt it was excessive to bring up so I focused on just mediating the issue with the training reasons. I mean, if the thought of suing wasn’t there already, and then something DID happen….well, now the thought is there.

    #953491 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Right, re-reading your post, it seems like the reasons you posed to the mom were more about, my dog, my rules, we control his interactions, we want quiet time, etc. I think you do have more solid arguments than that but haven’t used them.

    My cousin’s in-laws had a pit bull that was a nice dog but one day attacked the mail carrier and seriously maimed her. I’ve had dogs that didn’t like kids and nipped at them. I’ve seen ppl stick fingers through a fence and get bitten.

    #953530 Reply
    avatarBondgirl
    Guest

    Kate, that’s awful. 🙁 I’ve heard those stories too and I know the owners are pretty much always responsible for the associated medical bills. And depending on the dog they may be destroyed. God forbid that happened they could be forgiving, or they could sue……

    I’m a first time dog owner so just trying to navigate people interactions as best I can.

    #953543 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    I think they lost everything financially.

    This is my husband’s first time with a puppy (my third), and he’s super anxious and paranoid. My uncle’s dog getting hit by a car last summer when we were all on cape cod is contributing to this. He can’t even deal with the fenced dog park, and can be really prickly toward other dog owners. I’m more relaxed. This dog LOVES kids, but in the past I’d always be like, oh, careful honey, he isn’t good with kids. Make it about the kid’s safety.

    #953563 Reply
    avatarMiss MJ
    Guest

    So I’d have a huge problem with this. And I think you have a mom problem rather than a child problem. It sounds like mom doesn’t understand that dogs are animals, not toys, and so she doesn’t respect that she needs to respect your boundaries with respect to your pet and teach her daughter to do the same.

    I don’t have kids, but I do have dogs, and I am super careful when they’re around kids because, well, even the sweetest, most well trained dog can snap. Mom needs to teach her daughter about not approaching pets without the owners permission (especially through a fence because the child may not “know” the next dog she sees behind a fence!!) and, honestly, to respect others’ property and privacy. Four is not too young for this conversation to begin.

    And for gods sake, they absolutely need to quit feeding things to your dog!! What the hell? Some dogs definitely don’t react well to some treats and I’ve also had to spend hundreds at the vet when my dogs get something they shouldn’t.

    So yeah, I think daily permitted visits with her is fine and they’re in the wrong. That said, fortunately, it’s not a permanent problem. Hopefully, once the novelty wears off this will end. Or at least if nothing else, it’ll stop when she goes to school. In the meantime, good luck.

    #953585 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Also, make super sure the girl can’t open your gate. When I was really little, my brother was obsessed with the dog next door, and I’m pretty sure he let him out one day, probably just to play with him, not meaning any harm, and the dog ran away. I was probably 3 and my brother was 6, but I have this memory, and the dog didn’t come back.

    For all that people are saying kids should know better by age 4, I’m not sure that’s true. Sure, they can be told and disciplined not to do things, but they don’t have the same sense of right and wrong and the consequences of their actions that adults do. Or impulse control. They do fucked-up things.

    #953685 Reply
    avatarktfran
    Participant

    Right. Children don’t know better unless their parents teach them to know better. And still, they’re not little robots. My almost four year old nephew is pretty well behaved most of the time but he does get frustrated and will throw a toy or two or act out. He has immediate consequences, he’s warned about those consequences, my sister and brother in law follow through on those consequences. He’ll still do it. It’s pretty funny from afar, I may be be laughing to myself as I picture his little frustrated face and little frustrated voice, but I wouldn’t want to deal with it on the regular, which is why I’m not having kids.

    Anyway, @bondgirl, I think you offered a reasonable solution. I do think you should relax a little bit and it sounds like you tried to come to an agreement that worked for you. I’m sorry the neighbor lady took her frustrations out on you. And absolutely no hanging on the fence.

    Maybe in the future, if you see the 4 year old out, you can go over and say “hey… do you want to pet puppy for a few minutes?” Let her do that. When the puppy is done with being petted by the four year old, you can say “it looks like he wants to run now. Thanks for petting him.” That way, you don’t feel like she’s yelling at your dog and you get annoyed and she gets a few minutes of pure enjoyment and she felt like she did something good and she’s getting a few minutes of positive attention. You’re being kind and proactive! Win-win.

    #953747 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Can you get a different kind of fence put up? One that would give you more privacy and security? Beyond that, I feel empathy for everyone in this situation but probably most for the 4-year-old who’s living her young childhood through extraordinary circumstances that none of us had to navigate at that age. It’s really hard for parents of young kids too and that quarantine burnout didn’t even occur to you, bondgirl, just underscores the massive difference between those of us living through the pandemic with young children and … everyone else. That’s not a knock against you and I’m not saying you don’t have reason to be upset or that the pandemic isn’t difficult for anyone else. But it’s a level of hell for parents of young children that may be unimaginable for others. I don’t have a yard but if I did I could imagine letting my kids out To play and getting a few minutes of peace or some time to work or clean up. And then suddenly the neighbors have a dog my daughter wants to play with and the neighbors are annoyed by my daughter and now my few minutes of peace are gone bc I have to police my daughter’s back yard time and make sure she doesn’t bother the dog. Honestly, if I were the mother, I’d probably invest in a nice wood fence. Or maybe a dog of our own!

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