The end of a beautiful day as a rainbow descended from the clouds over the mountains.

I don’t suppose I could credit the day to being very productive; however, the morning chores were done and then I did what I get paid to do. I answered emails and graded papers. I reviewed rough drafts and sent corresponding feedback. I was inside keeping my nose in my own business when Betsy Ann, the consummate watch dog, started barking hysterically. Usually I don’t pay much attention; however, Bonnie joined in with the barking and thus I ventured to the door to find another dog at the bottom of the steps looking up at me.

Now I have seen this dog before and recognized him. His name is Dexter, although I don’t know exactly where he is supposed to call home, I realized that it wasn’t here with Betsy Ann and Bonnie. I opened the door and he began to meander to the road. Then as I followed him off the property he made a zig zag down the road to two people on horses that appeared to be ignoring his existence. I supposed that he was with them. There upon I called out to them that the dog need not be on my property that I have livestock. The young woman turned on her horse to continue the conversation by trying to dismiss the whole event. After a couple of my assertions that the dog was on private property she continued to yell something of no consequence. I finalized the conversation by stating clearly that the next time the dog was on my property he would be shot.

Now the reason that I know that the dog’s name is Dexter is that he has been here before and not very recently at that. In fact the last time he was meandering around someone called him by his name before he decided that the smells on my property were concluded and he followed the people riding their horses. I suppose he figured he’d done his best to figure out who or what peed and pooped in my front yard.

It isn’t so much that the dog was doing his normal behavior; however, it is that Maine has some laws about dogs running amok. First and foremost they should be on a leash. I believe that is commonly called a leash law. When I take Betsy Ann and Bonnie outside to do their constitutionals they are on a leash. I do not want them to be harmed, or run off. I am particularly keen on keeping them because I love them. They are my dogs and companions. I am not inclined to allow them to run amok, certainly not near the road, so that they could possibly be hurt. But these people who were horseback riding apparently have different ideas as to how they feel about Dexter.

Subsequently, anyone who knows me realizes that the threat to shoot Dexter is an empty retort. I would not shoot someone’s dog. However, I will call Dexter to me if he is on my property and corral him until he is picked up by the animal control officer. I will ask that he be kept from running amok. I will ask that the letter of the law be followed by the people who are ignoring him. I will ask that Dexter be cared for properly and protected. I will be determined that Dexter be cared for properly by being leashed as per the law. And if the people who own Dexter are inclined to bring him on their horseback riding excursions I will call the animal control officer several times.

What I find most disturbing is that the people that own Dexter are not particularly interested in what happens to him. And how do I know that they aren’t interested in Dexter? Well, I would consider that Dexter is running amok on people’s property without the knowledge of the horseback riding people. In addition, this great country road on which people are supposed to be going 45 mph is very busy. Consequently, the people driving this road do not drive 45 mph but travel at much higher speeds. I would think that the horseback riding people would be interested in keeping Dexter safe. But perhaps they don’t love him. Perhaps it is inconsequential that Dexter is loose and running in and out of the traffic on Hill Road.

All in all though it was not a particularly productive day I found that perhaps Betsy Ann and Bonnie as well as the farm animals are well protected. I suppose they don’t think about it; however, I am inclined to consider their safety more now. I am thankful that the farm animals are behind walls that a dog could not get through. And that Maggie and the rams are behind an electric fence, although they are barn sour and stay inside most of the time.

In the end it isn’t Dexter’s fault. He’s a dog that would probably attack one of my chickens and kill it. It is his nature to do what comes to him. However, his owners are at fault for not protecting him. In addition, they are not abiding by the rules either. I suppose if they have a ‘big’ name in Clinton they think because they own an exorbitant amount of property and their god given right to a legacy that they have more rights than the rest of us that live in a dilapidated old house with a few farm animals.

And so it goes….
Copyright © 2011



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