Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A pair of animal encounters

I woke up this morning to a strange sound. At first I thought my son had gotten out of bed and was playing with the little spring-doorstop. It had that kind of twinging noise, except deeper. When I was awake enough to realize that if he was awake that early, he wouldn't be playing but crying...then I realized we had a woodpecker moving around our roof to find if anything was worth his pecking. It was especially loud because nothing was--so beak on metal is not quiet. I could follow it around the roof, testing out different places. It soon left, and I'm thinking it's because it decided this wasn't a place to be, and not that it decided it would come back each morning at that same time just in case...

I just saw in the newspaper that the city is offering free flicker boxes to anyone who does have a repeated problem with them, so that'll be my next option. The neighbors at an angle through our back yard used to have a fake owl that was perched on their roof to scare the woodpeckers away, but I realize now that it's gone.

Encounter number two was a dog. Nothing special, in fact it was one of several that was behind a fence so we scarcely saw it as we walked to and from the park. But this was in a backyard that faced the playground, and the dog snarled and growled as we passed. OK, I'm not a dog person...but far as I know from friends who are, this is a failing of the owners. If you live next to a park, can't you at least train your dog so it doesn't scare the kids playing? I dislike snarling, snotty dogs, and so often when I'm walking or running down the sidewalk I'm forced to endure the growls of some poorly trained dog.

Growls and snarls are fine and good in a guard dog. But these are not houses that need guard dogs. I have to remind myself not to hate the dogs, because it's the owners who are to blame. Colorado is a dog place (especially a pair of large dogs, it seems) and that's great. But please for the sake of simple human and animal decency, train your dogs so they aren't mean.

(Self-analysis traces this to growing up in the country and remembering times of biking and being forced off the road by vicious, untied dogs. At least here the dogs are fenced in.)

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