Neighbors for Neighbors

Do stuff with and for your neighbors

Listen, I love dogs as much as the next guy. I've owned a dog my whole life - they complete me. However, I am also a homeowner and a big fan of my Japanese-ish styled landscaping. I have worked very hard weeding, pruning, obsessing over my tiny postage stamp of Boston. One afternoon after having just watered said yard, I was sitting on my stoop and a passerby and his dog stopped to admire my garden - and urinate on it.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="322" caption="Back away from the flowers Fido"]Back away from the flowers Fido[/caption]

I snapped. "Hey! What in do you think you're doing!" The man made no attempt to pull his pooch from my plants. I was fuming. Then, just like when you buy a new car, you notice them everywhere, I started noticing people doing this quite often. Not just in front of my house but all over Jamaica Plain.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that sometimes you're out with your trusty companion and he/she just has to go. It's a dog after all - not ruled by the strange social conventions we are - peeing only in porcelain. I expect some common sense however. I live directly across from the Southwest Corridor. There are acres of prime potty spots. Try em' you'll like em'.

Let's be fair - this is probably just a simple communication issue, right? Okay, my request to all dog owners is this - if at all possible, curb your pet. Walk it in the park. If Fido is having an emergency, pull him off my favorite bush. Dog urine apparently kills plants. In case you weren't aware, you are on my property, ruining it. In a sense, if you think about it, you are vandalizing my property. Okay, there, I feel better.

By the way, lest cats escape my onslaught - they aren't without blame either. As a matter of fact, I've been doing a little research on cat poop. I'd heard in the past that exposure to cat feces could be very toxic to pregnant women and small children. I wasn't sure if this was an urban tale or truism. After doing very little research I have learned that I am certain (conclusive evidence or not) that I don't want anymore neighborhood cats dropping a deuce-deuce in my yard. There are plenty of articles to shed light on the discussion. The Straight Dope answers a reader's questions about toxicity and even raises a few points about the correlation between schizophrenia and T. gondii, the bacteria in question. The American Veterinary Medical Association put out an interesting piece on Taxoplasmosis and the issues surrounding it.

To make a long story short - keep your pets off your neighbor's property. A lot of folks in Jamaica Plain grow food on their land and you don't want to be responsible for contaminating it. Thank you kindly for listening.

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