Listen Dog, ‘I’m Sorry’ Goes a Long Way

This weekend walking my pup Pula around the neighborhood made me pause and seriously question humanity. After a pressure washing water fest, a dog attack, and an apology. I am still left asking, why is saying sorry so simple yet so hard?

I tend to visit home, the neighborhood where I grew up, and recall kind neighbors and familiar faces. What I’ve found is that reality is messier than memories. I took Pula and we rounded the neighborhood starting with a familiar face. Conversing with a neighbor commenting on our fellow thoughtful/less neighbor who has had someone pressure washing her sidewalk all day! We shook our heads and I Pula and I continued on our way.

The rest of the walk got me thinking more and more. why would someone pay to have their house’s concrete pressure washed? For 6 hours? On a Sunday?  In the middle of the worst drought in California’s history?!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!! What are you thinking? Unrelated to the water, were you considering your neighbors who were home all day relaxing before they start their work week (not me personally I’m just saying)?!

The walk continued pretty uneventful and calm. As I neared the corner across from ‘home’, I emerged from behind a backyard fence that’s along the sidewalk to face a small spaniel charging us barking. She went straight for Pula. The dog continued to bite her Pula’s neck and side while she laid there terrified. I yelled as I drug her by her collar & leash trying to get her away from the dog without having to get my hand in the crossfire of biting.

Meanwhile the dog owners were standing on their porch watching. No rush to stop their dogs behavior, no effort to at least appear concerned or to ensure the safety of anyone involved. I mean at least faking your concern would be better than standing their on your phone smiling at me as your dog is attacking mine! “Oh hey neighbor, that looks like a tough situation. Have fun dealing with it.” Um it’s your dog. It’s your problem. Best wishes. I’ll be up here claiming 0 responsibility.

Someone who lives next to you is one thing but a neighbor is I expect more from humans and even more from someone you call a neighbor. I wouldn’t be shocked if this was a neighbor who I didn’t have a friendly relationship and converse with (i.e. the pot growing neighbor who sits with his kids on his front porch lighting up), but it was.  I was so angry I had to walk away, carrying Pula the 50+ pound pit bull who was frozen in place on the sidewalk terrified to move.

As I cross the street in the height of my anger, carrying puppa girl on my hip, I see the sidewalk pressure washer is still there. I express my thought on how this is even permitted for him to work on a Sunday with this noise in a residential neighborhood. He assures me he’ll be done soon.

I enter the house and begin to check Pula’s wounds, punctures along her neck and back have now risen like mosquito bumps under her short hair. I hear a knock at the door.

CLEARLY it will be my neighbor coming over to apologize for the incident and for not controlling her dog. Their dogs have been roaming a lot lately, free range dog training. Barking at pedestrians, venturing over to the elementary school during recess, and now attacking Pula.

It was not that neighbor. It was the water wasting, environmentally conscious, drought exempt neighbor. Conveniently this neighbor was gone all day until about 10 minutes before they completed the job, yet she ‘didn’t know how long they would be there’. OK.

She offered a bottle of wine, which won’t repay the annoyance of hearing that all day. She did however have the common decency to come over and SAY IM SORRY. Regardless of her supposed unawareness to the noise and annoyance of the work, she came over and said sorry. What a good neighbor and human does.

Hearing that somehow eases the transgressions that were committed. Why is it easier for a neighbor I barely speak to to apologize than the one I wave to daily? Do peoples true colors come out when they are called upon to do the right thing? Saying sorry is something that requires literally two words, about second of your life, and yet it seems to be the hardest thing to do at times.

Regardless of her reason for abandoning responsibility and lacking neighborly and humanly accountability for actions, I came to realize how much simply saying sorry can mean to someone. I know it meant a lot to me today.

*Update: The neighbors never came over to apologize. Pula is physically ok but is hesitant about that house, naturally. I only saw that dog out once this week, when I heard it barking and charging a girl walking her lab past the house. Shocker. The girls comment was “well maybe they shouldn’t have their dog running loose in their yard”. Yup, common sense folks. It exists. Also my pot growing/smoking neighbors cat was hit by a car this morning :(,  it was the cutest cat!

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