Below is an actual letter mailed to my next door neighbor. Images have been added; the text is verbatim.
My good friends have advised me not to fight small battles with petty people. This letter will be incontrovertible proof that I rarely listen to advice from my good friends. Anyway, on to the fun….
I recently noticed that sod from my side of the fence had been pulled up and moved. At first, I was confused by this revelation. I considered whether any of our neighbors owned a (presumably hungry) goat. They don’t. I scanned the news for evidence of any sod bandits that may have recently escaped from the local jail. None did. I then remembered receiving a text from your girlfriend taking me to task for planting sod on my side of the fence. (There are no typos in the previous sentence. I did say my side of the fence.) Between the text, the relocated sod, and your lack of communication skills – which are the envy of deaf mutes everywhere – I’m assuming you’re claiming and wish to maintain control of strip of land that is approximately four inches wide on my side of the fence.
Lawn maintenance along our boundary line is an issue of which I’m flexible. If it makes you happy, we can forego the traditional method of boundaries civilizations have used for thousands of years, aka ‘the fence,’ and use this new system you and your girlfriend have invented – ‘the fence plus 4.’ Before we can implement your new system, I only ask that you communicate with me as to how it works.
Are you saying you would like to edge and trim the lawn along both sides of the fence? If so, no problem. I hereby grant you permission to come on my property in order to trim the grass along the fence next to my garage. Weekly would be great. Please note this grant of permission extends only to you – Jay Brothers – and is intended for the sole purpose of allowing you to edge and trim four inches of property along the disputed section of fence. Please…no girlfriends.
Alternatively, are you saying you would like to move your fence over a grand total of four inches in order to reclaim a strip of land that is suddenly so important to you? In principle, I have no problem with this either. Perhaps you have discovered a tiny kingdom of Lilliputians and need someplace to house them. It’s none of my business really. You are welcome to tie-in to my posts in order to modify your fence. When you send the updated survey notating proposed changes to the neighborhood’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC), please send me a copy for approval as well. I’m sure it will be fascinating reading.
Now that I think about this further, I realize that neither of these options would explain why you (or your non-land owning girlfriend) would have pulled up the sod. Is it that you have an insane hatred of grass? That can’t be it, for you have grass on your side of the fence. Let me think, what reason could there be for the destruction of newly planted sod on my side of a boundary line that has been unquestioned for 2 years? What could it be? Oh yes….
Let’s be honest here. The real reason you pulled this juvenile stunt is that you and your girlfriend are having a Harvey Updyke-level tantrum and are attempting to retaliate against me for calling animal control after your (vicious and dangerous) dog almost killed my dog and you did nothing about it. Side note: the “best defense is a good offense” people called and want you to speak at their next meeting. You’re their hero.
In the event you are confused about why I called animal control on your (vicious and dangerous) dog, let me spell it out clearly. I did not call animal control to retaliate against you or your (vicious and dangerous) dog for the attack that occurred on April 23 against my dog, Jake. Nor did I call animal control to retaliate against you or your (vicious and dangerous) dog for the 5+ previous attacks by your dog against other dogs. I called animal control because it has been established beyond any doubt that your (vicious and dangerous) dog is vicious and dangerous and you are unwilling to do anything about it.
Owning dangerous dogs, in and of itself, is not necessarily wrong. Hoover is full of people who own dangerous dogs. Like motor vehicles, power tools, or firearms, such dogs can be owned responsibly if safety is kept in mind. The problem is that you are an irresponsible dog owner and are showing wanton disregard for the safety of the people and pets in the community.
You will recall that I only called animal control after you informed me that you were unwilling to make any material changes to address the safety issue of your akitas. Before calling, I reflected on two quotes:
1. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~ Albert Einstein
2. “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” ~ James 4:17
I honestly don’t think you and Marina are bad people. I think she is crazy in love with her pets and you are crazy in love with her. You aren’t the first man to be unable to stand up to a woman. None of that is my problem, however. My problem is the existence of two (vicious and dangerous) dogs in the neighborhood. I would hope that, if you put yourself in my position, you could see why I am not willing to go along with the same thing and expect a different result. And, I hope you see why I decided to not sit idly by waiting to see if the next incident will be worse than the last. I’m sure it is easier to be mad at me than to be mad at Marina, but your anger is misguided.
I think it is fair for your neighbors to ask these questions of you:
1. What precautions have you taken to make certain your dogs never attack again?
2. If the dogs do attack, what is your emergency plan to stop the attack?
You’ve indicated that you think these questions are irrelevant because your dog is sweet and won’t attack again. Therefore, you’ve indicated there is no need to take precautions or be prepared to stop future attacks. You are unquestionably wrong on these points.
Since you are too negligent to do it yourself, I’ve done what I can to prevent future attacks. As one example, I’ve fortified my back fence so your dogs will have a harder time digging under it. By contrast, there have been no changes to your fence. Your dogs could easily dig under and get loose in the neighborhood (like your previous akita did).
As you may have noticed, I’ve also prepared myself in the event of future dog attacks by carrying a sidearm. Someone who is unfamiliar with the imminent danger posed by your dogs may say: “That seems extreme. Why would a gun be needed for a dog fight?” Allow me to answer that question.
I have personally assisted in separating your dog from his victim multiple times. During the second attack (the one in which your dog jumped through your window, ran out to the sidewalk, and attacked the German Shepherd I was with), I was bitten during my attempt to stop the attack. After that incident, I researched how to break up dog fights and learned of the technique in which you pull their back legs. During the most recent attack on Jake, I pulled the back legs of your dog.
That did precisely jack shit. (Thanks, internet!)
Three of us working together could not stop that one dog. It was a humbling experience. As you know, the fight ultimately ended when you choked your own dog until he blacked out. Seeing your akita in action would literally give Michael Vick an erection.
I have subsequently researched how to break up akita attacks specifically. Here are a few of the things I have learned are NOT sufficient to stop these fucking rampaging beasts: bear mace, cattle prods and Tasers. Therefore, based on the advice of a self-defense expert, I have acquired a sidearm in order to be able to lawfully protect myself, my family and my property from the danger you are every day imposing on us.
If all of the above wasn’t enough, you have upped the ante by providing your male akita with a female akita and advised that he is “extremely protective” of her. That’s just what we needed – to increase the odds of a future incident by giving your vicious and dangerous dog something to be pissed off about. Also, because you now have two akitas, the potential consequences of future incidents are more severe than ever. If three of us working feverishly were powerless to stop one akita attack, then two of you will not be able to stop two akitas without extreme action, and it will be impossible for one person acting alone to stop two akitas.
When you walk those dogs without muzzles, you are essentially escorting a powder keg around the neighborhood. Where will it blow up? What lengths are you forcing your neighbors to go to in order to protect themselves?
I’m not an attorney but, heaven forbid, were to I discharge a firearm within city limits it could be an extremely serious matter. Also, future attacks could expose you to civil and possibly criminal liability. Depending on the situation, either or both of us could have our lives permanently affected. We are talking about serious shit here, Jay.
Again, I am not an attorney but I would suggest you seek the advice of one and ask if there is truth in my statements. I think s/he will also tell you that your usual ostrich approach of putting your head in the sand and pretending there isn’t a problem isn’t the wisest strategy for this situation.
Given the disagreement we have over the furry bombs in your backyard, we should make certain we are clear over our land dispute. I’m presuming by your actions that you believe you own land on my side of the fence and therefore have unlimited access to my yard. I hate to break it to you, but you do not hold any sort of easement on my property and your presence here to draw your self-proclaimed property lines or to pull up sod is known in legalese as ‘trespassing.’
Again, Jay, you are welcome to come knock on my door at any time so that we may discuss your concerns. I’m sure we can work something out so that you have permission to use that side yard if you wish. Marina, however, is another matter. She has a consistent history of not respecting my property or boundaries in general. It has come to my attention that, while I was away, she routinely took more liberties on my property than I was aware of or intended. I no longer trust her judgment. Therefore, I am once again clearly stating that I do not want your dogs around my dog, my family, or my property. And I do not want Marina around my dog, my gates, or my property.
Frankly, I could give a rip about the grass. It’s Marina’s trespassing without realizing she is trespassing that is the most concerning aspect of this. Part of the reason I took the time to write this long ass letter is to clearly state in writing that Marina’s presence on my property will be considered trespassing. You have been notified. It is your responsibility to pass on the notification to your girlfriend.
Jay, we have a lot more important things to worry about than grass on the other side of the fence. If you are uncomfortable meeting me alone to discuss like adults, I will be happy to arrange for an independent mediator be present. I’m also willing to trade written correspondence via email or traditional mail. I am unwilling (unable actually) to communicate via ESP or mind reading. If we are ever going to work this out, then you have to participate in some type of two way communication.
Frankly, it’s bullshit that I have to send this to you via mail when you live next door to me and we see each other frequently.
And finally, I fully intend to post this on the internet so the absurdity of the entire situation is exposed for all to see. I told you man-to-man that I intended to pressure you into being responsible with your dogs. That pressure includes being vigilant in staying on topic, and using juvenile situations like ripped up grass as an opportunity to refocus attention on the primary problem of you harboring vicious dogs that are not securely confined or muzzled.