The neighbours are friendly, family types. It's a great place to live in and I like coming home to this house, this home, more than any other I've known.
All that changed this morning.
According to the paper, not just my neighbouthood, but my entire town has effectively placed a ban on dogs. The law apparently states that:
- It is illegal to own a dog if you live in a terrace / link house. This constitutes most dog owners.
- Dogs are only allowed in bungalows and corner lots. Not even end lots - corner lots with land. This essentially means only the rich are permitted to have canine pets.
- Written consent must be obtained from all adjacent neighbours (front, back, left, right) using special forms available from the town council for 2 bucks. Each.
- Certain breeds of dogs will not be issued licenses, like mastiffs, bull terriers and rottweilers.
- Any licenses issued will have to be renewed annually, with no guarantee of renewal the next year.
- All dogs have to be muzzled when walked, presumably to prevent your 18-inch tall Chihuahua from mauling other residents.
What I will say is that this doesn't solve anything.
On the contrary, it has the potential to fracture a lot of goodwill amongst neighbours.
Imagine going to someone you've lived next to for years - whom you've had over to your house, whose kids you watched grow up etc - and asking their permission to keep a pet you already own for years and which they had no objection to previously.
If they object here are only two kinds of 'No's you're going to receive:
- The polite, embarrassed kind ("I'm sorry, but I've got the safety of my kids to think of...")
- The stone-walling, won't budge, no discussion, drawing-the-line kind ("To be honest, I've never been comfortable...")
Either way, you're going to wake up the next morning and look at these people differently.
And different in one of the worst ways because neither of you is going to move - philosophically or geographically.
I am just boiling now. I am fucking livid.