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Rated: E · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2219562
A Blissful Neighborhood Goes To The Dogs
The purchase of the home in a modest neighborhood was their first. The husband Martin liked the quiet and the fact he was twenty minutes away from his job in downtown Seattle. Janet like that her new home was a blank canvas. The house needed a lot of work, but she spent happy hours re-designing the upper rooms and decorating the family room in the day basement. It was quiet. Martin and Janet worked well together making their newly acquired piece of paradise a splendid retreat.

They moved into the neighborhood just before the gray, damp, short days of winter set in and so did not meet their neighbors until that spring. Randy and Karen with their four boys and two dogs lived across the street. Martin and Janet met the family as they were out walking their boys and dogs.

“Weren’t they so polite,” Janet said that evening smiling at her weary husband.

“I’m not sure about their dogs though,” Martin said turning over the sizzling steaks on their front yard brick bar-b-que. It had been a long day of mowing and brush cutting and Martin’s recovery plan included lots of cold beer. The aroma attracted a few more of their neighbors who stuck their heads into the yard to more or less say high and good-by. The Scotts next door were moving to Philadelphia and their landlord was moving into the rental the following Wednesday. The Shepherds next door to Randy and Karen had sold their home several weeks before and would move out the same day the new owners were moving in the following Thursday.

All of this information was conveyed while Martin studied and petted the frosty sweat rolling down the amber bottle containing his beer. The conversation, though friendly, was delaying his next dose of medicating brew.

“Please come in and have a few drinks with us” Karen offered, ignoring Martin’s shaking head and rolling eyes. The neighbors declined the visit and nearly before they had turned to go Martin gulped down half a bottle of his precious liquor. He relaxed with a bit of a buzzed smile, lifting the overcooked meat from the grill.

The new neighbors rolled in with their belongings, children and pets as promised and by the next sunny Saturday afternoon introductions had been made and promises of congenial harmony were made between the newly formed community. As usual, Martin and Janet worked on their new home, Randy and Karen walked their children and dogs about the neighborhood and all seemed to be bliss.

Sunday morning, Martin’s eyes and ears simultaneously awoke to something new. Janet was sitting up in bed and seemed to be groaning one word. “Dogs.”

“Is that Randy’s dogs?” asked Martin.

“Yes,” Karen rolled from under the covers and pulled on a bulky sweater and padded to the window that looked across the street.

“But they never bark. At least they’ve never barked before. What is going on out there?”

As Martin’s senses sharpened he detected a faint yipping sound coming from the house next door where the dogless Scotts used to live. But above all the dog noise was one great rumbling bark.

“It’s a Great Dane!” said Karen, pointing to the house next to Randy and Karen’s.

Martin confirmed that the huge white and black spotted beast, its front paws hanging over the fence between Randy and Karen’s house, was indeed a Great Dane. It was barking curses at the two dogs in the yard next door and the two dogs were giving back as good as they were getting.

The new next door neighbor, concerned about what was happening across the street lost control of his dog; a bright little terrier with an ear piercing yelp. It went straight for the Great Dane and with vicious barks cursed the whole lot of his new doggy neighbors.
“We’ll have to talk to them,” Karen sighed.
Martin took his wife’s hand. “What a way to spend our morning. But it has to be done.”

Randy and Karen were sympathetic and sorry for the part their dogs played in the barking frenzy and promised to keep their dogs in on Sunday morning. The next door neighbor couldn’t seem to promise anything except to keep his terrier in as much as possible. The owners of the Great Dane denied the fact that their dog had anything to do with what happened and thus remained sure that nothing needed to be done.

From that Sunday onward every day that Martin pulled out of the driveway the Great Dane had already started his morning bark. The early morning neighborhood dog walkers were greeted with ferocious curses by the black and white beast.

“He barks all day long Martin,” Karen said in a phone call to Martin’s office. “Something has to be done.”

“I’ll call the police,” Martin said, “But I’m betting they won’t do much about it.”

In the evening, Randy and Karen came to visit and apologize once more for their dogs who seemed to bark constantly now. “We have some bad news,” Randy said. “The Stiles, our new neighbors weren’t happy about the police visit. They said they would do what they could to keep their dog quiet. They also said they bought the house behind us for their daughter and son-in-law and guess what? They moved in today and they have two big dogs of their own. Look!”

On the roof top of the garage behind Randy and Karen’s sat two hungry looking shepherds.

“Honey,” Martin said, “call our realtor.”

Word Count=923

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