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Old 11-25-2012, 04:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Neighbor issue? Not sure what to do...

Sorry this will be a little long winded...

About 1 month ago I got a new neighbor that shares the back fence/property line. They have a dog, and there was a bit of "introduction" barking for a couple of days. Trying to be the nice person, I went over, introduced myself and told the neighbors that once Magnum "learns" the new people/dogs his barking will settle down and that I will NOT let him bark excessively and would quite him quickly. Everything went well, nice people, everyone seems OK with all of it.

Fastforward:
Just got back from Thanksgiving road trip. Found a basketball in the yard. While I assumed it belonged to the "backyard" neighbors I didn't just toss it back over the fence. There are some kids on the next street over that (despite my protests) will toss a random ball in my yard for the dogs. The backyard neighbors were not out and about when I returned, so I decided to wait until I saw them before tossing the ball over.

FF a bit more:
Came out of the house a couple of hours later and the ball was gone. Someone came into the yard and retrieved it. I am REALLY not a big fan of "random" people coming in the fenced in yard. Magnum is VERY protective of the yard. If I bring him out of the yard to you he will be the biggest lover in the world. If you walk up to the fence you probably won't want to get within a few feet of the fence. There are more reasons, but that will be another topic. I don't want my dogs hurt, I don't want any hurt by my dogs.

FF again:
Went over to the neighbors house after seeing some activity. Took a card with my name and number. Told the story of the ball in a manor that suggested it may have been their kids. I explained that I didn't want to assume anything, random balls appear in the yard, but....IF they "lost" one over the fence to please call me and I would be happy to return it. I explained that I don't always go inspect the yard before letting the dogs out and I would hate for anyone to get chased or scared by the dog.
This didn't seem to go over very well. They seemed offended that I would even suggest their kids would go in someone's yard.

I was really trying to do the right thing. I don't want any issues with ANY of my neighbors. Was I out of line? Is there something I can/should do to "smooth" things over? I know no one here was directly involved so my questions may be moot, but advise would be nice.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I dont think you were out of line at all....you genuinly expressed your concern for their kids, and tried to make it sound it was about THEM.... kids are kids, and the parents shouldnt be offended by your comment at all, MY kids sometimes do things that leave me thinking: where the hell did they learn that?!?! they've never seen that at home! or they seem to forget their manners at the most embarrassing times...thats just how kids are, is nothing personal, you shouldnt be too worried because IMO you did NOTHING wrong, if I was them I would be more than happy that my nice neighbor showed concern about MY KIDS! .... Dont sweat it, but if you really wanna smooth things out just bring them a pie with a note or something like that, explaining how you feel, I find a lot of times written comunications works way better than spoken one.

Good luck!!

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Old 11-25-2012, 04:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe intro the dog to them on their turf. Then let them know the dog is a loving dog until someone comes in the yard. Education can be key sometimes.

Last edited by Kekly; 11-25-2012 at 04:36 PM.. Reason: typing
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Our neighbors are scared of our dobes. The elderly neighbor one side wants nothing to do with them. The neighbor on the other side has made "friends" with Ginger. You can tell he is still scared though. He is trying to make friends with Sampson but that is not going so well. Sampson is scared..omg...my big bad dobes.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Define "...seemed offended that I would even suggest their kids would go in someone's yard," please.

My son would not have gone in anyone's yard without knocking first at their door. And I'd have told you that very directly, in our out of his presence.

"There was a basketball in my yard, but it disappeared before I could ask if it was yours. Was it yours, by any chance?"

If it was, "I am glad you have your ball back, but I am really uncomfortable with the idea of people being in my yard without my knowing. Please knock first, or even just call me; here's my cellphone number."

Put locks on your gates. I don't trust gates to stay closed, and a dog getting loose as a result of an unsecured gate is one of my greater fears. If the kids are jumping the fence (where a posted sign would not be seen anyway), I'd share that the yard IS posted, and I'd post it prior to having that conversation.

I note a house not too far away that has two very nice, "POSTED: NO TRESPASSING" signs. In the heart of the city. I am not posted, but if I were to post, that is what I would post. My Farmers agent assures me that a Beware of Dog sign incurs no implied liability, as it is not uncommon for people who do not even have dogs to put up such signs.

And, given the current state of affairs, I'd be sure to take cookies or some other holiday treat to this household sometime during the holiday season. One of my key learnings while working for a really crappy boss was that you really can buy many adults with candy (and more children). Sad, but true.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrdnDelite View Post
Define "...seemed offended that I would even suggest their kids would go in someone's yard," please.
"[perturbed huff/sniff] Well it couldn't have been our kids, there is just no way" Meanwhile stare of death from Dad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrdnDelite View Post
My son would not have gone in anyone's yard without knocking first at their door. And I'd have told you that very directly, in our out of his presence.
Knocking first isn't an option here, the entire yard is fenced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrdnDelite View Post
"There was a basketball in my yard, but it disappeared before I could ask if it was yours. Was it yours, by any chance?"

If it was, "I am glad you have your ball back, but I am really uncomfortable with the idea of people being in my yard without my knowing. Please knock first, or even just call me; here's my cellphone number."

Put locks on your gates. I don't trust gates to stay closed, and a dog getting loose as a result of an unsecured gate is one of my greater fears. If the kids are jumping the fence (where a posted sign would not be seen anyway), I'd share that the yard IS posted, and I'd post it prior to having that conversation.

I note a house not too far away that has two very nice, "POSTED: NO TRESPASSING" signs. In the heart of the city. I am not posted, but if I were to post, that is what I would post. My Farmers agent assures me that a Beware of Dog sign incurs no implied liability, as it is not uncommon for people who do not even have dogs to put up such signs.

And, given the current state of affairs, I'd be sure to take cookies or some other holiday treat to this household sometime during the holiday season. One of my key learnings while working for a really crappy boss was that you really can buy many adults with candy (and more children). Sad, but true.
Basically what I told them was:
began with typical Good afternoon, how are things, hope you had a good Thanksgiving.... "I'm not sure if it belongs to your boys, but I found a basketball in the yard when I got home. There are some other boys that live on the next street over that toss balls in the yard for my dogs sometimes, so I didn't want to just toss it over the fence in your yard, in case it wasn't yours I didn't want you to think I was throwing random stuff in the yard. Anyway, before I got the chance to ask, someone got the basketball out of the yard. While I sure don't mind someone getting their lost ball back I was a little worried about someone getting in the yard. I don't go inspecting the yard before I come out with the dogs, and would hate for anyone's child to get chased or scared by my dog. My boy is fairly protective of the yard and runs barking at cats and squirrels and I imagine that would be pretty scary to someone that doesn't know him.
Either way, don't know who was in the yard, but if you or the boys happen to 'lose' a ball over the fence, here is my name and phone number, just give me a call and I will be more than happy to return it."

I am going to put up some trespass signs. Will have to go buy some new locks for the gates.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It sounds to me as if - no matter what you said or how you said it - they were defensive & I don't think you can fix that.

I'd be tempted to let it go, be friendly if you see them around. If you don't currently lock the gate, you should start & if they hop the fence it's at their own risk.

I think that signs right away might be a bit obvious & too negative - maybe wait a month or two for the sign? Just to be tactful?
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Some people are the type that just look for anything to be offended about-- always looking for the "dis". I hate people like that, always having to walk on eggshells around them, and wonder if because they are that way might be the type to throw "zings for sport"...passive aggressive types. ugh
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't think you were out of line at all. I also don't want anyone coming into our backyard. We have a combination lock on our gate so no one can come in unless they jump over the fence. Maybe that would work for your gate.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Nope, not offensive in any shape or form, if someone said that to me (as a parent) I would not have been offended in the slightest.
I have always accepted my kids are kids, they do stuff, however, some parents think their kids walk on bloody water and nothing you can say will ever change their mind.

I could tell you about someone from my village (old one in the UK) her son was an absolute thug who tried to stab my son with a broken milk bottle. My son (who had done Martial Arts and Self Defence) managed to disarm the boy and place him in a hold whilst the other kids ran for adult help.
His mother on arrival tried to blame my son for it all, saying 'you must have done something to make him try to stab you'.
WTH!
Truth is he hadn't and truth is the boy went on to serve 17 years in prison for attempted murder later on in life.

Basically some folk as I have said, think their kids are perfect, don't do anything wrong etc, etc.
If you handled the situation as you have said and I have no reason to disbelieve you then in my opinion you were polite, handled it well and in no way said anything directly aimed at their kids.

I wouldn't let their reaction affect how you respond to them in the future, but definitely lock the gates and if they climb over fence then they obviously do not know that a barrier such as a fence is to be respected.

If I were you I would consider buying the signs, but hang fire (if you buy now) putting them up, give it a few weeks/months, wait till the weather starts picking up (in the Spring) that way no one can surely say it was directed at their specific kids etc.

In the meantime, check the yard.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I do not think you were out of line at all, i am not sure that leaving a neighbors ball locked in your back yard in full veiw is wise. Assuming that its a childs ball and you have three or more "kids" wanting to play, someone is going over the fence to retreive it. (short straw, dare...) I would try to keep the neighbor kids comfortable enough with me that they would knock on the front door and ask
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Put locks on the gate. What happens if they retrieve a ball and not close the gate?
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The bottom line is that entering someone else's property without express permission to do so IS trespassing, and no-one should presume to feel it's OK to do so. I have lots of stories - won't bore you with them - but one house we bought had been a rental for many years, and neighborhood kids were used to using it as their local baseball field. When we bouth the place and fenced it for the dogs, the kids, and the parents, were angry and resentful of us (we had NO idea why at first!) for being so "selfish" as to deprive the neighborhood of "their" baseball field. Ugh ... We had incidents of people throwing glass bottles over the fence (??to try to hurt the dogs??), food wrappers, dead gophers (could poison the dogs), etc...

I think good locks on any access gates, and no trespassing signs, are both good ideas - and not just for your dog, but for the fools who think it's a good idea to enter someone else's property without an invitation! I mean - DUH!
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You did nothing wrong!

Several summers back I was finding balls in horse fields and then caught the kids with a ladder attempting to get over the 6 foot cyclone fence. A phone call to the parents when they got home from work took care of that problem. I would suggest in the future to place the ball outside of the fenced area for the little darlings to find without climbing the fence.

For anyone with animals and for anyone wanting to protect their hard-earned stuff, good fences with locks on all parameter gates really help. In years gone by, honest people respected a shut gate; however those days are long over. I started locking gates here about 20 years ago, after a couple close calls with horses almost getting out due to idiots coming in and leaving the main driveway gate open. Moreover, itís comforting to know for certain that the gate is shut when a horse decides bolt out of a stall or pull a lead out of my hand, as well as my dogs being safe if they get through a yard gate or door. Iím certain it also deters thieves as I am about the only place on this road which hasnít been hit. In most states if you have the parameter fence posted with signage and the gate locked then it becomes breaking and entering for anyone capable of reading and understanding the signage! Check local laws regarding the required distance between signs as some jurisdictions are specific.

Best of luck.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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From your quote I think you handled yourself and the situation perfectly. In my opinion it came off as being very polite and non-offensive/aggressive. Some people are going to take things the wrong way no matter what. If I was that parent, not only would I not have been offended, I would have been thankful for the warning!

I agree that with it being the Holiday season, maybe bring some cookies over and mention having the Kids meet Magnum in another setting or even bring him with you when you drop them off. During the conversation you could casually mention again that he is friendly but protective of his yard. Unless it happens again I would possibly hold off the trespassing signs until either you have another conversation so they don’t take it offensively “She thought my kids were in her yard and now there’s signs…” kind of thing?

Good luck!
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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*Sorry for the double post, not sure how it happened!
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It sounds to me like you were as polite as can be, and even I would not have been offended.

I agree that some people are just looking for reasons to be angry and/or defensive. Not a lot you can do about that.

I thought you were describing the fencing as in common with these neighbors. If it is not, I'd post it straight away. I probably should disclaim that I am in Cali, where were are very fond of fencing and do believe that good fences make good neighbors. I know it is not that way in some other areas of the country, though I don't grasp it. (MILs housing tract in Ohio prohibits fences, even for back yards, but allows dog runs. I don't get it.)
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:41 AM   #18 (permalink)
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You did the right thing by talking to the parents. Kids are kids, and they often do things that their parents swear they would never, ever do. How many times did all of us as kids go and do something like going into someone else's yard after a ball or sneaking out somewhere that we weren't supposed to go, without saying a word to our parents or ever asking permission? Parents shouldn't take for granted that their kids would never do something. They're kids, they're not done growing up yet, and they have lapses in judgment. It could happen, and a friendly warning from a dog-owning neighbor to remember to ask first is a good idea.

You got your point across in a polite manner, and that's the best you can do. I caught a neighbor kid teasing my first Doberman through the fence with a stick, and I escorted him home to have a talk with his Mom. And yes, she said "but he'd never do that". Well, guess what, he did. Good thing Logan was too lazy to go over the fence and liked kids. If it had been another dog, one capable of scaling a 6 foot fence?

I definitely think telling the neighbors what's going on is a good idea. It'll keep everyone safe. If they get offended, oh well, you did the right thing to protect you and your dog.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:40 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Mountain, meet molehill, lol

You protest balls being thrown in your yard, yet you leave it there, hours later? Why?

The solution to your dilemma would have been as simple as:

1) Get the ball...place ball out front, by street/sidewalk, etc., so whomever lost it could get it.

That's it. No assuming.

Analyze the situation---> ball in yard, no balls in yard

make a decision and remedy the situation---> remove ball from yard

Sit back with a nice cup of cocoa and relax. Ahhh

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Old 11-29-2012, 05:56 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Mountain, meet molehill, lol

You protest balls being thrown in your yard, yet you leave it there, hours later? Why?
Magnum tends to eat the tennis balls that make it into the yard, not so much with a basketball. The thought process (flawed as it may be) was just setting the ball out front on the street may have led to someone other than the owner of the ball taking it. Didn't want the kids that the ball belonged to having to do without.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStig View Post
The solution to your dilemma would have been as simple as:

1) Get the ball...place ball out front, by street/sidewalk, etc., so whomever lost it could get it.

That's it. No assuming.

Analyze the situation---> ball in yard, no balls in yard

make a decision and remedy the situation---> remove ball from yard

Sit back with a nice cup of cocoa and relax. Ahhh

Thanks for the input. There is quite a bit of merit to your view and it probably would have simplified matters. I do tend to over analyze at times. Having lived in a neighborhood where people would regularly take what was not theirs has changed my view on how "simple" things can be.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:44 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmyk View Post
Magnum tends to eat the tennis balls that make it into the yard, not so much with a basketball. The thought process (flawed as it may be) was just setting the ball out front on the street may have led to someone other than the owner of the ball taking it. Didn't want the kids that the ball belonged to having to do without.


Thanks for the input. There is quite a bit of merit to your view and it probably would have simplified matters. I do tend to over analyze at times. Having lived in a neighborhood where people would regularly take what was not theirs has changed my view on how "simple" things can be.
People regularly take what is not theirs? And this issue hasn't been dealt with?

Like Dubya said:

dubya


Just change the fool me part with take from me

Or were you saying you used to live in an area like that?

Either way, the ball is not yours, you don't want it in your yard. Remove it.

Someone other than the rightful owner takes it, not your fault. They should be more careful with their items.
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