"Our neighbors are pigs," said Mr. Wild Dingo.
Now, we've lived in Santa Cruz mountains for many years and have had our fair share of neighbors with questionable habits such as decorating their garden with Budweiser cans or solving their leaking roofs with a blue tarp, every winter, year after year. As attractive as those blue tarps are, they get a little old. And Mr. Wild Dingo and I enjoy the mountains, so we bought property surrounded by enough trees to avoid enduring more years of "Blue Tarp Season." Even with our particular opinions about Blue Tarp roofs and aluminum gardens, I thought that was a pretty strong statement.
"Geesh! Harsh much, Mr. Wild Dingo?"
"No, I meant, that's what Loki and Juno have been so fascinated with--wild boar. I heard them grunting outside the dog fence yesterday."
"We gotta get rid of them," I told him in a panic, knowing that wild boars, especially with babies, are particularly dangerous animals. I fear them more than a mountain lion. "Maybe we should buy that gun."
Now before you all get liberal-nutty as the next tree-huger, don't get your shorts in a bunch. We're both big animal lovers and don't condone killing for sport. Seriously, we catch and release spiders in the house for dog’s sake! Like we’re going to shoot some ugly-but-cute piggies? I was simply suggesting a .22 and making some noise to encourage them to move elsewhere. Prior to getting Loki, Mr. Wild Dingo thought about acquiring a firearm for safety while living remotely in the mountains. We took lessons in shooting, applied for permits and surprisingly, I enjoyed shooting. Then we adopted Loki and, well, things changed. One day, a few innocent hikers came down NitWit trail on our property and ended up on the other side of Loki's fence. They took one look at him barking his fool head off and jumping 6 feet high, nearly over the fence, and ran as fast as they could. We never saw the point of a gun after that.
Still, Mr. Wild Dingo was amused with the idea. "Sure. Go get yourself a pistol and go hunt some boar. Tell me how that works out."
Suddenly I had a vision of a Lucille Ball episode at the chocolate factory in my head and replaced the mayhem with a herd of pissed-off boar charging me. And just then, my idea didn't seem so entirely well-thought out.
But night after night, Loki goes outside to do his routine after-dinner barking. It's a bit like an after-dinner mint. He must do it. He chows down dinner. Then he goes outside and runs from corner to corner, pre-emptively barking, whether there is a threat there or not. And since we no longer live in Switzerland, I have no need to tell him to stop barking his fool head off and to come inside. Instead, I let him bark his peace knowing it will probably annoy whatever is living close by.
In fact, I'm pretty certain I heard the pigs grunt their last statement the other night, "The landlords are back with that intolerable barking fool. There goes the neighborhood!"
And with that, we haven't heard them since. Good boy, Loki.
Eek! You should try to get us some pics. 🙂
Because our neighbor is a wee touchy about guns, we can't use a .22 for scaring off wildlife, but we have an Air Soft rifle that we use to encouraging moose to move on (a rifle because I want to make sure I'm accurate enough to tag it in the butt and not someplace where it might actually hurt the thing). It usually works - except for the time Gary just pissed one off and it charged the front porch. Eeee!
-Dr. Liz, who is currently contemplating her own mental stability after giving serious thought to grooming the girls herself...
The only thing left out of your story is exactly what Juno does during the bark fest. I am picturing her sitting near the fence line going, "Here, Piggie, Piggie, Piggie."
Good for Loki. Wild boars? What next? Nice to live someplace where you wouldn't get hauled in just for discharging a weapon on your property, but eve still, the psycho dog is a better solution.
Great job, Loki! I bet a gun wouldn't be as cute as you and wouldn't chew up shoes as well as Juno anyway.
Do you miss CH yet? Or still? Sounds like Loki's guarding skills are still finely honed for US living. Jed shares his love of nocturnal barking at whatever wildlife is out there. Must be a guy thing.