Who are the people in your neighborhood?
Have I written about our exemplary sketchy neighbor. His drug dealing drives us nuts, and his friends are downright offensive. But he, lets call him Mr. Sandwich has showed us kindness lately. And this, I think, a big inroad.
The greatest gift in this is Maggie.
Mr. Sandwich, since he moved in, has shared his bones with Maggie. Literally, he tosses chicken bones and the like over the fence for her. I've got no problems with dogs eating bones so Maggie now adores Mr. Sandwich. When she goes out on a walk or we are putting her in the car she always runs up to Mr. Sandwich's gate to greet him with her lick and a wagging tail.
During the summer we sometimes leave Maggie outside when we are gone for just an hour or so. And our formerly hesitatnt and fearful dog has become confident and fearless and has turned herself into a digger. One evening, She dug her way out under the fence. We came home one evening of reports of how Maggie had been parading all over the neighborhood. In the conviencne store, visiting people, eat roadkill. Our neighbors, as high as they were, kept putting her in our yard. They moved our trashcans to block her exit route. But still Maggie wouldn't be caged in. After and hour of frantic searching, and asking every pedestrian if they had seen her we found Maggie. Happy, tired and being her very social self.
We felt extremely grateful to Mr. Sandwich for trying so hard to contain her. He aparnetly put her back in our yard 7 or 8 times. Finally I think he just got frustrated that it wasn't working, but Mr. Sandwich and friends were intentional about not letting her run towards the busy street.
We fixed the fence- mostly but Maggie is a smart dog and so yesterday Maggie snuck out of the house. Or rather, figuring out how to open the window guard and then jump out the window. And rather than digging she forced the fence away from the 2x8 it is/was attached to: out again. Mr. Sandwich was the the convienance store and Maggie came and visisted him..
This time Mr. Sandwich came into our yard fixed the fence a bit and I think gave Maggie a good talking to.
When we got home, he checked in with us about what had happened and how we fixed it. Today, we left Maggie inside with the windows closed. And, as I type this I am nervous about what she might be up to. However, I stared this post to pause for a moment to appreciate Mr. Sandwich. He is really fond of Maggie and her ability to love him and show affection softens some part of him and has allowed us to forge a relationship.
So true he is a drug dealer. And true, his friends are sketch balls but Maggie is a reminder of giong deeper into his humanity, his ability to love and connect, and even a demand that we love our neighbors.