We have lived in the same house now for over 30 years. It is a fairly quiet and peaceful neighborhood, especially since my 4 children have grown and moved out. Our immediate neighbors we have always known, it seems but anyone further away than three houses, we may have recognized them in town but then again perhaps not.
That all changed when we decided to become “Puppy Parents” 6 years ago.
At first we still pretty much kept to ourselves since I sank into an immediate frenzied kind of depression. Let’s not call it manic depressive…that is too sane an explanation. For those of you who may have read my Post from October 14th, you may have a smidgen of an idea of what my life was like for at least the first 2 years. During that trying time, my puppy/dog walking was confined to strategic areas not far from the escape of my humble home so I did not mingle with other neighbors.
My darling husband was the first to venture further afield when ‘she who must be obeyed‘ (that’s me guys) instructed in that ugly high-pitched hysterical voice, “Caesar Milan insists they need more exercise so unless you begin to work them out until they are totally fatigued, then I shall give them away to the first fool who admires their impish ways!” and so it began, this journey into our real neighborhood.
My husband has become something of a celebrity now. When he goes onto the main highway here with his charges, Ben and Jerry, everyone who is employed on this island has to drive past them and as is the norm for all Bermudians, they honk and wave and even stop to chat in the middle of the early morning rush.
A few years ago, once I rid myself of the doggie depression blues, I began to wander about with the little beasts too. Especially when Ray has to go abroad or attend some important meeting or such….Anyway I find the exercise just what I like…We walk for 5 steps, then stop whilst they sniff and pee and sniff some more. We stroll along another few feet and then have a chit-chat with Mrs. Brown down the lane. I steer them out of Mrs. Foggo’s garden and guide them deep into the “Match-Me-Can” roadside shrubbery to do whatever business they must and then Mr. Smith’s granddaughters stop by on their bikes to pet their new friends.
I continue on the excursion then and the Mailman on his motorbike, stops to give them a word or two. Little children come running as excited as if I were the ice cream person tinkling their alluring music. We have begun to become fast friends with all our neighbors and even those from far across this vast (21 sq miles) island. I daren’t go walking with the fellas if I am in a somber mood and need quiet time…..it just cannot be done. On the other hand, it is a good pick-me-up when I may be feeling a little under the weather.
This week my grandchildren are on mid-term break and so my ten-year old granddaughters have offered to walk the dogs for me.
I actually stand on my kitchen patio and watch the whole adventure to be sure they are safe.) They are meeting our friendly neighbors and are loving this daily ritual. And me, I can sit by and watch them becoming a very real part of this terrific neighborhood. It will be a great foundation for their growing years nearby.
How friendly are you with your neighbors?