Good fences make good neighbors.” So says Robert Frost in his famous poem, The Mending Wall. Frost questions why they make good neighbors. My question is how high of a fence do I need to co-exist with my neighbor.
It is shocking how a nice warm Sunday afternoon can turn terribly traggic in a instant. This past Sunday, my neighbor, who has had it out for us since we moved here, shot and killed our beloved yellow lab, Shelby. She had wandered off after our gate blew open.
Shelby was the gentlest, most loving animal I have ever known. She was gentle with all our other animals. She tolerated the chickens eating her dog food, she cuddled with Brotus, our male kitten and was submissive to the sheep.
We had the great joy of sharing our lives with her for 5 years. Even though I often got annoyed with her for getting in the way when I was working, I so enjoyed her constant companionship. I am amazed at how much she was apart of my life and how many times a day I am reminded of her.
I am reminded of her every time I go out the door. She was always there and would follow me on all my farm chores. Her favorite thing in life, besides laying her head in my lap watching T.V., was to race us when we took the UTV out on the trail that runs through our property. She somehow knew we were going before we ever even got on the UTV. She would start jumping up and down and whining. She would stayed close to me when I hiked alone through the woods, but when the family went she would run ahead and chase squirrels. She will be terribly missed by me and my family.
Living on a farm with animals, you have to get use to the circle of life and the loss of livestock and pets. But to have your pet brutally killed by an evil man for no other reason than he can, that is not something you should have to get use to.
The Sheriff’s Deputy was apologetic that the killer probably will not be prosecuted for killing Shelby, even though the Deputy believes he did it. “What I believe and what I can prove are two different things,” he explained.
So my question now is, how to peacefully co-exist with this evil neighbor?