Ops by the book & cat life advice via veterans

It’s Friday and MilSuccessNet is branching out… actually we’re  stretching out towards the weekend with Doctrine Man‘s take on work. So, you can leave it, if you can, for a bit, with a smile….Debut strip on loan  with permission from DM whose daily dose of humor and sense gets us all through the week:

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AND MORE NEW features:  Advice from the “former” Mr. and Mrs. Smith  …….The columnists from Ft. Leonard Wood’s GUIDON, are now both officially retired from their military service and freely lend an ear and a hand with a dollop of advice to all who send questions in on life, love, stuff and other worthy word matters.

They are out now and our far-reaching and free range folks: Shaun and Pam Collins.

And thanks to the generous collaborative spirit of Guidon’s Editor, Bob Johnson, and our first and only husband and wife team of guest writers, we can present their most recent post at Guidon.

This week’s column is truly a family affair if you’ve got some furry folk in your life:

He Said, She Said: Man fears neighbor’s loose dogs killed Family cat    By Shaun and Pamela Collins   Special to GUIDON

Q: Our new neighbors have a couple dogs that every now and then are running loose around the neighborhood. They will come up to you and aren’t mean or seem vicious. I mentioned to the neighbor that he probably should control the animals (as another neighbor lost his dog after being hit by a car.) and he agreed. Didn’t do much about it, but he agreed he should control them.

Now our cat is missing and I think his dogs killed my cat and my new neighbor knows this. Now, he’s real defensive about the dogs almost to the point of being rude.

Our cat has been gone for two weeks and before that never left the yard in the six years we had him. I asked the neighbor if he had seen the cat, and he jumped down my throat, yelling about how it’s not his problem and his dogs have been tied up. I think he knows what happened to Mr. Cat, but is very defensive. Should I just chalk it up as a lost cause? Should I confront him? Neither solution will bring our cat back.

HE SAID: Great question, with way too many variables for a cookie-cutter response. You know your neighbor’s personality better than I do and you know more about the situation and its complexities, so I will just offer some ideas for you to mull over in the hopes that they will help you make the best decision possible.

Do you think you can have a constructive discussion with the neighbor that isn’t filled with accusations or defensiveness? He has stated that his dogs were tied up, but clearly that is not the case, can you photograph or video tape his dogs running the streets? Would presenting him with this information do anything to improve your relationship or would it simply cause more tension? If you live within city limits, you can call animal control or the police department to have them picked up, but again you have to consider the same long-term ramifications.

If you’re in the county you have the right to protect your animals from someone else’s uncontrolled animals on your property – would his knowing this give him added incentive to control / restrain his dogs or just create more angst?

I don’t advocate harming other people’s animals because their owners are stupid or irresponsible, but I also wouldn’t let them harm my animals, so you have many things to consider. If they did in fact kill your cat, it is only a matter of time before they attack another, or progress to other targets such as a small child. If it were me, I would likely chalk this up to lessons learned, but I would not allow it to fester while other animals or children are endangered, you may be forced to push this if he continues to deny his responsibility and do the right thing himself.
SHE SAID: I am sorry for your loss. I have two cats, and I know it is difficult to lose a pet. It’s unfortunate when you have a neighbor that won’t control their animals but unless you have seen them act aggressively, I’m not sure I would assume they killed your cat. That said, his behavior is pretty telling, as you describe it. As for confronting him, there is really no way to prove that his dogs killed your cat, and I doubt he would admit it (or know unless he found your cat in his yard). It would only cause bad feelings and increased tension between you and your neighbor.

Aside from the cat issue, I think the dog issue may still need to be addressed if they continue to run wild, especially if you plan on getting another cat. I would give him one more warning, and tell him the next time his dogs are out you will have to report the incident. It’s not fair to the other animals in the neighborhood, nor is it fair to his dogs as, like you said, it is a safety issue for them, too.

Hey! Got a question for Pam and Shaun Collins? 

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