I was trying to get ready to go for another trail ride this morning, but Stewie and Midge kept pestering me to take them out every few seconds. Stewie had such an upset stomach that he was crying. He didn't eat his breakfast this morning, and wanted to keep going out to eat grass. I took him and Midge out to the kennel so that I could get other things taken care of without having them attached to me via leashes. There were two large weeds growing in the kennel that I didn't want Stewie to eat, so I donned some gloves and pulled them, which was easier said than done. As I was looking at another weed that was growing through the kennel chain-link, Stewie barked at something behind me.
I turned around to come face-to-face with one of those Pit Bulls that growled at me and chased me into my house the other night. I think I would have preferred to run into Bigfoot. My heart sank. It was standing between me and the house, so I couldn't run for the house. I had stepped outside for just a minute, so I didn't bring my mobile phone to call for help. Then I thought about running and locking myself in the kennel, but my dogs could then slip through my legs and get out while I'm trying to get in. The Pit Bull stared me down and then lifted its leg and pissed on this ice plant that has been a huge distraction for my dogs these past few weeks. Every time I take my dogs out, they have to waste several minutes of my day sniffing the same spot on that plant over and over. Now I knew why. Apparently, those dogs make a habit of coming into my backyard to relieve themselves and mark their territory every morning.
The Pit Bull was now focusing on Stewie and trotting toward him. It could bite Stewie's nose off through the chain-link. I got into protective mother mode and ran at the Pit Bull waving my arms while screaming, "Get out of here! Go home!"
It stopped and regarded me like I was just a curiosity. I continued to lurch forward at it while yelling. It thought better of approaching my dogs, and turned to trot away. I saw that it was an intact male. It stopped one more time to piss on my stone wall. I yelled, "Stop peeing on everything and get out of here!"
I chased it around the corner and ran into the other dog, which I originally thought was a Pit Bull too, but now in the light of day and up close, I could see that it was just some black and white mutt that was about the size of a Pit Bull. It ran off with the other dog. I ran back to my dogs in the kennel and saw that our unwelcome visitors were now coming around the other side of the house to get to my dogs.
I charged them again while yelling, and they ran into my neighbor's yard. I ran after them, hoping they'd lead me to their home so I could have a talk with their irresponsible owners, but the dogs just disappeared into thin air. I couldn't find them anywhere. Then I began worrying that maybe they went out into the desert. I didn't want to go trail riding if they were out there. I think these were the same two dogs that have chased my horses in the past.
I went back to the house, brought my dogs in, and then attempted to research who to call to catch these loose dogs. I couldn't believe how complicated it was. When the dogs were on my property, they were in the county, so I'm supposed to call the County Animal Control, but they are two hours away. It's a big county. However, if the dogs did cross the street, they'd be in the city, so I'd have to call City Animal Control, and their office wasn't open for another hour. By the time anyone got here either way, the dogs would be long gone. Calling the police would just be a waste of time, because they'd send a patrol car to my house to take my report first, and then they'd call Animal Control. Anyway, it was clear that there isn't anyone who can help me with this problem, so I'll have to take matters into my own hands.
This was unfortunate timing, because my plan to catch these dogs was to lure them into the kennel with food, and then lock them up and call Animal Control to come get them. However, since my dogs were already in the kennel, I couldn't do that.
Once I got done dealing with the dogs, I hesitantly started getting ready for my trail ride again, but this time the horses were alerting on something. There were five horseback riders going back and forth between each end of my driveway looking into my backyard, trying to figure out how they could cut through my property. I would think by now, even the snowbirds would know that our property is no longer a public route, but every year, a group of them shows up and tries to ride through anyway. Thankfully, the gate my husband just installed across the alley persuaded them to turn around and go back the way they came.
But first they had to gather in front of my house and sit around talking for 45 minutes. I was waiting for them to leave so that I could ride out without distractions. Of course, by the time they did leave, the dogs needed to go out again, and that led to something else, which led to something else... and I didn't get out for my ride.
I was supposed to meet a friend for a trail ride this morning, but she had to cancel. I thought it was probably a good thing since all of this happened with the dogs and the horseback riders right around the time she and I were supposed to meet up.
Once I took care of all the stuff that kept popping up and robbing me of my riding time, it was afternoon. I decided to skip the trail ride and just ride Bombay in the arena. I tried sneaking out the door while the dogs were sleeping, but first I had to use the restroom. When I came out, all three dogs were wide awake and waiting for me to take them outside. In the time that it took me to gather their leashes, Scrappy peed in his diaper, and I had just washed all the diapers. Argh! Oh well, at least he kept his diaper on and I didn't have to scrub the carpet.
I made a second attempt at going outside to ride Bombay when I saw the horses alerting on something on the hill. Someone had pulled an ATV up to my backyard and was hiking around in the bushes. Damn it! Why the heck can't people stay off my property? I'd swear I live in Grand Central Station.
It was an old farmer looking type and younger woman carrying paperwork. I realized that it was another home shopper with a real estate agent approaching my neighbor's property from the rear, but trespassing in my backyard in the process. I've asked my neighbor to tell real estate agents to not do that. There are clear property line markers up there. They walked back and forth along the hillside staring at the neighbor's house for about half an hour. The man was gesticulating in such a way that I could tell he didn't like the place. He was probably complaining that two of the five acres were unusable since they had the arroyo running through them. I had to wait for them to leave, because they were distracting my horses.
They finally got back on their ATV, but instead of leaving, they drove it over closer to my place, the real estate agent got out, and hiked down the hill to read my No Trespassing sign. She kind of hesitantly leaned forward to read it, and then jumped and scurried back to the ATV. Then they sat up there pointing at stuff around in my backyard, and I wanted so bad to go outside and yell, "MY property is NOT for sale! Keep your eyes next door."
I'm always astounded by how many home shoppers spend more time checking out my place than the place next door that is actually on the market. Do they like my place better? Or are they concerned that my property is too close to the house they want to buy?
In retrospect, I wondered what spooked the lady about my sign, so after they left, I hiked up there to see if someone tagged it again. It was fine, but I had forgotten that I also posted a sign that said, "Smile. You're on camera." That's probably why she jumped and ran off. Then they were pointing around, trying to figure out where the cameras were located. It's amazing how everything I do just makes my situation worse. Now people will probably be sneaking onto my property at night searching for my cameras, which don't exist.
I knew that while I was checking my sign on the hill, the nosy, trespassing neighbor was probably watching me from his house. Sure enough, a few minutes after I returned to my house, he showed up on the hill to read my sign, probably trying to figure out what I was doing to it. It's none of his business. It's not his sign and it's not his property. Trying to convince him of that is another matter.
It's that time of year when our community has a bunch of special events for tourists, so people are flooding in like crazy. We've got a big rodeo, a marathon, a renaissance fair, arts fairs, and whatnot. I always know the tourists are here because the train toots its horn all day.
Needless to say, I gave up on riding a horse today. I think the combination of us suddenly having a clear day with 82 degree weather and with all the community activities ramping up, I just got hit from all angles with unwanted visitors -- both two legged and four legged. I just checked the weather forecast, and what was previously clear skies for the next two weeks is now three days of rain, three days of none, three days of more rain...
I may as well move to Oregon with weather like that. The other day I saw a window sticker that said, "Orezona". We're definitely seeing a lot more Oregon license plates in Arizona in the winter now. I would have never considered Oregon to be a place where people would want to escape, because I've visited there a few times and have very fond memories of it. But I can understand that the rain gets old. Too much of anything blinds a person to beauty. Every time I'm suffering through five or six months straight of triple digit temps, I have to remind myself what an incredible view I have of the mountains and sunsets. I think knowing that soon we will be back to trying to survive a slew of hundred degree days is what makes losing this winter to so much rain so painful. After a while, you just feel trapped indoors.