It's been a gorgeous summer in the Pacific Northwest and all of the neighbors and dogs on our block have been out and about constantly - until we found out about a neighbor's apparent strategy to keep dogs out of his yard.
One of our neighbor's children was walking their yellow lab when the dog picked up a treat left in another neighbor's lawn. It had fish hooks attached to it by wire. Nobody was hurt, but it created a stir in our little Bellevue cul-de-sac. We found more baited dog treats - a pig ear, bacon sticks - strewn near the sidewalk on the law.
The neighbor in whose lawn these baited treats had apparently made it clear years ago that he did not want dogs on his property, and had threatened to call the police when neighboring dogs got loose. Whenever our dog got into his yard, he would drag her back to our house by her collar.
In a way, we were sympathetic to our elderly neighbor's situation: Not everyone loves dogs as much as we do here in Washington.
And many of us had been lax in keeping our dogs leashed, but after repeated confrontations, we made sure to keep dogs reigned in, our family in particular since we lived across the street from the neighbor who really didn't like dogs.
That's why we were all shocked that, after taking steps to address our neighbor's concerns, he apparently took such radical action.
We hemmed and hawed as to what to do. It's his property, as he said when confronted, so he should be able to do what he wants, right? But the baited treats were close enough to the sidewalk that a dog could easily smell them and lean over to pick them up without trespassing.
Crows or deer could pick it up and move them elsewhere for dogs to find, or get injured themselves.
For now, my hope is that after our neighbor was confronted by a reporter, he'll realize if he was involved, that such a practice is wrong. Until then, my dog's not touching the other side of the street.