Mar. 12, 2016

A story about a pool, Pug and the issue of protection...

When you become a home owner, it is a huge responsibility. Not only are you financially and legally responsible for everything that transpires on your property, you must carry coverage in your homeowner’s insurance that protects you if someone is injured on your property.

Add to that the decision to build a pool. Even more stringent codes ensue. While the city ordinances aren’t really impressed by your financial ability to install a pool, they are very insistent that you, as the homeowner, protect others from the risk a pool presents – especially to children.

Your fence has to be a certain height. Your gate requires a childproof closure. Your responsibility for your neighbors increases just because you want to enjoy a certain amount of life’s luxuries.

Add to that a dog – especially a large dog – your responsibility skyrockets. As dog owners, it is our civic duty to do everything we can do to protect not only our dog, but to protect those who live and work in our neighborhood. Some of us take this responsibility much more seriously than others. It remains a roll of the dice whether or not we will grow to regret our loose attitude regarding restraining our dog for everyone’s protection. We seem to forget that our dog’s innate behavior is to protect us and our property and, quite honestly, he’s a dog. There are times he becomes a little more aggressive than his typical behavior. Being a dog owner pushes us even deeper into the world of liability and responsibility. Again, especially when children are concerned.

The last really large dog we owned was a black lab called, “Pug.” Pug was floppy and uncoordinated, but he was focused – focused on freedom. If anyone mistakenly left the door or gate open even one-half of an inch, Pug took full advantage of the oversight. He darted out of the fence we built and the gate we fortified roaming the neighborhoods. He usually spent his free time impregnating someone else’s dog. My husband used to say, “I hope our boys don’t grow up and act like Pug.”

Did we build a fence for protection? Do we really think that by building a fence those most determined to cross it would honor its presence? I don’t know. But, what I can tell you is that about 10 high school boys jumped our fortified fence in the middle of the night, jumped in our pool as part of their city-wide, pool-crashing shenanigans, and banged on our windows just to let us know they were there.

Where there is a will, there is a way. Where there is a wall, there is a way around it. Regardless of whether we think we are keeping something in or keeping someone out.