We have a funny/aggravating situation at my house that should be filed under "tiny problems", but that is a problem nonetheless. Our side of the street is all single-family homes, but diagonally across is an apartment building with an unusual tenant theme: all tenants must own pets. Most, of course, have dogs, though I know of a few cat- and bird-only tenants there. The building doesn't have a lawn, so multiple times every day we see the dog-tenants out walking their dogs. It's a parade of all shapes and sizes, and we sit at our dining room table watching them go by through the front window. Irish wolfhounds. Pugs. Labs - golden, black. A beautiful St. Bernard that I want to hug every time. There's also a dog we call "the rat dog" who lives in the house on the north-side of our property and rarely has an owner accompanying his walks.
Our lawn is the first accessible one the dog walkers encounter upon leaving their building. They make a beeline from their front door to our yard, let their dogs do their business, continue on. Most owners carry bags. Some do not. The rat dog, lacking opposable thumbs, an owner, and kind neighborly manners, does not even try. On the occasion that he is accompanied by our neighbor, she too doesn't try.
Our lawn is a minefield. You never know where an unsavory sample has been deposited. We have tried different tactics over the years in an attempt to convey the message to our neighbors that we do not appreciate stepping in their unpleasant surprises. We've moved deposits from our lawn to the sidewalk, written messages in sidewalk chalk, offered bags to walkers, complained to everyone. Still, walking across our lawn (or simply getting out of a car) has been a gamble.
This weekend we embarked on a new level of Operation Save-The-Yard. We could put in a fence, but we're plant-lovers, so we dug up a foot-and-a-half strip of lawn along the sidewalk and a bit up the sides as well, added paver bricks, planted a succulent garden and a few lavender plants, and fenced it all with a flimsy little roll-out fence that we'll probably take down when the plants grow taller. We still have the side between our house and the rat-dog's to border in lantana hedges, but meanwhile it's fenced off as well.
All yesterday we watched from the dining room as canine by canine walked past our yard with nary a glance. One lady remarked, "Where will our dogs go to the bathroom if they can't get to your yard?" Hmmmm, we replied, as if we'd never considered the inconvenience to the dog walkers. It was two days of good work in between rain (and hail!) showers. We're proud of our work, so pleased with the way it looks, and so far, no rat dog to be seen.
Poor south-side neighbors, though. Now theirs is the first available lawn...