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Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

Jun 21, 2024

On this week's Keepin It Real, Cam is having a harder and harder time walking his dog due to his neighbor's dog that won't go away.


“Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain asked this of God after his brother Abel went missing and God asked Cain, “Hey. Where’s Abel?” Cain claimed he didn’t know. Cain had killed Abel, by the way, and was trying to hide it.

How about this question – “Am I my brother’s dog’s keeper?”

I remember growing up in a neighborhood where everyone let their dogs run. There were few fenced in yards. No such things as invisible dog fences and fancy dog collars. The dog I got for Christmas as a teenager, a black lab we named Holly, mostly stayed in the yard, on the front porch, or by the back door. She had a small piece of left over carpet that she could sit and sleep on when she was allowed inside. It stayed next to the back door and Holly was not allowed to go anywhere else in the house. Outside she roamed a bit when she got older. She was one of many. There was Gumpy and Gidget and Daisy and Elizabeth and more all on our street. Holly was known by the neighbors and, well, tolerated, just like their dogs were by us and tolerated. Holly never caused problems – at least that’s the way I remember her.

The rules have changed. Today we fence dogs in. Or we put them behind invisible dog fences with collars that give dogs a series of warning beeps when they approach their boundaries. We don’t let them outside unsupervised. We only walk them on leashes, and we pick up their droppings with special poop bags and carry their poop in our pockets before we throw it away, which shocks me. We humans have created artificial intelligence, we regularly go to and from outer space, we have created the pyramids of Giza, a flawless sculpture of David, and radars that can see underground from outer space but we regularly carry dog poop in our pockets. We’re not as advanced as we think. But I digress.

So, back to the question, am I my brother’s dog’s keeper?

My neighbor’s dog wanders the neighborhood. The owner says the same thing – Oh. I’m sorry. She got out again. And again. And again. And again. The windowsills in the front of my house are destroyed. My dog goes nuts when she sees the other dog in our yard. And when the other dog comes up to our window our dog barks violently and claws at the window which has destroyed our sills. Their dog gets into our curbside recycling, spreading it all over the yard. Their dog follows us when we go on walks and we have to abandon our walks for fear of their dog getting into traffic.

The dog, of course, is just being a dog. It’s doing what dogs do. We’ve returned the dog to the owner many times but, I don’t know, the owner doesn’t seem to care about the hassles the dog causes.

So, am I my brother’s dog’s keeper? And if yes, for how much longer? And can I put the dog’s owners in a poop bag and throw them away?

I’m Cam Marston just trying to Keep It Real.