Shaka is a Rottweiler who has lived next door for about 7 years, since he was a puppy. As we speak, he is barking his head off at…nothing. He didn’t used to do that. Rottweilers, generally, don’t bark much. Only when they need to. So every time I hear him barking like this, it’s like a stab to the heart. He does it because he’s lonely. He has to hear his own voice and entertain himself.
It used to be that when I came home from work in the evening, he was the first at the fence to greet me. Any attention or interesting event was better than none. Now he barks at me when I come home. Part of that may be that I look strange to him, and not like myself since I broke my leg two months ago. First I was in a cast and using a walker for a month, then in a clumsy boot for a month. He rushes the fence in a very aggressive manner, then just stands there menacingly.
Lucky for me, I know Rottweilers can’t jump over a fence from a dead stop. They need a running start. And they aren’t that good at jumping even then. So as long as he’s at the fence…I can calm him down by talking to him. He knows my voice, even if I look strange, and I always call his name. But he doesn’t wag his tail any more.
Shaka used to be a lot quieter when he had a pack, two Golden Retriever mixes (possibly) named Sugar and Spice. I reported the neighbors to Animal Control because of their poor care, and all three dogs were seized numerous times. Finally, the neighbors chose only to redeem Shaka. Either Sugar or Spice…I don’t know which one….was adopted, and the other was euthanized, having been deemed too aggressive to be adopted.
I was heartbroken, and felt responsible, even though I wasn’t. So I will not report the neighbors’ continuing neglect of Shaka. He is too old, and now too aggressive to be adopted. But he makes me cry.