How to handle a delicate situation?
I have a question I want to pose to you all.
My across the street neighbor is great. Aside from being a very good neighbor, she has also become a good friend. She's not home much (she's a truck driver) and while she is gone I keep an eye on her place, feed her barn cats, etc, keep her lawn mowed, you know, general neighborly stuff. She has fixed my tractor, helped me carry heavy stuff, taken me out to dinner, brought back goodies for myself and my son on her trips, helped out with other various things around the property. I want to be able to continue to have a good friendship with her.
The problem is, her dogs, or particularly one of her dogs. She has three of them, but the other two don't bother me. She doesn't have a fence on her property, her dogs run loose when she is home. Today the "bad" one came across the street, chased my chickens, chased my barn cat and terrified her so bad I've brought her indoors for a while. My other barn cat has been missing since my neighbor got home the other day, and I fear the worst. I know the dog isn't just a "chaser". She was outside today getting rid of the bodies of a woodchuck and a possum the dog had killed in the past couple nights. I have no issue with a dog pest hunting - my dogs will too. But if that dog is coming on MY property and killing/bothering MY animals I have a huge problem with it. I have tried to mention it in a kinder, casual way to my neighbor before, and she has said things like "yeah, he's stupid" and "if you ever see him on your property, shoot him with a BB gun, that's how I trained my other dogs to stay away from the road".
Sorry, but aside from the fact I that I am not going to shoot her freaking dog, even with just a BB gun, that sentiment essentially makes her dog MY problem. And I take a lot of exception to that - my own dogs are my problem, and I manage them just fine. Her dog, she needs to fix this issue. I'm not going to carry a BB gun around with me whenever I'm outside just in case her dog decides to cross the street. But I am really not sure how I can press home to her how big of a deal it is without upsetting her, or losing the good relationship I have with her.
But I'm very, very upset about my missing barn cat, too. I don't know if her dog got it and can't make any accusation, but I just have a very bad feeling about it.