Hair of the Dog

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Piet and I do not live in the nicest of neighborhoods.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lived in worse neighborhoods, but by Gent (and most of Belgian not counting Brussels and Antwerp) standards, our neighborhood is pretty crappy. There’s not really any violent crime, mostly just loud noise, some vandalism and neglect of property. There is also apparently quite a bit of drug activity that goes on although I honestly can’t say I’ve seen any drugs personally, though I’m sure I’ve passed some hand-offs between dealers and clients and just tried not to look too hard.

A lot of kids don’t go to school, there’s a lot of trash overflowing from the garbage cans or simply thrown on the street, cars are occasionally abandoned (we had one in front of our house for more than month before it was towed away), street lights sometimes go out and it takes several days for them to be replaced, you don’t see many Flemish faces or hear many Flemish accents.

It’s certainly not Central Park or South Central, but living here has made both of us (probably Piet moreso than me since he’s lived here longer) more aggressive than I think most typical Belgians would be. I don’t think either one of us is inherently aggressive mind you. We’re both introverted and I know I used to prefer avoiding conflict rather than stirring it up. But you know, you can only take so many people leaving half-eaten waffles on your window sill, riding their motorbikes on the sidewalk and expecting you to move, blasting music from their cell phones on public buses and spitting while you walk by before you decide you’ve had enough and begin to defend yourself, even in situations where it’s probably easier or better to just ignore it.

Mind you, when he or I do behave over aggressively, it is always in response to something. We aren’t going around yelling at innocent old ladies or kicking sand in babies faces, but if some neighborhood lowlifes decide, for example, to come huddle in a group and lean on the back of our Cambio car while we’re still in it, I no longer hesitate to get out, shove my way through them and open the trunk with the intent of whacking one of them.
Someone else’s car is not your fucking coffee table, assholes.

If someone parks in the Cambio spot and we can’t park the car in it’s proper place, Piet has no problem asking the person if they ever learned how to read before taking a picture of their license plate and telling them he’ll have them towed and/or call the police.

I could probably go on, but you get my point. We stand up for ourselves, but admittedly do so in an over the top way from time to time.

Anyway, now we’ve gotten the exposition out of the way, let’s get to the real crux of things.

One or more dogs keeps peeing on our front door.

We noticed the stains start sometime in the summer but they weren’t that frequent so it sort of slipped our minds.
Until we got back from Tenerife and it was quite obvious that our door was some dog(s) favorite toilet and had been marked several times in our absence.
Fed up and disgusted, I took a sponge, soap and water and scrubbed our door and step, hoping that would help, but literally within an hour another dog had peed on the door. Piet thinks these random dogs are smelling the pee and peeing on the door and that’s all. I, on the other hand, have rarely, if ever seen a stray dog in our neighborhood. In fact, haven’t even seen many pet dogs in our neighborhood either. Which leads me to believe that some asshole is walking their dog(s) and then allowing the dog to repeatedly pee on our door.

Which makes me see red. Really. I’m ready to sit by the door and wait for whoever it is that is allowing (in my mind possibly even encouraging) their dog to piss all over someone’s front door and when I finally catch the jerk I plan on throwing a bucket of water on him and his dog (yes I know it’s winter and I’d still do it anyway, I’m that angry) and I may possibly threaten to shoot the dog the next time I catch it peeing on my door. Not that I’d ever shoot a dog, but I have a friend whose boyfriend collect air pistols, so I can make it look pretty convincing without actually breaking any laws.

In the meantime, Piet read that vinegar discourages dogs from peeing on things, so he put vinegar on the front door. And it worked.

Until today.

I got home from work and there was a big stain practically on our mail slot. I scrubbed it again and poured a lot of vinegar on the stoop and door but I’m really at a loss here.

Are these stray dogs or is someone intentionally having their dog pee on our door? And if they are, why us? Did we offend someone in the neighborhood enough that they’d be doing this sort of thing over months?Does anyone know what we can use on the door to stop this from happening?

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5 responses »

  1. My Belgian colleague spent half an hour informing me about all of the best ways to poison your neighbour’s pets – I assumed it was a Belgian thing. Apparently not. Would you like me to put you in touch with him? He’s very ingenious!

  2. I’m sorry you’re having such a bad time with your neighbors. What I would do is to try to spot the offender from upstairs, but this would require for you to spend one of your hard-earned days off mounting guard at your door.

    Anyways, here’s a recipe to help clean surfaces: http://www.dogchatforum.com/dog_urine_odor.htm FYI, hydrogen peroxyde (waterstofperoxide) is a disinfectant, so you’ll probably find it at the pharmacy. And to prevent more peeing, I read spraying water with cayenne peper (or another dried chilli) is an effective dog repellant.

    Good luck!

  3. boy that sucks, I’d be pretty upset too

    In AVEVE there’s environmentally friendly anti-dog products (I used the Kattenschrik which did work for us to keep the peeing wild cats in your backyard away).

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