There goes the neighborhood.

I don’t mean to sound the alarm here, but I had a very disturbing event happen in my neighborhood that I’d like to share.

As we often do on weekends, my wife and I will take leisurely strolls around the neighborhood. I’ll control our chocolate lab on a leash, and my wife pushes the baby stroller with our daughter.

Typical of most dogs, our lab will have to stop frequently for bathroom breaks throughout the walk. If our dog decides to ‘leave’ a present (you know what I mean…), I have a scooper and bag in tow to pick up ‘the business’.

Right at the start of our walk, just a few houses down from where we live, our dog went #1 in the front yard of one of our neighbors. No big deal. Moments after our dog is back into walking mode, the door of the neighbor’s house opens and I immediately say, “good morning.” She snaps back without a second’s thought, “that wasn’t very nice.” I don’t have a chance for a retort because the door immediately slams. My wife and I comment that someone is not having a very special Sunday morning.

I sense that she thought our dog did the #2 in her yard and we weren’t thinking of picking it up. I know that there are numerous irresponsible dog and cat owners, so believe me, I can understand her frustration.

Unfortunately, her haste to ‘snap’ at us really put us in a foul mood the rest of the walk.

A little common courtesy to truly ascertain the full situation may have found her responding to my ‘good morning’ greeting with a ‘how are you?’

Lesson: Let’s understand the full situation before lashing out at someone with malicious intent.

I certainly remember a few neighborhood grumps where I grew up, but this particular event struck me as a slight downtick for our common decency and social niceties that have become much too ‘optional’ in today’s society. I am all for more of these phrases in this world: “Please” and “Thank you”.

Until next time.

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