I remained vigilant about Big Orange, checking my peephole before leaving and jumping when I heard her run past my door to the back garden. She always seemed to be on leash, but I didn’t trust the family. They clearly didn’t communicate about the dog very often and while the mother appeared contrite, her sons hadn’t seemed as upset about the dog’s behavior.

This compromise only lasted a few more days. One night I went to take out the trash and as usual, checked my peephole. At that precise moment Older Brother ran by my door with Big Orange a chasing him a few feet behind him, off leash. I was livid. Despite his mother’s promises, they clearly had no intention of taking the situation seriously. I decided to take action. So I wrote a letter to my building manager (wow, that sounds kind of lame, I guess I wasn’t being very aggressive…). As I was editing the letter the next day, both dogs ran by my apartment, off leash and alone. Again.

I delivered the letter and days passed with no word from the building manager. One afternoon he showed up at my apartment; we sat down and discussed the situation. He maintained that it was a good dog that he’s known since the family got her as a puppy and he couldn’t imagine her hurting anyone. I informed him stonily that should something happen to me or any of my guests, that I would hold the family and the building management company responsible, since neither was doing anything to prevent a potentially dangerous situation.

“I’ve informed them multiple times in the past that they need to keep their dog on a leash. If they ignore me, there’s nothing I can do. I’m not legally responsible.” He said in a rush. Bullshit. I took a law class and know better than that, he’s responsible for their (mis)conduct against another tenant. Thank you Business Law class! [Remember this moment for a later entry!!!]

I informed him that I knew him to be legally responsible and that if he didn’t do anything, he would be responsible for damages. Something bothered me though…he said “multiple times” he’d informed them of this. I asked about that and he said that they used to have problems with Big Orange attacking one particular dog. It was a small chihuahua that the owner kept on a leash and one day the unsupervised, unleashed Big Orange went for it’s throat. After that dog owner complained and the family followed the leash laws until chihuahua and it’s owner moved out. Interesting. So this wasn’t out of character, wasn’t an isolated incident and wasn’t the first time the dog had been aggressive. Something about me and this chihuahua set Big Orange off, which was pretty unflattering for me. I really hope we didn’t smell similar. The manager promised to enforce the leash rules and left.

For the next week things were great – Big Orange was always on leash and I started to feel safe. The only awkwardness was around Younger Brother, who showed up at my doorstep to chew me out for “going over his head to the manager” instead of talking to him about it. I should have said that it was their fault, that I had three separate incidents with their dog and had already confronted his mom about it and they didn’t change. Instead, I took the coward’s way out and said if he had an issue with the rules to take it up with the manager and if he an issue with the law, contact our local congressperson and I closed the door on him. Things were a bit odd after that, but in the end I was really glad I didn’t yell at him, because a little while later things turned into a dangerous, bloody mess

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