How I got to meet my neighbours

My dogs actually met most of my neighbours first. Their charm and sneaky ways led them straight into the arms of these very nice people!

We knew absolutely nobody when we moved in. But we did try to at least see who lives next to us, in all directions. Then, all close neighbour received ‘given names’ to easily distinguish them in our conversation. There were the people with the horses, the loud family next door, the brothers across the road, and newly moved in people across our forest.

After about a month of being in our home, there was a knock at the door. To our pleasant surprise a nice lady, her daughter, and their dog were on our front porch. She introduced herself as “Danielle, the lady with the horses“. She came over to welcome us in the neighbourhood, meet our Great Dane, Tia, and us to meet her and her daughter. She said that she saw Tia a few times while she rode her horse on the path closest to our fence and she was stunned by her beauty.  We also got to meet her Golden retriever Emilia and every time we would go for walks on the trail that separated our properties, Emilia would greet us and walk with us for a bit before turning back.

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After we brought home the two white fluff balls, we started to meet a whole new set of neighbours. The Great Pyrenees are known to wander; their sense of boundary goes way beyond our fence lines and what we consider property lines. Their territory is as big as it needs to be to keep predators at bay. Unfortunately, that is not what we could offer them – open land with no fences. Therefore, they managed to test our fences and successfully escaped a few times.

On one of their adventures, they ended up two houses down from us, at Ben and Kathy‘s house. The dogs took flight through our forest, passed one neighbour and ended up on their lawn. Ben called us and as we were trying to “force” them back in the car, he asked what’s the rush, let’s chat. We found out they have been here since the beginning of the development of this area, in the early 1970’s. There was a time that you could see clearly Downtown Toronto from their back porch. Both of them planted the trees surrounding their property, as per the notice of forestation of the area. And surprisingly, our property was previously at the bottom of a river (we have a tonne of rocks to show for it!). Top soil was added in time to make it viable for the trees and vegetation that was added to the area. We learned a lot from Ben and Kathy!

I met Crystal at an Arbonne event she hosted. It was perfect timing because I was thinking of ways to go introduce ourselves and explain our situation with the dogs and our little hobby farm. Crystal and Jim call us “farmer Joe and farmer Jane” 😀 They enjoy our eggs and feel safer hearing our dogs bark back at the coyotes. Jim is the bulky dude with a big heart and an even bigger backhoe that cleans our driveway in the winter time.

The “newly moved in” people were just as fresh to the area as we were. I met their 3 little girls while asking around if anyone saw 2 white fluffy dogs, running around. Knocking at their door and talking to a 12-year-old (maybe!) felt really bad afterwards because this is how little kids get abducted!! “have you seen my dog? do you want to come help me look for it?” … I went back later that day and met the parents and told them who we were. Sonya and her family took a leap of faith and moved from busy Toronto to bum-fuck-nowhere, as she described it. She hated it at first! But you should hear her now talk about her “past life”…

On our wild “goose chase”, asking around for two fluffy white dogs, we also met the two brothers that live across the road, the girls with the yappy dogs, and the nice lady that said she knows who we are looking for, but she hasn’t seen them. Dorothy and us made friends and found out her husband plants potatoes and straw. Needless to say, we now purchase potatoes and big straw bales from them and barter our chicken for other goodies they have and we don’t. Then there’s the part-time farmer guy that works the empty 50 acres across from us and talks to the dogs through the fence every time he comes around to plough, seed, or harvest.

13178767_On another adventure our dogs took, we met Carol and her husband, the people across our forest with a grain silo. Retired school teachers decided to move away and live in peace at the end of a long driveway. On our way to work one morning, we received the call that they found Zeus and its friend on their lawn. Maya wasn’t wearing her collar. They managed to get Zeus on a leash and prayed that the other dog would stick around until we got there. Yup! she did. They ALWAYS do stuff together… They asked if Zeus’s friend’s name is Athena…they looked a little disappointed when we told them it is not lol

My dogs also know very well the post office lady (she brings dog treats with her all the time), the school bus driver that honks the horn lightly as he passes by our property and sees them run and bark at him, Ken and Tanya that come hiking on the trail next to our property, Tony and Frank the hunters that sneak in the forest trying to not disturb them (but they know!), and even the corn and wheat guy that drives up and down our road to get to his rented land that he farms.

 

Most times they know THEM by name more than they know our names … and that’s how we became the ones with the big white fluffy dogs that live down the road!

 

My step-dad and the hooligans

My step-dad and the hooligans

 

Disclaimer: all names have been changed to protect the privacy of our neighbours. 

9 Thoughts on “How I got to meet my neighbours

  1. Your dogs are awesome!! ♥ ♥ 🙂

  2. Pingback: Updates from the homestead - Caledon Acres

  3. I think that is how we are known too. We have a tri-color massive Bernese Mountain Dog and a low-rider tri-color Corgi (same coloring). We tell people they are twins. They always describe our dogs when trying to tell people where we live.

    I think I met every single person in this neighborhood from Bunco, which means I know 12 wives and 0 husbands. Our neighborhood is only 42 houses, each about .75 acre. Not the friendliest ever….

    • aaaawwwww Bernese dogs are such kind souls 🙂 hahahhaha I hear ya’ with the “oh you’re the lady with this kind of dogs. nice to meet you. I love your dogs!”

      was Desperate Housewives shot in your neighbourhood? 😉 That’s what it reminded me of when you described your neighbourhood hehe

  4. Big fluffy dogs are awesome! Does the great dane join in the hijinks or stay close to home?

    • Thank you 🙂 The dane stays close, thank goodness. At times, she is an extension of my hip lol

      There was one winter that we had so much snow, our 4ft fences looked like 1.5-2ft because of the snow drifts. The white ones kept packing the snow down and it got to a point that it was so high and compact, they easily hopped over the fence. The dane sensed them in our driveway and started whining at the front door. I really didn’t know what’s going on, but opened the door for her anyway to show her that no one was there… well, to my surprise there they were making their way to the road. The dane learned the “where’s the puppies” command very quickly when I used to go out 4-5 a day and have HER go look for them in our back yard (3 acres). They don’t try to escape nowadays, but if you leave a gate slightly open, they’re gone! Next place I’m hoping we can offer them more acreage.

      • That’s actually great that your chill Dane gets along with your outdoor pups even though she’s the indoor dog. It’s sort of like they all know the deal. I grew up outside of Buffalo (in the snowbelt) and my folks have over 30 acres. I live in the city now, but I’m still a country girl at heart so I’ll really enjoy reading your blog to escape the city whenever you post!

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