Sunday, May 6, 2007

Smokey, the Neighborhood Star

Well, after a long while of children throwing things at me and Smokey while we are out walking some of the neighborhood kids are finally starting to warm up to having a dog around.  The situation for children is disturbing to those of us who are from more developed places where children play in yards with swing sets or have large grassy parks in which to play.  But there is little to none of that in Kosovo and the children play in the streets, thankfully avoiding traffic to a large degree but it still makes me nervous at times when I come home and they are out playing!  But I digress, back to the spazmutt...
The kids are now coming up to Smokey as he's trying to go to the bathroom and patting his head or back...sometimes giving his tail a gentle pull.  Luckily Smokey is so into finding things to pee on, he hardly pays any attention to the kids.  Every once in a while when he decides to change directions the kids shriek and scatter in all directions...they still seem to think that he'll go from happily peeing into some aggressive, slobbering monster bent on eating small children.  But I think that seeing me, a woman, out walking a dog has been a good education for the neighborhood they know that not all dogs are aggressive and scary :)

But the new landlady (who is great and getting me fat off her excellent stuffed peppers!) is still pretty terrified of Smokey and won't even come upstairs onto our terrace without asking if Smokey is secured.  She has told us that she is very afraid of dogs so I wonder if she didn't have a bad experience after the war with one of the packs of dogs.  Lately there has been a pack of dogs running around the neighborhood at night barking but the biggest problem for me has been the blasted cats ripping up the garbage in the yard (dogs can't get in because of the fence) and when my shoes were muddy one of the darn things marked my shoes *gross*  The cats also have been getting into pretty impressive cat fights around dusk and you can hear them yowling and screeching all up and down the street.