Sunday, February 26, 2012

Unsettled (and reason Number One Hundred and Twelve I'm Happy We Have Dogs)

We just found out that our next door neighbor was robbed this weekend, and the police are pretty sure that the burglars went through our backyard to get to hers. Presumably, the burglars tried our house before hers but were scared off by the dog girls. They stole her laptop and some jewelry, and she has a good attitude about it being just stuff, but they went through her ten year old daughter's bedroom too and she's really upset and scared. I knew that other people in the neighborhood, which is probably 250 houses, have been robbed in the past, but it is so close to home that it is unsettling.

I feel lucky that I've never had my house robbed (knock on wood...). Someone broke into our car back when we were living in Albuquerque and stole a bunch of stuff, but overall we've been lucky.

I remember once when I was about five or six my dad's car was broken into in our driveway. It was a Saturday morning, and we didn't realize it had happened until the neighbor showed up with a bunch of his credit cards that she had found in the alley. That was long enough ago, I guess, that people didn't want to steal credit cards, just cash.

I've heard stories (probably urban myths, but still...) about the police finding a map of the neighborhood with the houses where dogs lived marked. If I was a burglar, I wouldn't want to face Lola. She is fierce when she's protecting us, and she is very territorial.* I know she would go to bat for us. And of course, Elsa can bark up a storm, but I don't think she incites too much fear in would-be burglars. Like I needed another reason to be happy that we have dogs, but I gave the girls extra cookies tonight to thank them for their good work.

Have you ever been robbed? (Eeeesh, I hope not!) And, do you have any other good tips for scaring off burglars? 

My tips, which are thanks to my friend Jeremy who unfortunately knows from experience, are more geared toward being out of town rather than daily vigilance: timers on the lights and radio, locking all of the bikes together with a cable, hiding the laptops under dressers, and hiding extra sets of keys to the car that is left at home. I guess I do have one tip for daily life. We recently signed up for a safety deposit box at our bank because I didn't want to leave our wedding rings at home when we were in Nicaragua, and all of our important paperwork, extra checks, credit cards we don't use regularly, and family jewelry is safely stored there. It was only about $25 for the whole year so it seemed worth it to keep after we got back from the trip.

*One time we were fishing in the Jemez, enjoying a beautiful day all alone on the river, wondering why no one else was fishing, and why Lola wasn't swimming and scaring away all the fish, and then I needed to hike back to the car for something and we realized that Lola was barking ferociously at anyone who tried to walk down the trail - effectively giving us one of our best days of fishing! I guess she figured that it was our stream and our territory.


  1. We've been robbed once, and another time I was staying at a friends house alone when it got robbed (I disturbed the burgler and luckily he ran away).

    Our dog is not tough at all, but she's recently started to get quite territorial and developed a funny braying bark. Though she sort of ruins the effect when she runs away just after barking!

    1. This made me laugh (not the part about being robbed or disturbing a burglar - that sounds scary) - but the part about your dog running away after barking. That's the kind of thing our little dog would do too.

  2. Sprocket would probably just lick the burglar to death and then show him where the guns and cash are stashed in exchange for a steak from the freezer. But seriously, I think dogs deter burglars not so much because they're vicious (although SP can SOUND that way) but because any bark draws attention and could cause them to be at the house longer.

    ALTHOUGH. To give my dog full credit he does get protective when Forrest is gone. Which is just sort of odd. But kind of nice.

    1. yes, i totally agree that dogs deter burglars because they draw attention more so than their viciousness.


Hey, thank you!

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