Whistling in the dark

The source of the sound couldn’t be located. It had been out there intermittently in the dead of night for weeks. The whistle wasn’t the same as the one used by the neighboring tenant whose dog doesn’t respond to a call, to a whistle, or (of course not) to vehement hand-claps.

We’re seeing lots of property-stockpiling, absentee ownership, demolition, and remodeling along the lines of replacing four duplexes with two super-giant one-family houses. The neighborhood has more and more unoccupied properties. In addition to luring prowlers seeking old and new building materials, this depopulation creates an incentive for nonce uses of property.

And that’s what turns out to have been occurring. As I found out, the whistling was the summoning of two large pit bulls, one dark and one white. They’ve been turned loose to gallop around the yard behind one of the unoccupied houses. When they’re apparently under leash control, it’s just an appearance, because the “collars” are twice as large as the circumference of their necks and the leads are longer than what’s lawful. I just stared, and the dog-accompanier said, “I carry bags for them.” But obviously they’re not used in our adjoining yard, where we’ve stepped in large, steaming piles of excrement. At least the mystery is solved. For us. The absentees may never know that there was one.

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