Friday, October 11, 2013

My special neighbor: Dale Strawder

[3-18-2014 Update:  Dale eventually tried to file an anti-harassment order against me, and you can read about it in part 2 and part 3.   Or you can skip directly to the results of the court hearing.  ]

So I've had a special relationship with my neighbor to the east, Dale.  She's the ex-wife of the fellow who used to own this property; she apparently divorced him a few years ago, and apparently ended up with a 10 acre parcel cut off the main farm and a mobile home, that she lives in now.   My impression is that she is extremely bitter about something.  Since we're strangers, I'm not sure what it is, but I'm pretty sure that it's not something I did.

So the issue today was that I had a pregnant sow that was apparently looking for a place to have her pigs.  This little pig (she's about 250lbs) slipped under the fence between our properties, and made herself at home in the long grass.  Dale doesn't really do much with her acreage, and as a result, there's long grass everywhere.  

This little pig was on her side for probably 2 hours or so before I got a call from the local animal control officer.  Dale had called animal control to demand that they come and confiscate the pig.  Now this is a little odd because I was working, have been working, about 100' from her front door, at the fenceline.   She could have said "hey, this pig is over here" from her front door, but nope, she's calling animal control and demanding that they come and take the pig. 

Now a little background:  Dale used to be married to a dairy operator.  She knows that animals get loose, and she spent more than a decade dealing with her then-husband and animals.  So if anyone understands livestock and rural, I'd expect dale to.  

So I go over to her front door, and she comes out to meet me, and I explain that I"m here to get the pig.  She's called to have it removed, I'm here.  No problem, right?  Here's her reaction, which I recorded on my cell phone because i was having a hard time understanding it, too.  

13 comments:

curiousfarmer.com said...

Wow, this is a tough situation. My sympathies.

r.r. montgomery said...

Unreasonable. It makes no sense. She is making her own life miserable, and why?

sheila said...

I bet her ex husband is glad he's an ex. Damn you are dealing with a crazy one. Good luck.

sheila said...

I bet her ex husband is glad he's an ex. Good luck, the crazy is strong in this one.

George said...

So did animal control fetch your pig?

Bruce King said...

I had to call the county sheriff to get my pig back. The deputy called her and told her that she couldn't both complain that the pig was there and simultaneously not allow me to remove the pig.

She eventually herded the pig down the driveway to the road, and I picked it up from there.

What's funny is that I thought that one of my guys had put it into the farrowing barn, but the pig didn't make it -- and made a beeline back to Dales property and proceeded to have her pigs right here. So dale called the animal control again, who responded, but she decided that she'd let the pig be there for a couple of days.

Whatever, dale. It's clearly not an issue about the animal; she's willing to have it farrow right there. This is just her way of making friends with her neighbor.

So the animal control officer will be back monday to herd the pig over to the fence. It is a violation of county rules to have an animal on someone elses property, so I'm going to get a citation for that. I can't fault the animal control officer for that, and I did explain the situation. It's odd to be in a farming area where the neighbor won't let you retrieve your animals, honestly.

Bruce King said...

And I can guarantee you that there will be other stray animals. Someone will leave a gate open, or a fence will break, or a tree fall on a fence, or an animal will be spooked or any number of things, and they'll run in whatever direction they happen to be pointed to. I'd chalk this up to city attitude in the country, but dale knows better. Straight and simple harassment.

Garand Gal said...

Wow. Kinda makes sense that she's an ex, doesn't it? I don't know what the rules are where you live, but here an animal left on someone else's property for a few days would be considered abandoned, and could be considered the property owners property if they fed them for three days, should they choose to be pains about it. I suspect she would be a pain about it. Good luck with her.

paul said...

a sow with young piglets can be very ornery. I hope she or a friend does not try and cuddle a piglet and end up getting bit, or charged by momma.

George said...

Oh I dunno... a charging sow might put that old bird right in her place... :)

SmithGang said...

Mmm kinda sad. You obviously can see the bitterness within this lady.pig moma just wants to deliver them sweet babies, prayers for the lady Dale and pig moma.

Meredith A said...

How is your inability to contain your livestock or control your employees funny? the pig "didn't make it"? why not? your pig, your property, your employee..your problem.

Bruce King said...

Meridith -- the pig was put back in the pen, and we thought she was secure, but at some point got out again and made a beeline for that same spot.

Dale had prevented us from completing the fence along that side by hiring a lawyer who threatened suit, so we stopped construction until we resolved the issue.

I'm all for keeping the pigs on my side. Dale would like to keep my pigs on her side. We disagree about that.