When we travel, we leave Baxter the Wonder Dog with a retired couple who live in another suburb and have their own dog. It is no doubt a source of some small income to them though given that they live in an upper-middle class area, I doubt that they really need the money. They will take up to one or two extra dogs at a time but most of the time Baxter has been their only guest. We like keeping Baxter in a home rather than a more impersonal kennel because he has the run of the house, gets walks and treats, and can play with their own dog.
But when we returned from Sri Lanka the dog sitter told us that a neighbor had reported him to the city for running an unlicensed business and that the city’s dog warden had come by to investigate. So I am not sure if we can keep him there again in the future.
I suspect that almost every neighborhood has its busybodies who stick their noses into other people’s affairs. Our neighborhood too has people who are quick to report to the city the most minor violations such as the grass being a little too long. No doubt our friendly dog sitter was violating some city ordinance against running a business in his home but such rules have the intent of avoiding major interference with the life of other residents. Having a extra dog or two for a few days hardly seems to matter unless the dogs are being a nuisance to others, and there is no evidence that they were.
In that vein, I was struck by this story about four women in a retirement community, aged between 87 and 95, who would regularly meet and play games like mahjong at a table near the swimming pool and would wager small amounts of money. But someone ratted on them to the authorities that there was illegal gambling going on and investigators arrived to check them out. Although no one was charged, that visit was sufficient to have the condo board shut down all such games.
No doubt the people who alert the authorities in this way pride themselves that they are good citizens who are just making sure that everyone follows the letter of the law. But one also wonders if they do not get some sort of perverse enjoyment simply from shutting down other people’s harmless activities. Some people just hate to see other people having fun.