On one of the email lists I belong to the subject of isolation came up. It was in the context that living a life in isolation is outside of our vocations as Christians. One of the members pointed out that living in the country and not wanting to live in the city is not necessarily a life of isolation but one of greater freedom and privacy.
I whole heartedly agree. I've been trying to explain this to friends of ours that see our desire to live in the country as being almost sinful. We enjoy the space and freedom that we can have in the country and cannot have in the city. Every week on our drive to church I look at all the houses, tightly packed next to each other, and wonder how you can have any privacy. You certainly don't have a whole lot of freedom, there are city codes, association rules, etc. They all tell you how you can live and what your house must look like. They are a way for the neighbors to dictate how you live your life so as not to offend them.
We came home from the hardware store yesterday to find a note on our gate from the animal control officer who lives on our street. She insists that our one dog, we have 4, needs a dog house because he was chained up in the backyard. We don't normally chain our dogs up but this one has made a habit of climbing the chainlink fence into the neighbor's yard. We installed a radiofence to shock him when he gets near the fence but he has become accustom to the shocks and charges through. We were at the hardware store looking for supplies to hopefully alleviate the problem. This is the problem with living in a neighborhood. I really don't think this woman has any right to tell us what we should or shouldn't do with our dogs. We don't mistreat them, they are fed, have clean water, and they have companionship most of the day, which I can't say for any of the other dogs in the area.
This particular dog wouldn't go in a doghouse unless he was forced. He is a wolf-husky mix and refuses to use any shelter provided except an occasional tree, so the doghouse would be a wasted effort. The dogs have access to a carport that they use for shade very occasionally and we will build them a large doghouse for the winter, once we have moved to the house we are buying. Now we have to deal with this county worker who has to justify her job by telling other how to live their lives.
This whole experience just reinforces my desire to live a more private life with the freedom to live the way I desire.