Dear Crabby, How Can I Protect My Lawn?

Dear Crabby,

Kids are always playing in my yard and walking through my property. How can I keep them off of my property without appearing too rude?

Sincerely, Won Tobetough

Dear Mr. Tobetough,

This is an issue that is close to my heart. I know that, true to my name, I am a crabby old man, but I border on down-right meanness with this issue. It all started shortly after we bought our first house and I was running the sprinkler in the front yard to try to keep my grass green. I looked out a few minutes later and 2 or 3 neighborhood kids were running and jumping through the water in my yard. So I opened up my door and hollered for them to get out of my yard. Mrs. Crabby was so upset! She said we needed to be kind if we wanted to make friends in our new neighborhood. I was quick to reply that I didn’t want friends; I just wanted some green grass! She actually made brownies and made me go with her over to these hooligans’ homes to make peace with them and their parents. But when she wasn’t looking, I gave them a stern evil-eye that told them they better not try it again. Then, as if the kids’ playing wasn’t bad enough, their dumb parents took the family dog out every night and had him do his business on my lawn! Sure, they used a little bag to pick up his droppings, but what about the rest of it?  Why would I want that on my yard?  They have a lawn too; obviously they don’t want him going on their lawn, so they walk him over to my yard – ridiculous I say! I thought about an electric fence, but the city won’t allow it. I thought about getting a cougar or a panther that might intimidate the little potty animals, but then I’d have to feed them. Then I thought of a little BB gun. Mrs. Crabby heard me talking to myself and went off on me about how I would be thrown in jail and sued. I told her I was just gonna scare them a little; it would only sting for a moment. But she was right, that wasn’t the answer. Then I really got smart!  I read somewhere that dogs will get addicted to sweet flavors like black licorice, or anise spice. So I bought a huge box of doggie treats and I would pour a little anise juice on them each night and sit out by the road to offer each passerby a little treat. The dumb neighbors thought I had finally turned soft. After about a week of each neighborhood dog taking the bait, I started sneaking over to the corner house on our block and spraying the anise on his shrubs.  The dogs would all smell the spice and practically drag their owners to this yard, and of course do their business while taking in that sweet aroma.  After only two months, this became their routine and my yard was safe again! So just get smart and read up on what other people have tried – there is always an answer!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at


  1. Marcia Travis says

    Hmm … where have I heard this before …

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