Folks, I've recently become embroiled in a rather unpleasant dispute with a neighbor in my rural subdivision, and I seek advice on what to do - and, for that matter, what to think. My girlfriend's terrier regularly stays at my house on weekends and maybe a weekday night, but a week ago I kept him for an entire week while she travelled. It is not uncommon for folks to let dogs run free here, so although I normally kept him inside when leaving the house, the other night I could not find him, so I left him outside without much worry. That evening I got an email from the woman of the couple living near me, stating that he had killed four chickens; I responded that I was sorry and would talk to them soon. The next day, while GF was flying home, I contacted her and told her that she needed to contact the neighbor - they are acquainted - and it sounds like she left messages but did not get through. That day the dog seemed to feel bad - too much chicken consumption I guess - and just lay around the house, so I didn't go to much extra effort to keep him confined. I also assumed the neighbors would be at home and working around their house, it being a lovely Saturday. I was working around the house too, inside. Next thing I know, around 9-10pm, I hear a noise outside and see a person wearing a headlite on my deck. I say "hello ?!" and it's the neighbor man, and he starts shouting at me that "you're the stupidest g*ddamn m*therf*cker (SGDMF) I've ever known, etc" and comes barging INTO my house; apparently the dog had snuck out of the house, gone to the neighbor's and killed more chickens - a lot more chickens (baby ones). I am speechless but mumble my apologies. He calms down a little, walks outside, sits in a deck chair, and says "I'll sit here and you tell me why you're not the SGDMF that ever lived". At which point I am starting to get angry, so while remaining calm, I have the spectacularly bad judgement to say "well, as long as we're talking about being stupid, you just came barging into my house out of the night, I could have shot you and gotten away with it". So he goes nuts again, walks back in the house and up to me, and basically accuses me of threatening his life and says "ok MFer, bring it on, I might just kill you first". I say "I was NOT threatening you" and he calms down a little and walks back towards his place. At one point he starts walking back and actually says "I'm sorry I called you stupid, but think about what you did". I've had no further contact with him - I don't think he does email. My GF has been in touch with his wife, and says she is upset (she hand-raised there from chicks, some exotic breed) but is being very nice. She'll locate some new chicks soon and we'll pay for them. As far as I know, no party in this has talked to a cop or a lawyer. Evidently the neighbors went to the nearby house of a mutual friend shortly after this confrontation, and the mutual friend tells me that "he got no support for his actions from us [his wife, the mutual friend, and her house-mate] and we had to argue with him awhile 'til he calmed down". So what to think, what to do ? I have a bizarre combined feeling of guilt about allowing the chicken slaughter - he was right, I was stupid not to realize there might well have been a repeat attack the next night - but at the same time a feeling of great anger, because this was simply no excuse for the husband assaulting me in my home. Though he never struck me, he did violate my "castle", and in this state at least I could have blown his head off and walked away scot-free. I would never have done such a thing, and can't imagine I would have unless I'd thought someone's life was really in danger, and given how badly I felt about the whole thing, I wouldn't even have fought him, except in self-defense. Still, the fact I could have legally killed him is, I think, a measure of how off-base his actions were. Certainly I could have had him arrested. But - and this is a big "but" - being perfectly honest, putting myself in his shoes, and as upset as his wife must have been (it sounds like it was UGLY over there), I can't deny I would have behaved as he did - EXCEPT, I'm pretty damn sure, for the part where he actually came into my house, uninvited. What to do ? Well, my main goal, I think is to reconcile relations with the neighbors. The fact my GF is moving in soon and seems to be relating amicably with the neighbor wife, is cause for optimism. I don't see anything approaching full reconciliation until I get some sort of apology from the husband, and maybe I'm naive, but frankly I'm surprised that hasn't happened yet, because the wife is a really nice person, I'm pretty sure, and I've never had reason to think he was a jerk before this. For now, we'll just try to make sure nothing else goes wrong anytime soon, and of course not allow the dog outside unattended. I'll shut up for now, but I'd be grateful for any wisdom folks can shed on this situation.