Losing It

Apple BlossomsEverything was normal today, until 8:27 am. That’s when all hell broke loose.

We woke up early, thanks to a call from a credit card company that was “attempting to collect a debt”. I told them when I figured how to get blood from a turnip I would give them a call.

They were actually pretty nice about the whole thing and offered me a couple really nice “adjustments” on my account. The problem is, I can’t get those adjustments until I am working again, but at least they are there as an option when the time comes.

After hanging up with them, the phone rang again. This time it was my brother-in-law calling to let me know he was on his way to spray the back of the house and get rid of the mildew that was growing on it. That was VERY nice of him. We now have the cleanest house in the neighborhood. Too bad the side that used to have the mildew (aka the north side) faces the meadow and no one in the subdivision sees it, or else they would be asking me who I hired to get rid of the crud.

I had a meeting with a recruiter scheduled early in the day today, so I jumped in the shower to start getting ready. The next thing I knew, Gidget came running into the bathroom to let me know some dogs were in the next-door neighbors yard attacking their cat. By the time I got out of the shower and threw on enough clothes to look decent when I walked out the door, Gidget was up the street with a couple of the neighbors. They were all standing over the cat.

It was a horrific scene.

A pit bull and a corgi had gotten out of their yard and the pit bull decided to use the neighbors cat as a chew toy. Sadly to say, there was nothing anyone could do. The poor cat’s neck was broken, and his owner kneeled over him, petting him, until he passed. He went very quickly.

Gidget came back into the house with the boys (who were eating breakfast and watching tv the whole time), and I stood guard by the cat while the neighbor called animal control. The pit bull and the corgi were still roaming back and forth about 15 yards away, so I stood there with my nice big walking stick (specifically designed for defense if dogs come around) to make sure they didn’t come back for the cat before the neighbor could take him away.

It turns out, ironically, that the dogs are owned by a veterinarian that lives in our subdivision and this isn’t the first time his dogs have broken free from their backyard. One of our other neighbors called him immediately and he arrived about 45 minutes after it all happened. I was quite upset at his attitude when he pulled up.

One of the neighbors walked over to his truck and told him what happened. He immediately grabbed a leash and walked toward his dogs. As they happily approached their owner, he beat the pit bull a couple times with the leash, then he picked it up by the back of the neck and carried it home. When he was done putting on his “macho” act as an angry pet owner, he approached and asked what he had to do to make it right. He didn’t apologize, he didn’t express his condolences, not at first anyway. He was more concerned with what he had to do to “make up for it” rather than expressing any remorse for what had happened. Maybe he didn’t intend it that way, but it came across as cold and callous to the neighbors, and that’s exactly how they took it.

Animal Control showed up about an hour later and we were all shocked they showed up. We have lived here five years and we can count on one hand the number of times they have responded to calls like this. While talking with the officer, we learned he caught the collie that runs the neighborhood at the entrance of the subdivision when pulled in;. That collie has roamed free for five years and today she was taken to puppy jail. When the officer left he went to check on the “living conditions” of the pit bull, and we didn’t see him again. I take it everything was fine at the house so no further action was going to be taken. My appointment with the recruiter was changed until tomorrow morning, so we ran some errands. On our way out we pulled up at the home where the collie lives to tell them what had happened and the woman at the residence told me (and this is a direct quote), “Oh, they finally got her huh? Well, if they would come back and take her puppies I would be set now, wouldn’t I?”

I swear I just want to punch people in the face when they act like that. Between the vet who has done nothing to stop his dogs from roaming the neighborhood, to the woman who could care less that her dog would never be coming home, I was ready to lose it today.

Believe me, I know, shit happens. As a pet owner you have to be willing to deal with the shit. It’s part of the job. It’s called responsibility. What is it with people? It seems no one is willing to stand up and do the right thing anymore. They want all the fun that comes along when you have a pet living with you, but when something bad happens they try to absolve themselves of any responsibility for those pets.

When that vet pulled up and his dog was approaching, that dog was not thinking about the cat or the vicious attack that occured just minutes before. He was simply, and genuinely, happy to see his owner. Then his owner beat him. You and I both know that dog had no way of knowing why he was getting a beating.

Tonight, there’s a collie sleeping in a cage at our local animal shelter. She’s laying there wondering why her owner hasn’t shown up to claim her or where her puppies are, and all her owner can think about is how to remove the remaining responsibility that is probably whining for their mother right about now.

I apologize for making this post so long, but I am angry, stunned and saddened tonight. I am angry that one dog is living a life where he is beaten with no mercy. I am stunned that another dog is locked up and may never again know the warmth of a loving family. But most of all, I am saddened for Smudges the cat, who never had a chance.

Good night.