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Do you recognize this dog? [Apr. 19th, 2011|03:10 pm]
Bullets are all I can manage in between head nods. Not that they’re actual bullets, because I don’t know how to make them. And you know what? Deal with it. I’m getting all hardass and oldschool. Hiding my online incapacities behind rationalizing that you can look your own stuff up and grok that short paragraphs may not always tell one long story. YOU figure out where one thought starts and the next begins. Manage your own transitions.

I was just reviewing a report that listed Ivory Shoe Bag with PMS. I will probably giggle about that for the rest of the day. Especially since I just ate an entire Ritter bar with hazelnuts and we all know what THAT presages.

(Whew. You don’t know how HARD it is to work “presage” into a post when you’re tired.)

Speaking of tired. Ma-don’! As we used to say in the ‘hood. If you can call a predominantly Italian Catholic suburban neighborhood a ‘hood. Sort of a triple irony score, if you’re playing Trope Scrabble.

See, last night I heard this barking and barking and barking and it was not a dog I recognized. (Call it nosy, call it observant, call it keenly attuned to the rhythms (I cannot spell that word without looking it up. And yes, I AM running on a Blood Diet Mountain Dew Level of 5.3% and we will be leaping around, people, so try and keep up) of my neighborhood. (No longer ‘hood, because it’s only funny if you don’t really mean it. In other words, make your joke and move on. Which begs a drive-by comedy joke...but that would require a lot of WASP jokes to balance it out and I only know so many. How can you tell which one is the bride at a WASP wedding? She’s the one kissing the golden retriever. How many WASPs does it take to change a light bulb? Three. Two to mix cocktails, one to call the electrician. What’s a WASP ménage at trois? Two headaches and one hard-on. Nah, still not enough and I AM in the middle of a damn story.)

So, there was a strange barking. And I finally can’t stand it and go out to investigate. (Which is at once, the thing I hate MOST about myself AND the thing I am secretly PROUD of: Doing the right thing/what NEEDS to be done. Also known as being everyone’s bitch and ensuring that you have no time for yourself because you are too busy doing all of the non-fun things that no one else in their right mind will do.) And it’s a very small black and tan dog running around a neighbor’s fenced in yard, barking at his front and back door. He’s got a big labradoodle, so I know it’s not his, but I verify and when he says it’s not his, I try not to break down and cry.

Because I know what this means. It’s 9:30pm. I’m going to put a leash on the dog and walk it around, desperately hoping that the dog will lead me to its home, or that someone, somewhere will recognize it. “Oh, hey, that’s Joe Smith’s dog. Joe lives right over there.” Because honestly, that rarely happens. And yep, after an hour of trudging around the neighborhood in my pajamas and slippers...I bow to the inevitable and ask the Captain to prepare a dog crate.

Because I am that person. The one that has the animal control number in her phone. That has 4 different sizes of crates, food bowls and piles of old blankets and towels. And can I just say, I’m bloody weary of it. Mostly because...these dogs almost always have no ID on them. Seriously, if your dog is not tattoo’ed, please, skip the Starbucks until you have enough money to put a microchip in them. A rabies tag is NOT ID. Because I ONLY find your dog when the vet’s offices are closed. THREE bloody times I have found dogs that have outdated contact information on their ID tag. Seriously. A new tag is less than $10 at the pet store. Make it happen. Tonight. And you know what, your dog’s NAME is the last bit of information you need on that tag. Phone and address. Or three different phone numbers. Because I am really, really tired of having to work so goddamned hard to get your dog back to you.

I won’t bore you with the gory details of a near sleepless night – as Jane Dog spent most of it whining and barking. And yes, I could have put her in the basement in a crate, but I knew that would be near non-stop barking and trust me, this dog’s bark hit a pitch that pretty much shut down my head each time. Three floors down was still going to be impossible to ignore. Plus, I don’t know that I could sleep knowing that she was frightened. Because she clearly was somebody’s baby. The two times we finally did manage to fall asleep...well, first, a carload arrived in the neighborhood to break into our cars. Foiled by a neighbor, but there were car alarms and slamming doors and people creeping around and oh, yeah, five pounds of barking ferocity in my bedroom. And after we settled down after that, the police arrived. More slamming of doors, and walking around, more barking...sigh. So, I’m running on 4 hours of sleep altogether, taken in about 30 minute increments.

The good news is, this morning, I was able to reach out to animal control and, wonder of wonders, the owner had actually put in a report on the dog. (Seriously, the last several dogs, nothing. No report. Call animal control the very first thing, my friends. Because that’s who I’m calling first. ) And within an hour, a very happy family who ALSO hadn’t slept the night before was reunited with Lola. They didn’t look like they had much – Dad’s English was spotty and his truck had seen better days – but the kids were well-mannered and everyone clearly loved the dog and were grateful. Which is enough for me.

Although – those of you who DO have more..seriously, someone has gone to great effort to find your dog and get it back to you. Flowers, a fruit basket, a bottle of wine, a nice note. Send your kid to mow their lawn. Something. I never used to care so much, but honestly, I am worn OUT from this stuff. One woman (dog had tags with outdated address and phone number...after taking dog to THAT address, a neighbor gave me the new address...so took the dog THERE) couldn’t even be bothered to get off the phone, just held it aside a moment and said “Thanks, I didn’t even know she was gone” and then turn away, leaving her 12 year old to say thank you for bringing Sally back, I love her. Another one proceeded to just grab the dog and say ‘now I’m late for work!” and shut the door in my face. Another one, I found while he was out looking for the dog..without a leash, so I loaned him my custom made leather leash one of a matched set for my two dogs, pointed out my house and said just bring it back once you’ve got the dog back. Now I have ONE leather leash. I mean, okay, I do it for the animals, not the people. But seriously, is it any wonder that I see a loose dog and I ask myself, can I live with myself if I just pretend I don’t see it?

But I do it anyway. Paying it forward against the day one of mine goes wandering. But still. A card, maybe. Just to restore my faith in humanity.

And then I didn't wind up doing bullets anyway, blathering away on this one topic and never actually getting to the others. Well. What can you do? Some days you ride the muse, other days she rides you.

I just wish she'd lay off the spurs.

[User Picture]From: russell_moore
2011-04-19 07:34 pm (UTC)

yay for you, oh wonderful rescuer of lost doggies
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[User Picture]From: dreamtigress
2011-04-19 07:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you for being another one of those people. My mom is one, and so are my sister and I; we were raised that way. Thank you from all the dogs, and other pets, and thank you from a dog owner who would appreciate it to no end.

Corva always wears a collar with current tags, and she's micro-chipped. She even has a separate tag for Faire with my booth number and cell phone number on it. Of course, she never goes far from me, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. (She's currently curled up under my desk, and if I was sitting proper in my chair, there'd be no room for my feet.)
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From: kudrasslipper
2011-04-19 07:47 pm (UTC)
Clearly - I'm not meant to be a dog owner - or - at the very least, an indoor dog owner. I had a dog once - she was a Siberian husky named Nova and she loved me and hated my baby brother. That was all I needed. But she lived outside and she ate rosebushes for fun. All dogs seem like big fucking pussies after Nova. ::shrugs::

Anyway... that's not what I came here to say. I came here to say that I love you... SO MUCH. But you're NUTS. I'm glad there are people like you - as few as there are - but seriously. Nuts.

We had a neighbor's dog keep us up two nights' straight in Africa during Peace Corps - and finally, I walked over to their door, and in my broken french, I offered to buy the dog so that I and my compatriots could EAT IT. He laughed and refused, but there was no barking after that.
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[User Picture]From: russell_moore
2011-04-19 08:00 pm (UTC)

"We had a neighbor's dog keep us up two nights' straight in Africa during Peace Corps - and finally, I walked over to their door, and in my broken french, I offered to buy the dog so that I and my compatriots could EAT IT. He laughed and refused, but there was no barking after that."

well done

I mean, what you did ... not as a doggie cooking tip
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[User Picture]From: pyratelady
2011-04-19 08:19 pm (UTC)
It's like the children of horrible, neglectful parents. You want to somehow punish the parents/dog owners by NOT going the extra mile, since they clearly can't be bothered, but then it's the helpless beings, the children and the pets, who suffer. And you, having a conscience, can't bear letting that happen. The irresponsible adults don't deserve your help, yet the kids and pets do.

At least these latest owners seemed sincerely grateful and in need of help, instead of lazy and uncaring.

* * *

One of my neighbors loves to be passive-agressive about his minor daughter's cat, which he allows to run around the neighborhood and treating my other neighbors' bird feeders like 24-hour food courts. "It's not MY cat," says he. Which makes me want to say, "Oh good, then you won't care if I hit it with my car some night."
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2011-04-20 08:11 am (UTC)
You could always snatch the cat a re-home it to a more responsible family. That's how we got a cat once- a friend kidnapped a kitten from a frat house in Seattle and she ended up with us.
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[User Picture]From: im_geva
2011-04-19 08:53 pm (UTC)

I love you

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[User Picture]From: sestree
2011-04-19 10:14 pm (UTC)
At least the owner put out a report on her. Some people just don't deserve pets.

I hadn't ever thought of microchips but I'd had Lady for so many years that she always stayed within a certain small boundary and since she was a dobie, never out without an adult so people weren't scared. The hound was tattooed though.
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[User Picture]From: kitteblue
2011-04-19 10:30 pm (UTC)

You are a saint,

I just got back from returning our repeating free roamer back to her mom again. (3 big dogs and one "rat"- who is very sweet, but Teeny tiny. After 3 years they still haven't figured out "The small dog can fit through the holes in the fence, thinks she's the same size as the big dog and chases cars, bikes, etc.")And that's enough for me for today.
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[User Picture]From: sequinedlovenun
2011-04-20 03:01 am (UTC)
You're awesome! Lola's family won't forget what you did, and neither will Lola. I can't imagine how I would feel if any of my 3 rotten pooches got out and disappeared. Hugs to you. And a smack in the head to those bad pet owners who didn't appreciate you doing right by their animals.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2011-04-20 08:09 am (UTC)
A friend of mine volunteers with the RNLI on the coast of Cornwall. He's helped rescue dozens of people from various life-or-death situations, usually involving serious risk to his own life. Never once has anyone sent him a thank you note let alone flowers, a bottle of wine or mowed his lawn. One woman, after being plucked off a crumbling cliff in a terrific storm in the middle of the night complained that he hadn't come fast enough. Sadly, your story of the incomprehensible dullness of the humans who inflict themselves on innocent dogs doesn't surprise me.

Thank you for rescuing that dog and for all the other dogs, and cats, too- you've kept from all kinds of sad fates. They appreciate it and so do I.

PS I once carried an antique Siamese cat for at least twenty blocks because his tag had an address on it. I couldn't figure out how this ancient, creaky and obviously well-loved but apparently lost cat had gotten so far from home. I knocked on the door and the woman who opened it took one look at the cat and gasped, "Where did you find him?" I told her and she said, "I TOLD my daughter to change his tag!" I can't remember when she said her daughter had moved but it wasn't recently. I was just glad to get that sweet old cat back into good a safe place, especially since he was getting really tired of being carried by me! The woman cuddled him up and I knew he'd be alright. I kind of wanted to slap the daughter.
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