I am a sucker for stray dogs, I always have been. I know I've posted about it here several times, but for some reason can't find the links today. I'm always the person who pulls over and tries to get close to a random, wayward dog on the street and lure them into my car so that I can get a look at the tag (if there is one) and call the owner or take him home with me (not my husband's favorite trait of mine, natch). I generally find that dogs that are okay with people are easy to catch, and are usually so scared and freaked out because they are lost they are more than happy to hop in your car and let you love on them a little. Dogs who are not as sociable generally run away. I've never been bitten or even growled at by a dog who sat still while I approached.
So it was not an unknown situation that this morning on my way out of my neighborhood I noticed two medium sized dogs loose, running back and forth across the main street over by our pool. One, the black and white Heinz 57 mutt, was running in circles so fast I knew there was no way I could catch him. I pulled over anyway, and tried to call out to him. He bolted like his tail was on fire.
The other one, a little blond fluffy lab/chow/terrier mix, stood her ground in the grass and just barked at me. As I approached her, talking softly and holding out my hand, open but knuckles facing her, she continued to bark, ascared and slightly aggressive bark. As I got within distance of grabbing her collar, though, she sat down, and then rolled over and showed me her belly, for to be rubbed.
The black and white one lapped around again behind me, not even slowing down.
I figured out that we were standing in their own yard, so they had gotten loose but not very far. The blond female walked by my side up to the front door and scratched at the bottom of the screen as I rang the bell. She was not all that excited about being out, she was scared. Nobody answered. The black and white dog lapped around one more time, then ducked into the backyard through the broken slat in the fence, content with his dance of freedom and looking for some water.
I pushed the blond dog back through the same hole in the fence, and then looked around for something I could jam in there to keep them from getting out again. A long piece of the neighbor's raingutter had wiggled loose in the windy morning and was laying nearby, so I stuck it through the slats hoping that if they bumped up against it the sound of the aluminum would freak them out and they'd stay away from it. And then I went back to my car and called the number I had gotten off the blond dog's tag.
The guy who answered on the other end was downright annoyed that I was bothering him while he was at work. I introduced myself, said your dogs were out, you have two dogs, right? He said, "What? Dogs?" which made me think I had the wrong number. I said, "Do you live right here on the corner, and have two dogs? A blond one and a black and white mix?" He said, "Yeah, what about them again?" I said, "They were out - running loose on the street. Your fence is broken, over on the north side? Where I see you've already replaced several slats recently? They found a new spot to push out apparently, and one of them was a quarter mile away when I saw him first. But he came back and I put them both in back in the yard." I paused for a response. A thank you, an Oh No, are they okay, anything. I got...nothing.
I said, "Hello?"
He said, "so, they're back in the yard then? What do you want me to do?"
A little taken aback, I said, "Well, I don't think they'll stay there. I mean, the fence is still broken. I stuffed a piece of aluminum raingutter that was rolling around into the hole, so they might leave it alone, but there's really nothing stopping them from getting out again."
Again, nothing. WTF?
Finally, he said, "Well, I'll see if I can get someone to go over there and put them in the house. Thanks for calling." And then he hung up on me.
Okay, here's the thing. I think that was a pretty nice, neighborly thing of me to do. I could have kept on driving and ignored them running wild. I could have called animal control. But I didn't. I took twenty minutes out of my morning and tried to catch them, and then put them back in their own yard. I'm not looking for a reward or anything, but a little thanks would be nice. Nevermind he's the one who put his cellphone number on the dog tag in the first place, which would lead one to believe he WANTED TO BE CALLED, right? When he said, "Well, what do you want me to do?" I almost shot back, Um, I don't know asshole, fix your damn fence?
In other news, I'm so excited about Barack Obama being our next POTUS I can't even begin to tell you. I'm so relieved. I'm relieved it's over, relieved my candidate won, and relieved that we can begin building a better country for the future. Even though George Bush wasn't really an active part of this election, just under the radar but on everyone's minds, I think we sent a pretty clear message to him and his cronies: Get. the fuck. Out. Bring in the new world order, folks. It's a brand new day.