Friday, August 29, 2008

dog days continue

Sally (on the left) and Harry (on the right) alert me to all the action on the street...except for when they're napping...
Another story: The first week when the university's back in session is always nuts. Just inject 18,000 students, plus employees, into the neighborhood all at once. Make most of them from rural places, not used to more than one stop light. Merge them into a small city. Yup--driving is scary, going out to eat is crowded, and well, you can imagine. This year hasn't been too bad on the late night keg party front so far, but they are doing construction in our neighborhood, so it is still noisy. Oh well.

One afternoon I'm up in my office, minding my own business, speaking to the professor on the phone. (He is barely standing up by the end of the day, so I find out what he'd like for dinner and offer to him like a lifesaving device when he comes home.) I hear my dogs bark an alarm, and then screaming on the street...and I hang up on him, rush outside.

We live on a corner, and we have a picket fence. One neighbor (you might remember her?) walks her very small furry dog alongside our fence in one direction. Another neighbor walks her 100 lb short haired shepherd mix, Blackie, in the other. Both neighbors are older women, at least past sixty and perhaps towards their seventies, active but petite. Neither was looking ahead. The dogs met at the corner, were taken by surprise, and Blackie doesn't like other dogs. Blackie, surprised, apparently attacked the little dog.

When I rushed out, Blackie and his owner were already across the street, looking stunned. Little dog's owner, clutching her dog, was keening and somewhat hysterical. I got her, and her dog, into my car and off to her vet's office, two blocks away. There was some blood, but not a lot. Mostly, I worried over the neighbor...I thought the owner suffered from, as we Southerners say, "nerves." She was--no other way to say it, not quite herself...poorly.

Then I drove down the street to check on Blackie's owner, who was also upset, but more calm. We decided she should check on the little dog and other older woman later. After that visit, she came to tell me the broken rib and some bite marks. Very upsetting for all, but from what I heard, the animal control officer probably felt, like me, that it was an accident all round.

A very good person would have checked on that that little dog's owner but by then, I was all worn out and not that person. Instead, the professor and I took an after dinner walk with our dogs. Our destination just happened to be $1 scoop night at our local ice cream shop. That very same day, I encountered 2 other loose dogs in town...and couldn't catch either.

I often wonder if everywhere is like this (everywhere I live, at least?) or if maybe other folks sometimes miss the screams on the street? Isn't it my obligation as a person to rush out and help? (then, where was everyone else?!) In the meanwhile, believe me, I'm still reading the proofs. I'm speculating about squash. (Vicki, it might be white acorn, but since we've never eaten one, how would it be in the compost?!) I'm propping up one very tired professor... Have a good Labor Day weekend, everybody. Take care.


Blogger vanessa said...

yikes! i hate dog fights!

August 29, 2008 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Sarah Jean said...

When I was very young my little dog at the time was attacked by a larger dog while my mom was walking him. It's a rather scary spectacle, and you were very nice to help out the owner. <3

August 29, 2008 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger SueJ said...

Glad you could help. As a dog owner I know these situations can be awful! Moss loves most dogs, but when on the leash drops into true 'border collie' 'I am going to round something up' mode which some dogs/owners find either funny (they think he is scared) or intimidating. The old guys loved a good scrap!

August 30, 2008 at 4:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our dogs have been attacked, once by a pack of five Norwegian Elkhounds (at the dog park) and once by an ill-bred Golden who charged out of a house at them, knocked our older one to the ground, and was going for the younger one.

I'm glad the little dog is basically okay. I saved my cat from a Great Dane's mouth once. Similar.

Trick that I never have access to at the right time: A small container of mint breath spray, discharged right in the aggressive dog's face, in the open mouth if possible, is said (by our trainer) to work better than anything else she's found in dire cases. I carried one for a while after the Elkhound incident. Then I slacked off.

You are quick on your feet, and a good person.

One loose dog we picked up now lives with us. Her owners were convinced by their vet to re-home her, and no one else volunteered. . . . Beware of loose dogs {grin}.

August 30, 2008 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

You are a good neighbor Joanne :) I, like you wouldn't be able to ignore the screams and would have to see if I could help. But....there are many people, for reasons of their own, who would ignore them and stay inside. It's sad our world has come to this.
I'm glad neither of the dog's were hurt seriously.
Hope you both enjoyed your ice cream!
Have a great Labor Day weekend :)

August 30, 2008 at 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're saying you're not a very good person? Joanne, you're a saint! After how she violated your space and trashed your property and tried to half-blame you for it (pardon me while I stomp off a moment and count to ten) I think you did a marvelous, caring, wonderful job of being neighborly. Absolutely above and beyond. I'm hoping she comes back now and recognizes what a treasure you are and how lucky she is to have you there. Let me say it again: You are a SAINT!

August 31, 2008 at 2:22 AM  
Blogger weebug said...

i think the world would benifit from us all taking a moment to care. i love you you exemplify that quality!

August 31, 2008 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow, Joanne. You are such a good and brave person. I always wonder about the same thing: where are the people when something is going on that needs to be stopped?

August 31, 2008 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

...I wish you lived in my neighborhood! You are a "citizen's first responder"!!

I once had 2 dogs that were running together, attack my chickens (free range). It was horrible.

We spent hours trying to round them up. Folks from the city come out here for the weekend and imagine it is fine to let the dogs out unattended.

September 1, 2008 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger Susan J Tweit said...

Bless you for being a good neighbor, Joanne! I know that I'd want someone to come rushing out to help if that had been me. Seems to me that if we do our best to do for others as we'd have them do for us, it really does make the world a better place. And no, you don't have to be perfect about it. ;~)

I'd guess your mystery squash is the result of cross-breeding by the squash bees in your neighborhood carrying pollen from different variety in a neighbors yard to your plants.

Happy Labor Day!

September 1, 2008 at 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad everyone was pretty much okay.

I hate dog fights because I usually end up in the middle trying to break them up. I know it isn't smart, but I have done it before I thought about it.

You are a very good person and I appreciate you sharing with us. You don't have to like your neighbor or what she did to your yard to do a good deed.

September 2, 2008 at 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If dog fights are scary, wait till you try to stop cat fights. My super alpha-male manx named Tom (of all things) is a territorial cat to the T. I've had occasions to stop him from killing cats passing by our yard.
Anyway, Joanne, you are a good person with a good heart, plain and simple. Keep doing what you're doing.

September 5, 2008 at 8:31 PM  

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