Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Puppy update

Last Thursday I posted of a new puppy at our neighbor's behind us. With a tub of water and big bowl of dry dog food, we was left to fend for himself. His woeful, lonely cries became an increasing burden on our consciences.

As she does each Friday, my wife departed for the federal courthouse shortly before noon, while I stayed home to play domestic. But before beginning my chores, I had to go out back with a dog cookie and talk to "shorty". At the back wall, I noticed someone else was visiting with him. It was another neighbor consoling him. She said she heard his cries through the night as we experienced our first rainfall in over three months.

I told her these people were the same who had a boxer a couple of years ago. That he had suffered similar neglect--not so much of food and water, but from companionship and love. I and my big boy, "Mister" Cooper (our tallest greyhound, best able to see over the wall), would often visit Boxer.

One day Boxer was gone. We learned several weeks later he'd gone out riding with his people, but the heat of the summer proved to much for him. Sweet Boxer didn't return. He'd died from the heat, from dehydration. But I'm sure up to the point preceding his death he died happy because his parents had taken him for a ride!

Anyway, after I'd finished vacuuming and mopping the floors, my wife returned from the peace vigil. As I pushed back in the recliner in sheer exhaustion, I was lullabied to sleep by the serenade of the puppy's moans out back. When I awoke about an hour later, I learned of my wife's little excursion. She'd walked around the block to the house behind us and very nicely made known to Mrs. Neighbor her concern for the new puppy.

It was to get below freezing Friday night, and it was her worry the pup would be left outside again. Mrs. Neighbor assured my wife he wouldn't be. He'd be allowed in the garage. And while the visit went well, I told my wife it wasn't a stretch to imagine our neighbor saying under her breath as she closed the door as wife departed, "Bitch!"

But aside from trying to help that dog, we learned something and it was very good news. The neighbors were only keeping that sad little husky for its owner for a week or so. And sure enough, that cold night cries of a lonely canine in the night were muffled behind a closed garage doors. And in another day or two, the puppy was gone. Hopefully back to someone who better appreciates and provides for the needs of a dog--the close companionship of a loving family.


Anonymous said...

what kind of bozos would let your neighbors take care of their dog? must have had no other choice. When I dog-sit my nephew's beagle, he takes over our whole house, totally dominating our much bigger dogs. Can't imagine being entrusted with someone else's dog & then treating them so badly. But then, I guess you're happy they didn't take him for a ride. D.K.

Nona said...

In some states, there are laws protecting animals (I don't know about "Don't Mess with" Texas). Here, if a dog is kept outside, it must have shelter and water at all times, otherwise, neighbors can call the SPCA who will investigate pronto and will remove any neglected pets.

I use customized checks from the SPCA that feature pictures of animals on the checks along with animal-friendly slogans. Recently when I paid for a prescription, the clerk mentioned the cute kitty on my check and then said that her cat had been hit by a car. I asked enough questions to discover that the cat was injured but hadn't been taken to the vet. I offered to help her get veterinarian care for the cat but she declined my offer.

I went home and called the SPCA and they investigated right away. For privacy reasons, they wouldn't tell me the outcome of their investigation, but I now get a frosty reception by that clerk when I pick up a prescription.

Anonymous said...

Nona, you are courageous! My local SPCA pretty much has to investigate any complaint, but their criteria for abuse leaves plenty of room for a lot of pitiful behavior. They do attempt to educate the petowners. At my last residence, they suggested all the neighbors sign a letter to an offender who was leaving his dog outside crying & barking all night every night. We did & it wasn't even a rude letter, but we were all considered adversaries from that time forward. They eventually moved & their poor lonely dog went with them. Unfortunately, people don't have to pass a petowners test before they bring one home & then we all pay the consequences. I bet if your Rx clerk really thought about it, she would see someone was only trying to help her cat. D.K.

Nona said...

D.K. Thank you for calling me courageous, but I couldn't stand the thought of that cat suffering.

We had a neighbor whose dog I didn't pay any attention to. We went to his door once to inquire about one of our cats that had escaped, and his dog just lay in the yard, didn't raise its head to look at us, to bark or anything. I thought that was odd, but failed to investigate. Later, the SPCA came to my door investigating that neighbor for neglect. His dog had died in the yard and he left it there until another neighbor reported it to SPCA.

I felt so guilty for not noticing the neglect and reporting it before the dog died, that I now keep an eye on all the pets in the neighborhood.