I’m sure you all have counted yourselves quite blessed here of late that I haven’t been in so much of a rant-y mood. This lackadaisical attitude was due to a recent attempt of mine to avoid the specific issues that bother me so as not to require the overabundance of Bailey’s Irish Cream it so often takes to get over the stress brought about by these unpleasant topics.
But now I need to return to this outlet for some of my more soap-box inspired ramblings, so the rant-free streak ends today as I grace you all with the following! Lucky you! Plus, I like Bailey’s.
Many years ago there was a sitcom called Frasier, starring Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce. It’s still quite popular today in reruns (I watch it myself on the Hallmark Channel late at night), which is why I’m sure that many of you will have seen an episode in which Frasier is supposed to sing a difficult opera aria for a PBS telethon.
He changes his mind at the last-minute, because as he claims “it may be an unwise man who doesn’t learn from his own mistakes, but it’s an absolute idiot that doesn’t learn from other peoples’!”
With that as a preamble, let me tell this little story. (Ha! You thought I’d changed my mind, didn’t you!?)
There is a person I know (however well you can know someone you only “follow” on Facebook). They live on a large-ish property on a main road that seems to get a lot of traffic. They have horses and to keep the horses safe, they keep them behind fences. Smart move, right? Yeah, I agree. However, the main part of the property isn’t fenced as it’s apparently inconvenient for moving the horses around and general day-to-day life.
Now, these folks keep getting dogs – both to keep and presumably foster.
In fact, not a month goes by that this person doesn’t post an announcement on Facebook about the sad fate of the dogs they keep getting.
They lost two last April.
A Corgi was run over by a semi – but, according to the post, it was the dog’s fault for chasing the truck. Semi vs Corgi…you can imagine how that ended up.
A Pomeranian mix was run over by a school bus – but that was the dog’s fault for not getting out of the way. I guess the little bugger just couldn’t out-maneuver a bus. I mean, really…what was he thinking?
The month of May saw another victim of the road and a tragic blurb was duly posted on Facebook.
That time it was a Border-Collie mix that was run over by a car. I’m sure that was also the dog’s fault – although they didn’t post any details except to simply say that yet another one of their dogs bit the dust.
Another poor soul was lost in June. This time they didn’t even bother to mention the breed of the dog. All the post said was they thought it had been hit by a car (imagine that!) because its body had been found in a ditch on the side of the road.
The end of July saw yet another tragedy when a Cocker-mix lost a fight with a pick-up truck. I guess this family just attracts dogs that like to battle fast-moving vehicles. The Don Quixotes of the canine world I suppose.
I read with sadness that they “lost” another dog in August. It was a Pekingese. They didn’t even realize it was missing at first. When they finally noticed, they went to look for it and found it dead on the side of road, likely another victim of the ongoing traffic that flows right outside their unprotected property line.
September was blessed in that all survived or at least, there was nothing posted one way or the other. However, October saw a similar canine eulogy but details on breed and specific demise were less forthcoming.
So, they keep “losing” all these dogs. Although, it’s not really “losing” them is it? They know damn well where they’re going. It’s not like they’re “lost” in the true sense of the word.
Anyone who has ever seen The Importance of Being Earnest is familiar with Lady Bracknell’s sarcastic witticism, “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose both looks like carelessness.”
I’d have to say that to lose one dog to a vehicle can be regarded as a misfortune…to lose any more than that seems to me to be more deliberately negligent than careless.
I mean, we’ve all heard the classic definition of insanity, right – to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result? I mean, what is wrong with these people? Did they not think after the first dog that perhaps a fenced-in-area might be nice? What about after the third or fourth?
Well, according to one of their most recent comments, they’ve “thought for a while” about an electric, underground fence but they’re expensive, and other conventional types of fencing, such as chain link, are simply too inconvenient for their lifestyle.
So now I’m wondering how many were “lost” prior to me following their Facebook page? These are just the ones that I saw described during my short duration as a “follower” (I ended the twisted voyeurism in early November…but maybe I need to check back in to catch up). Perhaps this is an ongoing thing with no sign of stopping. Or maybe they just had a run of some seriously horrific luck. Only time will tell.
And what about the shelter people? Or whoever it is that’s giving them these dogs. Do they not wonder what’s going on that dogs keep disappearing at such an alarming rate and more are being requested? If you ask what happened to the previous dog (or two or three or four) and you learn that it was hit by a car or a truck or a bus, wouldn’t “you need to have a fence installed” be a no-brainer prerequisite to adopting or fostering another dog?
It’s horrible to lose a pet, it truly is, and my heart goes out to anyone who has the tragic misfortune to lose a four-legged member of their family. But when you take in a dog or cat or any animal, you hold that life in your hands and you need to take responsibility for it. And if you know that the highway next to your house is a serious danger zone, you put up a protective barrier or take other precautions to keep your pets (or fosters) safe. You don’t just tick off your losses on Facebook and leave it at that.