Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Problem Dog

Our boss' boss' boss' boss came to visit us yesterday, causing a flurry of excitement. Apparently organising the linen scraps just because they are overflowing and spilling into the aisle isn't enough of a reason to get them straightened up. Mr. VP has been put in charge of the new "Department of Research and Historical Interpretation" and has been visiting all the areas now under his jurisdiction, which includes the interpreters in the historical area. He was very straightforward, understanding, honest and likeable--also British, which was a surprise. We didn't learn anything new, but it was nice to see the higher ups take an interest in our little shop. I wish he would have hung out a little longer though--we set up every mannequin in the shop, dressed in all class levels, military, fife and drum, livery, etc, but he didn't ooh too much. Oh well--I guess it was too much to hope that Mr. VP was also an interpreter, like our boss's boss's boss, Mr. Director, who uses his wigs and props as decorating items in his home.

But anyway.

So there's this dog that lives in our apartment building. His name is Max, I think he's a golden lab mixed with something else...big rangy caramel guy. Probably a year or younger, but really friendly after you get to know him. He lives in a third floor apartment a few rows down, and every time I take Kizzy for a walk I can count on this big yellow head poking through the bars and then a high, desperate whiiiiiine... His owner is an older man who may be slightly crazy. I'm not sure. Anyway, occasionally Max will be outside running around without a leash on. He's got a collar, but no tags and since he's not neutered--and since we don't have the luxury of a fenced in backyard--he's pretty much free to go wherever.

This past Sunday Max came running up to me and Kizzy as we were going for our walk. There's a little fenced-in retention pond behind the school where we go sometimes, so I thought I'd take them both over there, shut the gate, and then I can let Kizzy off his leash and they could run around. Great. They loved it. Had a great time. Max loves to play, Kizzy loves to be able to run around. But coming back we had to cross a road. Now, Kizzy is on a leash and is learning "stay" (meaning to wait for my okay to cross the street) but Max, leashless and eager to baptize the streetlight across the road, scooted out in front of a passing car. I honestly thought I was about to witness vehicular dogslaughter. Somehow, by the grace of God, the car swerved and Max made it to the other side. The car pulled over and a young woman (a William & Mary student, judging by the sticker on the window) got out. "Is that your dog?" she shouted. "No," I said, crossing the street myself, Kiz firmly at my side. Max was waiting for us--but then the woman began to call him, probably so she could pick him up and take him to the SPCA. He started to go to her...and walked right in front of another car, which also missed him by miraculous inches. "He lives right here! I'll get him! MAX!" I finally shouted, and the dog came with me.

When we got back to the apartment, Max came right up to the door with me. Oh baby, I thought, if I had more square footage and less roommatage... But I had to leave him outside. I called our apartment manager--remember, this is a Sunday, so I got the answering service. I explained the problem: "Basically, he's just allowed to run around wild. He is going to end up dead or rabid or picked up by the humane society. I know who his owner is, if you want to talk to him, but honestly, it might just be for the best if Max does go to a shelter...that way he has a snowball's chance of finding someone who'll actually give a crap about whether he gets hit by a car or not." The answering serviced judged it "not emergency," said they would pass it along to the management on Monday and hung up. I dithered about calling the SPCA myself. In the end I didn't. Max could probably do better elsewhere...but if he did fail to find a home, he could be euthanized. And I can see how he'd be a challenge for anyone. He's a big dog, not stupid, but since he hasn't been trained since puppyhood, it would be hard to start now. And then there's his howling. Last night when Kiz and I went for a walk I thought a wolf was being slowly tortured before I realised it was Max, depressed about missing his buddy. I've seen his head forlornly poking between the porch railings, so I know he hasn't been hit by a car yet, but I don't know if his owner has recieved a warning...or if he's just keeping Max locked up instead of doing the responsible thing and walking him.

So what do you think, dear readers? Should I call the SPCA the next time I see Max running around wild and fancy free? I've no wish to consult his slightly crazy owner, but he is going to get hit by a car otherwise. We live on the point of a triangle with roads on two sides...it's going to happen. Max needs someone who cares about him more--but then again, it's none of my business. After all, I keep a dog cruelly locked in a cage for nineteen hours a day. But it galls me to see such a sweet, loveable pup with so much potential just neglected like that. What do you think?

1 comment:

Diane Fields said...

hey Nicki, i feel for the dog and you. If the dog is in danger running around and/or is unhappy being tied in then i say it is your duty to call up about it.I would hope someone would adopt him soon-sounds like a cute dog. Let me know what happens.