Note: To everyone who has emailed me or commented on this post asking how to donate to help Roscoe, thank you for your generous and kind offers of assistance. Seeking funding was never my intention when I wrote this blog. Roscoe is healing well at the moment, and I think we will pull through without him requiring any more care from the vet than he has already received. If he develops an infection and his condition worsens, requiring hospitalization or further veterinary care, I'll consider putting up a paypal link if the choice is between losing him and losing my pride to accept help. In the meantime, thank you for your support and for helping restore my faith in humanity. Please check Roscoe's updates to see how he is doing and keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
I live up the street. I have two kids, three dogs, a couple of cats, some chickens and some horses. My kids are noisy and not particularly well-behaved, my dogs bark when you walk by my house, and I don't keep my lawn as well-manicured as I should, but I do my best. Life's a little complicated, with the job, the single parenting and all. I don't have a lot of free time or money to take care of everything the way I'd like to, but I try. I do try. I know about that spot in my fence, behind all the great big rose bushes, where the bullmastiff likes from time to time to scramble over and go walkabout. I haven't been sure what to do about it, since its in a place that is worse than hard to get to, I lack experience repairing fences and can't afford to have a real contractor come and fix it. What I've done instead is to try and be sure I'm outside with my dogs when they take their potty breaks. Today I was brushing my teeth, and I needed to go spit out my toothpaste and eyeball my kids to make sure they weren't killing one another. I was gone maybe half a minute, but I guess it was half a minute too long. Lady decided to take a little road trip, and in an unusual turn of events, Roscoe followed her.
Maybe you were mad when my dog came into your yard. Maybe you thought you were solving a problem when you got out your gun and SHOT HIM. Let me tell you what your actions have done to my family. First of all, my dog is at the moment still alive, but at the vet's on oxygen and pain medication. He might live; he might not. I can't afford extraordinary measures, so if the bullet is someplace that will cause him to bleed internally or make a lung collapse, he will have to be put to sleep. I can't even afford xrays. The money we have spent, which is the minimum to get him stable and give him a chance to heal, means I have to choose between gas and groceries for the next two weeks so my children and I can eat and go to work and school, and making my car payment, which means we might lose our only method of transportation. We were already living on the edge; you helped pull us significantly closer to that edge. What I think is the worst part, though, is the emotional trauma my children experienced, searching through the neighborhood for our lost dog and finally finding him near our yard, bleeding and clearly in pain.
I am sorry that I was a negligent dog owner. I try not to be. Sometimes things just happen. But you didn't have to shoot my dog to make a point. What would have made a better point was if you wanted to be a good neighbor and maybe offered to help me fix my fence, or let me know you had a problem with my dog, or even called the number on his tag and let me know where he was when we were looking for him. But what you decided to do, in a neighborhood full of children, was to pick up your gun and shoot it. I guess I'm thankful that you hit what you were aiming for and didn't accidentally shoot a child instead. Maybe I'm even thankful that I'm learning something the universe is trying to teach me today. I don't know who you are - but you know. Maybe you will consider that your actions often have unintended consequences.
What if the difference you could have made in our lives was a positive one, instead of this? What if you had been the kind of person who makes people grateful to have neighbors?
I'm not going to waste any more time wondering who you are or thinking about you. I'm going to concentrate on making it to next payday, hugging my traumatized kids and nursing my dog back to health. You? You get to live with yourself. Enjoy that.