February 26, 2009
Saw a cartoon come to life before my eyes...
As a child, I loved The Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.
I remember one episode where this man is roaring through the country, parks his car on the side of the road, runs out with his dog, sets up a picnic, throws a stick for his dog to play "fetch" with and as the dog runs for the stick, the man dashes to his car, gets in, and races off... without the dog.
Now, as a kid, I found this all very light and comical. In my innocence I thought nothing such as that could ever happen.
Well, going back to the summer of 1988, I witnessed something very similar and I did not find it to light and comical.
I was hanging out at this park, tanning and reading, relaxing, whatever... there's not too many people around since it was a weekday; me being a teenager on summer vacation. I happen to take notice to a car driving into the parking lot. I don't know why but I did. Maybe because there wasn't much going on or was it my *spider sense*? It's a bit of a long drive down a steep hill into this park.
A man gets out of the car. He walks around to the rear passenger door, opens it up and out jumps this adorable very young Golden Lab puppy. He reaches into the car and pulls out a stick, he begins to play with this puppy in the parking lot, the puppy is getting very excited with the idea of playing with this man and this stick. I am watching and thinking how nice it is, to be out in the park with your dog, playing in the afternoon sun. The man throws the stick, the puppy races after it, across the parking lot and on the grassy area not far from me. So, while this puppy is chasing the stick, I also see the man run around to the driver's side of the car and get in, start the car and speed out of the park! The puppy sees this happening too and freaks out. The puppy begins to chase the car up this steep hill. He is not fast enough to catch up to the car. The hill is a hard climb for any living creature and not too bad for a V8 Ford. It is also probably +32C right now, or +88F... which is not ideal weather for very long for a dog with no water. The puppy is crying loudly as he loses chase to the car.
I am in total shock and disgust at this very moment. I am mad at myself for not getting his plate number even though I am not sure what good that may have done.
The puppy returns to the park, is running frantically about, crying loudly. It was very heart-breaking to watch.
While there aren't that many people around this area, maybe 10, I am shocked that nobody saw what happened and nobody is paying attention to this puppy in distress.
I manage to get this poor creature to calm down and sit with me. He's very well behaved for a young dog and I figure he wasn't more than 4 or 5 months old. I take him to the fountain and assist him in getting some water.
He bonds with me rather quickly... sticking with me, when I sat, he sat, when I got up, he got up, when I walked, he followed. Now what am I going to do with him? Bring him home of course!
So, in I walk and this is before my days of the tarantulas... "Look what I found!"
My house never really was a dog house. We had a mini-Collie years ago and that didn't work out very well. At this time, we had a cat and a very small dog. Neither of which was highly impressed with this big puppy coming into the house. I don't know who foamed more at the mouth, the dog or the cat.
Over the next hour or so, we decided it was best to turn him in to the Humane Society. For one, they have a zero euthanasia policy and this being a popular breed... he was bound to get a home in no time.
It was a very long drive down to the shelter which is only 20 minutes away. I kept looking at this puppy. What a terrible day he had and just when he thinks he's made himself a new friend and master... he gets taken to the pound!
I was holding back my upset/tears as I shared the story of what happened earlier in the day. It's too sad to recall, especially as I held him close to me. He's licking my face, happier than anything, unknowing he was not leaving with me.
I filled out the paperwork and then someone came out to get him, to take him into the back... well, that didn't go over well at all. He freaked right out! He cried and fought as hard as a determined little dog could. He managed to break free of the attendant, charged at me, jumped up at me as I kneeled down to grab him, licking my face and crying out loud. That was it for me... my heart was officially broken for the first time ever in my life!
They came and got him once again, using a little more caution and strength. I felt like a coward as I turned my head, unable to watch him disappear up the hallway and through a set of doors.
I got in my car and took the long way home, cranking the tunes and thought about this over and over and over. I felt like a rotten person for what I did but I knew it was the best thing for him to do that day...
If it weren't for me, he could have been left out there, lost in the park, in the heat and humidity; assuming nobody noticed him.
I called the Humane Society the following day. I was told to call back the following week. I did just that. I learned he was adopted before he even made it out to their kennel area (show room). I hung up the phone and made a silent wish for him... to have a happy, healthy, long life with a loving family.
I'd like to think that my wish came true...
*** if anyone is curious about the cartoon I mentioned at the start of this blog, please copy and paste the link below *** you only need to see the first minute of it (he meets Porky Pig later)