Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Well I am a dope. A dope with a bad temper. A currently freaked out frazzled dope with a bad temper.

No food or water for little dog all day yesterday again. I went over at 6pm to give her some. And owner came home. In his dress army uniform. (There was a fair parade here last eve.) He was nice at first. Thanked me for looking out for the dog. Then she put her paw on my foot and whimpered. There was one tiny bite of dog food under my foot. I moved my foot and she ate it. She had earlier eaten two packages of food out of the dirt because she couldn't wait until I put it in a bowl. She drank all the water. When she whimpered I went ballistic. I yelled at him. I was crying. I hollered "What kind of a person are you to leave a dog in this condition. You are a disgrace to that uniform." He then got in my face and screamed for me to get off his property. I was scared but stood my ground and told him I had called the cops and the humane society. He began yelling "Get off my land and never come back." I picked up the my water can and empty dog food packets and left. I shook all the way home. I scared Mark to death because I came in the house and just howled. He didn't know where I had gone and thought I was dying. When I told him the story he got mad at me. Yelled "I told you to stay away from there that nut could have killed you." He kept hugging me in between the hollering. I sobbed for a couple of hours. We then went for a walk and out for an ice cream cone. I couldn't eat it.

Well I balled it all up. Now I have no access to the dog. She has no one to protect her. Why oh why did I have to get mad and shoot off my mouth? Like I was some plump avenging angel in baggy shorts. Gad. I am a dope. A well meaning dope but still a dope.

I love Mark almost as much as I love the cats. I tell him that. He sat me down and told me about all the abused and neglected kids he daily deals with. And the lack of any way institutionally to help most of them. It is real bad here because this is a rural area with no access to any support systems. The churches and charity groups do what they can but they are hamstrung by regulations. Social services are overwhelmed and have no place to put these kids when they take them out of the homes. There is no foster care or residential care at all. He told me all of this to help me cope with the pain of being unable to help the dog. He says he does what he can for the kids that cross his path and then gives them to God. Then he moves on. Says his shoulders are not broad enough to carry the weight of the pain in the world. Says that is why we have God. God will carry the pain. Says that if God cared for the sparrow he will care for the dog.

I read a story years ago about a Utopian society that functioned because of a child imprisoned in a basement with minimal food and water and no contact with the outside world. The child lived in disease and filth and loneliness. Its presence was known to each and every person in the society above. The child's pain was continually reflected against everyday life thereby allowing all the citizens to value what they had. I hated this story. Still do. But it has wisdom. Christ said the poor would always be with us. And the battered and murdered and starved. As a Christian I believe God's love is the only answer to the pain of the present world. It is just hard for me to hang on to this belief in the face of cruelty. I grew up a lot last night. At 50. It is about time I guess.

Thanks to my readers and commenters. There are days I don't know what I would do without you. Take care of yourselves. Love Bea.


Helen said...

Mark is a wise man...and not just for loving you! :-)

I feel so much for animals who are hurt and in need...if I didn't really rein myself in, I'd have tons of pets. I've had to really restrict myself and realize that I do the best I can for my pets, but that I can't save all the animals. It's very hard for me so I know how you feel about that dog...my heart goes out to her...and thank you for helping.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bea,

Read the story through twice. The second time was harder because of the tears. I thought "Oh my God!", first figuratively, and then absolutely literally. I don't know exactly was it is about the condition of human life that we seem to only know and appreciate what we have in comparison. Not joy, or thankfulness but comparison. Maybe as we grown (up) it is what separates the wheat from the chaff. We also associate people who get in our face and yell, threaten us as 'strong' characters when in truth they are probably scared. The uniform and the bluster is to hide that fact. You may never see the results of the actions you took. He knows that you know and were not afraid to confront him, he knows the police know and he knows the humane society knows, and he knows that someone in his family knows. And Mark knows all to well enough that you need to be careful. I thank God each day that there is someone like Mark doing his very best for those in his care and that he has the wisdom to turn them over God and so he can continue to do God's work. And thank you for taking such good care of him.
Love, Ethel

Andrea K said...

You were certainly brave to face that situation and the emotions it brought up. Hopefully your actions will be able to help that dog, but Mark is right that you can't risk your own safety anymore. I hope it all works out.

Annimal said...

You did what you had to do at the moment. I can see that all of your frustrations came to a head at that point and the whipping boy was standing there. So, I guess that makes you what?...Human?
I think the hardest part of this life is to witness suffering of another soul. That concern for others is what protects our soul from evil. Without it, we are heartless damned creatures. All we can do is support the charities that minister to the poor (honest charities) and leave it up to God that those who suffer will be helped. (God bless Mark)
I like your choice of words to the serviceman. While I wholeheartedly agree that we should respect those who serve the military, it does not mean they can neglect the moral attachment to that uniform and when they do, it is an utter disgrace.
I will bet you made a difference. And came out alive!
Peace be with you

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I'm hurting for you, and that I think you're very brave.

Love to you.

Anonymous said...

So good to see and talk with you the other day. Sorry you had such a bad blow-up with the owner. It would have been the perfect time to make somekind of "arrangement" so you could see and care for the dog. Maybe you could get on a "better" footing with the owner down the line if Mark was to go with you, where you could apologize (hard to do) and convince the guy you care about and love animals and you see how lonely she is during the day. Know you are very concerned about the dog. She is cute - I saw her as we drove past. Went to visit another friend in town, who is LDS and we knew she & her husband back in Syracuse. By the time we left her place the parade was going on and we had a heck of a time getting out of town. Got home about 11:30pm. Ate at the Pizza Hut in Diamondale. Man, it's a long way to get out of your county!!!! Love, Marti

BigAssBelle said...

it is the innocence and complete dependence of animals that kills me. plus the fact of their being considered property, and thus subject to the whims of the "owners" who do or do not take care of them. there is a movement afoot to change the term "animal owner" to "animal guardian." maybe that sounds a little hippie dippy, but maybe it will actually give us some perspective on the fact that the animals depend on us and we are to be guardians of their well being. at least with children, there's a serious system in place to attempt to help. yes, it fails, but it also succeeds, but more importantly, people really care. with animals ~ they're just like garbage. buy a puppy, throw away a full grown dog.

i'd have stolen the dog. i've done it many times. fuck that bastard. give him a week or so and he'll put the puppy back out there. steal the dog, bea. you can't rescue them all but you can rescue that one.