Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bad Dog Sitter! Bad!

I have a beautiful red Husky. Most of his litter died of respiratory failure, having been born the night their owner had sprayed his weeds with poison. As a result of the same exposure, our dog has a very poor sense of smell and possibly a very poor sense of taste. He has a poor appetite. Add to this the nervous, skittish nature of his Husky breeding and you have a thin animal. His mother was also naturally thin, even in her prime. At the time, we also had an old Malamute. So, next to the very large (120lbs) Malamute, our Husky appeared positively frail. And since both dogs were painted with similar markings, some observers (mistaking them for the same breed) were concerned that one was healthy, while one was starving.

The neighbor across the street from us would often come into our back yard and feed the dogs treats and pet them. It annoyed me that she presumed to enter our property so casually, and the snacks were often table scraps which didn’t always agree with the dogs. But she had no fear of them and she was conveniently located. So, we trusted her to care for them when we went out of town for a few days. Upon our return she remarked that our Husky had a touch of diarrhea, so we should keep an eye on him. The next morning, a uniformed officer with Animal Control knocked on my door demanding to see my dogs at once. As I put on a robe and slippers (I had slept in late to recover from our trip), and escorted him to the back yard, he explained that he had received a report of a starved animal that was lethargic and had no access to food and water. Both dogs jumped around excitedly, and their food and water dishes were full to the brim. The officer took special interest in the Husky remarking that he was admittedly thin. He followed up in a week and found the same thin, but energetic, animal he’d seen the previous week and was satisfied that nothing was amiss.

But I was furious. For days I resisted the pressing urge to confront the neighbor, for I was certain that she was the originator of the report. Instead, when she came next door to care for another neighbor’s Husky I casually mentioned that she make sure to keep the food and water dishes replenished since "someone" in the area had made a report to Animal Control regarding our dogs. Her voice went really high as she said, "Really? That is terrible. You guys love your pets so much and care for them so well." Still pretending not to suspect her, I said that the officer thought that the report was frivolous. I said, "He said that some people are too stupid to realize that the two breeds have completely different body types. Since the dog you’re caring for now is a Husky, they might report you too." We put padlocks on our gates after that. And we’ll never ask her to dog-sit again.

1 comment:

  1. oh my god! you have so many scandalous stories!
    when my dog was younger he was really skinny and a couple times people said "dont you feed your dog?" and i'd be like "nope, dog food's just too expensive."
    now, my question- why didnt you simply tell the lady about his health issues? is it b/c you are shy maybe? i'm curious b/c my sister's like this...


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