Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who Belongs to this Dog?

     I wonder what is going on in our neighborhood. What's with all these dogs roaming around loose and unable to find their way home? Over the past few months I've seen dogs running towards the main road and I cringe at the thought of one of them getting run over or hit by a passing vehicle. Several months ago we found a pit bull (pictured above) roaming around in our block. She was so sweet and friendly, but she didn't have a collar and no tags. We tried to find out who owned her, canvassing a few blocks near where we live. Alas, no one claimed her. We had no choice but to bring her to the local animal shelter. Hopefully someone came to claim her.

     This afternoon, while shoveling snow, another pit bull came by. This one had a collar, and was walking along with two guys who were looking for houses to shovel snow from for a fee. Of course, we thought the dog belonged to them. To our surprise, after several minutes, the same dog comes bounding back towards us. The two men he was walking along with were about two blocks away from now. And the dog didn't show any inclination of going after them. I was like, what on earth? Another lost pit bull? This one seemed younger than the previous pit bull we'd found and seemed cleaner. So it could've just gotten out by accident. Regardless, the question remains - why no tags? Is it too much of a bother for an owner, a responsible owner, to at least put a tag showing the dog's name and address? But then, that begs the question, did the dog belong to a responsible owner in the first place. I'm starting to wonder, could there be some kind of dog fighting operation in our neighborhood that these dogs are coming from? It's just not right! If you're getting a dog to keep as a pet then you better damn make sure you're gonna take care of it properly! It really is soooooooooooo upsetting!

     Another thing that makes me so angry about the whole thing is how the supposed authorities responded to the situation. Or rather, their lack of response. I dialed 311 to report the found dog in the hopes that someone would come to pick it up. I got transferred to an animal shelter that I assumed was the local one for our area.  Apparently it wasn't, because I was told to call our local animal shelter. So I dial the local animal shelter. This time I was told we need to bring in the animal to the shelter. When I asked if someone could come to pick it up, I was told to call the local police department who would then be the ones to call them so they can come to it up. In my mind I was going, I'm already on the line with you guys telling you about the dog so why don't you just come over and get the poor thing?! What's with all this rigmarole of phone this, phone that? I don't say any of this though but hang up and try to call the local police department. It just rings and rings, no one picks up. By this time my husband is yelling at me to hang up and let it go because obviously no one wants to do their job and come pick up the dog. Our own dogs are going nuts barking at the stranger and gets my in law upset. So now every one is in a rotten mood. And yes, the dog is still out there, still lost. You're probably thinking, why didn't I just bring the dog over to the animal shelter myself? Believe me, if I could, I would. But it just isn't going to happen.

     I just hope this poor dog eventually does find its way home before it starts snowing again. And I really wish all pet owners would be more responsible and make sure their pets will be able to return home in case they do manage to get out by accident. Have a heart people!

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Baby it's Cold Outside

     Ah yes,it's winter once again. Temperatures are staying low, we've already had a snow storm to usher in the season, and although it's been a week since then we are still knee deep in snow. It got so bad that trains weren't able to run, the usually reliable bus service gave up and people were buried for several days in some areas. It may seem wicked of me to say this, but it sure made me glad I didn't have to get up and go to work any more when that storm hit. That was the second storm that I've experienced here, and this one seems to have been much worse than the first.

      Back then I used to think that snow was nice and fluffy and fun. Fla
kes would float gently down from the sky, land on your hair and eyelashes as you walk in a winter wonderland. It would coat everything like magic dust, turning the whole landscape into a marshmallow frosted world. Hah! Try standing outside in a blizzard and see if this cotton candy like image holds. Forget that it's so many degrees below zero. Forget that the fierce wind blowing all around makes it even more freezing. The snow itself has a coldness and ferocity all its own that will make you wonder what you ever found wonderful and fascinating about it in the first place. Snow during a blizzard is not fluffy and does not float down gently to earth. It pours down in blasts that can probably sand down smooth any area exposed to it long enough. I know, I've felt it. Right on the face too. It was an unpleasant surprise for me to discover that snow during a storm feels like an exfoliant scrub; an extreme exfoliant scrub.

      Thank goodness the storm lasted only a day and a night. Imagine if it had gone on for even just two days and nights! Yaiks! In some places people are still digging out and some roads are still a mess. But the bad also has a nice side. Where the snow lay undisturbed it did really look pretty. With all the snow that fell kids were able to go sledding. And all that cold made it perfect weather for hot chocolate/coffee/tea and snuggling. I love having a good excuse to snuggle, don't you?

© Margj Castillo, Between You and Me, 2010 - Present.