Monday, November 12, 2012

In which I injure a rabbit and save a dog.

The title is a bit of an exaggeration.  The rabbit was uninjured, and I didn't actually save the dog, although I thought I was saving it at the time.

I was having a cleaning tantrum.  Every item of clutter had become a personal insult.  Lately, for reasons too boring to explain here, our house has been overrun with poor-quality apples.  There was an apple on the desk in the front hall, two apples on the sunroom windowsill, another in my antique yellowware mixing bowl.  I tossed an apple off the back porch, where it hit our pergola and exploded in an unsatisfactory manner, all over the deck.  Even more angry, I took a second apple and hurled it with all my strength.  It cleared the pergola, sailed the length of the back yard and hit a peacefully grazing rabbit right on the ass.  I was mortified, but the rabbit gave me an irritated glance and continued eating as if nothing had happened.

Early the next morning, I went out for a walk.  I had hardly left the house, when I realized I was being followed by a dog.  She stuck with me for blocks, and in the end, followed me all the way home. At one point we passed a woman walking her dog on a leash and I worried there'd be a confrontation, but "my" dog sensibly crossed to the other side of the street.  At home,  I put bowls of food and water on the porch. I didn't want to bring her in because Sancho is aggressive with other dogs.

The dog had a skin condition. Patches on its hind legs were red and raw, its tail oddly swollen at the base, where it had lost most of its fur.  What fur it had was dusted with dry skin flakes.   I called animal control, but there is no animal control on Sundays.  I called the SPCA, but they didn't open until noon. I put a picture of the dog on twitter but no one responded.

Eventually, we let Luna out, since she is the sort of dog to take other creatures under her wing and organize them.  I resolved to take the stray to the SPCA as soon as they opened.  The skin condition (and lack of collar) led me to believe she'd been on her own for a long time, but her behavior showed that she was accustomed to kind treatment from humans.  I decided she'd gotten separated from a loving family and never found her way home.  As sweet as she was, I couldn't take a third dog into our already overcrowded house.

The dog had shown no signs of wanting to leave, when I saw a man walking past the house.  I could tell by the alert way that Luna was standing in the driveway, that our dog had gone.  I went out to the street, but both man and dog had disappeared.  I assumed the stray had decided to try her luck with this new man.  He'd looked like a nice man and I hoped she would fare well with him.

Two hours later, our stray returned.  I got an old leash and collar, the dog followed me trustingly into the car, and we headed for the SPCA where they exclaimed, "that dog was here last week!"  They also knew that the skin condition was caused by allergies.  They got the owner on the phone, but she was on her way home from out of town, so the dog stayed at the SPCA until her owner came that evening to collect her.

Later, through the C'ville gossip web, I learned that my picture had been spotted on twitter and the dog belongs to a classmate of my kids.  I've never met the parents, but at least now I know which house to take her to if she wanders our way again.


  1. You are such a good person, tending to that poor wandering dog.
    And the fact that you have the same sort of cleaning tantrums I have makes me really admire you more--especially when you take your rage out on a bunny!

  2. I could use your apple-pitching arm over here to remind the dog who barks non-stop to take a break.

    My kids pray that my cleaning tantrums happen on weekends when they are with their father.

  3. Wow! You hit that rabbit --good job!

    It sounds like maybe that dog's owners aren't terribly effective. Poor dog.