Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sin and forgiveness - part 2

I scare people. I walk down the street with my two dogs and people move out of my way. They run out of my way. Now that it's winter and the sidewalks are iced, people who are so anxious to flee from my arrival move too quickly and end up slipping, falling onto their asses. I was at least 5 meters from one guy when he saw my dogs and tried to bolt across the street except that his dress shoes stood no chance against the compacted snow and he slipped right onto the road and if there had been a car driving by ... Or there was the woman who stopped her two children on the sidewalk and pulled them back against the bushes and hissed at us in Russian as we walked by. Another woman - shriveled powdered face, thin red lined, pursed lips - as she walked by the front of my house, suddenly stopped, thinking we might attack her and then when she realized we were just turning to walk back into our front yard, she gave Stella and Rocky the most evil of evil looks. Although, that time, Stella caught the look, recognized the scent of hate and she turned her head and stared back and grumbled at the woman and the woman, mouth agape, almost fell, grabbing at bushes.

Mornings like that, coming across these disseminators of hate and suspicion, get me down. I try to be understanding but it's no use. I try to explain it away and call it ignorance, call it human nature. I try to justify the behaviour by saying it's because of culture, because of background, because of bad experiences. It's still no use. It still doesn't brighten the morning.

I mean it's not a huge thing. It's not a huge thing like polar ice caps melting or our air turning brown but on a morning when I step out the door with the dogs for their hour long walk and the sky is still black and the -30 degree air feels like needles against any exposed skin, well, the additional bigotry from strangers doesn't help.

And then, just when I'm thinking people are the shits, I get something to remind me that there is always some counterbalance to the nastiness and maybe every black thought is illuminated by hope; every bad deed is pushed back by something good.

I receive an e-mail update about Sammie who was at TAS last summer. She came in with half her body scalded by boiling water from her previous owner. We weren't sure how easy it would be for her to find a home because her burn wounds were so appalling that most people were frightened off but, nevertheless, someone with a great big heart came through for Sammie.

This is the update:

My husband and I adopted Sammie from the location at the Ex this past June. We have been so happy with her progress and wanted to send you an update and some photos. Sammie has become much more outgoing and isn't as afraid of men anymore. She socializes really well with other dogs at dog parks and has been great with young children also. Her scars on her back have gotten better - some fur has grown back and she has put on weight.

Thank you for bringing her into our lives! She is the best!

No, thank you for making my morning bright again.


Anonymous said...

Fred, again you are reading my (e)mail! Just as I am fretting at my Srbijan vets because my Jimmy's scars, physical and psychological, just don't heal, you post this, and everything snaps into place.

What the h3ll: Sammie has a beautiful face and people who love her enough to take her as she is and help her get over the abuse she has suffered. After two years, they can record progress, but only on the long road to a happy, healthy dog.

Jimmy has a goofy face, to be honest, but it is beautiful to us. And, who knows, maybe when he has been with us for two years, he, too, will be a lot farther down that road. Maybe he will never be fully recovered from all he went through, but, hey, if Sammy's people can do it, so can we.

As for the others, so what? Who do they hurt, really? Not you or your dogs: as long as you are inside the law, they can't do more than glare and curse.

In the end, they deprive themselves of the greatest thing of all, the unconditional love that they would get if only they had a companion as loyal and accepting as a dog.

Now, I think I'll go let my dogs inside for a snack, just to see Jimmy do his happy-to-be-with-you dance....

Joanne said...

Bless their hearts, bless their hearts...what wonderful, compassionate, kind people. Sometimes things in the universe just jig right and everyone benefits. What sick, sorry sociopath would do that to a dog? Who picks on someone more helpless than themselves? Once again, the adolescent hallmarks of a sociopath in the making...arson, bed wetting, cruelty to many times do we have to see the duck before we realize its a bloody duck? I hope they were charged with animal cruelty. Speaking of which, has there ever been a conviction on an animal cruelty charge. So whoever Sammie's new parents are, thank you, and I hope that everything that is good in life comes your way. Fred, vis a vis the other morons...stupidity is not fixable. There has to first of all be an acknowledgment of the stupidity by the stupid person (what are the chances) because then, it is incumbent on the stupid person to rectify the situation. Are you really going to be capable of either of those actions if you are stupid to start with? Unfortunately, some people are just stupid and will remain stupid the rest of their lives. Some people (and a frightening percentage I am afraid) are just mindless amoebae sludging their way through life without ever a moment of introspection or enlightenment. Just the way it is. Be grateful you are in the company of Stella and Rocky and not the other morons. I used to walk my three dobies.....same reaction...I laughed..there is no other answer to stupidity but to laugh...they won't understand that you are laughing at them in any event.

Ian said...

Thank you to the adoptor for sending this update in and these pictures.

And thank you to whoever decided to put this dog up for adoption regardless of the injuries and scars.This appears to look like one of the dogs that almost everyone loves to hate so that makes it even more special.

That first picture sure looks like a "Thank You" face if I ever saw one in my life.
Don`t need sugar in the coffee mug this morning,Sammie`s mug sweetened my day.

Anonymous said...

It drives me mad how people cringe when I walk by with my dog(my dog is small and very unintimidating looking)I got in a fight with one asshole(pardon my language)last week who told me to get my dog out of the way while I was trying to pick up dog poop. Blondie was just standing there. I called him an "animal hater" why did I let him get to me, why did I react? I guess I feel like he insulted my baby, my pride and joy. It got me down. But it made me madder that I let it get to me when really I should have just laughed at HIS ignorance and bad attitude. I will try to ignore these people but when they say something or mutter under their breath watch out because I'm a scorpio and my stinger may just come out.


P.s so amazing to hear about Sammie, I remember her

Fred said...

Susan, some people are dog haters but some people are just assholes. Looks like you stumbled upon an asshole and it's hard not to react to assholes. That's why they're called assholes.

Now, you should never ever ever do this because I don't condone violence but next time you see him, you should follow him home and burn down his house. At least think about it.

But if you're not willing to go the gasoline and matches route, the best way to deal with assholes is to leave them be to drown in their own internal fury.

Although, come to think of it, you did have a bag of shit handy and you know nothing goes together quite as well as assholes and shit.

So, now you've got 3 options!
1. Bonfire
2. Application of shit on asshole, or,
3. Peaceful Zenlike non-engagement but hoping for eventual hellfire and brimstone type Karmic justice

Anonymous said...

hahahah. Man I even had shit in my hands at my disposal. Maybe I should have accidentally thrown it at him. Living in the heart of Parkdale, as we both do, means there will always be lots of oppurtunities to interact with these fine specimans of mankind. I'm sure I'll get my chance again many times over!!!!!


Lynda said...

This is a great post. I cried (smiley tears) reading about how well Sammie was doing and then I laughed at all your comments. What a perfect start to my Monday morning.

I too have issues walking my 2 great danes down the road. I have actually had people run screaming away from us. I would LOVE to throw a turd at someone, lol! Thank Dog my guys are deaf and can't hear any of the assholes' comments. I wear my ipod now when I go out walking, then I'm as deaf as my dogs - works really well!

Ian said...

Fire and poop brings back fond memories.

When we were growing up if a neighbor complained too much we`d leave a little "gift" on their front porch in a brown paper bag,light it,knock on the door and run like heck.

After a while we had the greatest neighbors you could imagine.

Today your neighbors would probably call the Police and file a lawsuit.
Oh for the good old days.

Fred said...

Ah yes, the ol' burning poo bag trick - we heard of it as kids but none of my friends were actually brave enough to attempt it. I must've been hanging out with the wrong crowd.

LynnO said...

Thank you Fred for another lovely post.

It's not just you that scares people. It is your large (beautiful, gentle, sweet and lovely) dane Stella and that black rotty looking mix (that's not particularly brilliant but very adoring and loving) that are scaring people. You only scare people in that they don't trust in your ability to control your hairy friends. (And trust me, there are some people who should NOT be trusted in this respect!)

I read a news story about a gal who had her dog attacked by pointer-mixes, and the owner of them was PROUD. There's no telling about some people.

Please don't let other people's worries/fears spoil your day.

Neither do I recommend pondering the negative possibilities of fire or poop.

That which we can imagine, we can achieve...and I'd rather imagine a world where people SMILE at me and my dogs!

BTW, I wasn't allowed to have a dog when I was a kid, I have too many of them now. back then I was a magnet to ANY creature I saw---well, okay, I still am!

I think the universe gives us what we need, and I'm thinking maybe more of those people in your neighborhood need the opportunity to explore their fear/anger issues with big dogs. So thank you for having them and loving them and walking them where these people can safely explore their own angst. It's nobody's business if they aren't brave enough to do so. The universe will provide for them no matter what.

Next time you're out walking Stella and Rocky, imagine me grinning ear to ear at the first street corner and asking if I can pet them...(which was my reaction when I first saw your blog.)

The world is full of all sorts of animals, and I'm personally glad that it is. Your post made me grateful to be able to meet some more of them around here, human and otherwise.

p.s. where's part one?!

Fred said...

Hi Lynn, part 1 is the Sammie link about when she first came in to TAS: