I encountered tales from both ends of a dog lover’s emotional spectrum today in Harper’s Valley. Neither of them involved Harper but, as all pet owners understand, the heart-strings get tugged even when they are not your own. All that was missing was a Sarah McLachlan soundtrack.
On the happy end of the spectrum was my close encounter of the cutest kind with Dexter. ‘D-Dog’ is an absolutely adorable six-week old yellow lab puppy. Harper will be due for a bordetella booster soon and, since I was driving past the Vet’s office while running errands, I stopped in to make an appointment. Dexter’s mom was bringing him in for his first check-up. He was a little sleepy and a little nervous being the center of attention of so many strangers. I guess when you’re six weeks old and fresh out of the litter everyone is a stranger. Every person in the clinic wanted to take his picture. My thought bubble read; “Maybe it’s time for Harper to have a little brother.” I got out of there without asking whether Dexter had any siblings available, however; remembering Harper’s thought bubble always reads; “We hate little brothers.”
On the other end of the spectrum, I received an email from our neighborhood watch. I don’t know the homeowner who initiated it, they live a couple of blocks away but their email included;
“….. I want to warn everyone with dogs and cats that our sweet dog Bella Bu was killed by a coyote jumping our fence early this morning and attacking her. Be on the lookout and keep your pets safe.”
I’m not sure which of the neighborhood dogs was Bella. If her owners walked her I am sure I’ve encountered her on the paths or in the park. I wanted to ask what kind of dog she was. “Bella Bu” conjures an image in my mind of a small dog but that’s not necessarily true. In any case, it would have been insensitive to ask.
I am also curious to know more details of the attack. I am not sure what would be worse, witnessing the attack and being unable to stop it in time to save your pet, or going outside and finding the dog afterward. Coyotes are common in this area. I see them when I walk Harper. It’s not a daily occurrence but neither is it unusual. People out walking their dogs will always tells passersby if they’ve seen a coyote. I don’t run home screaming like a little girl but I will adjust my route to avoid the area where the coyote was sighted. On evenings when it is cool enough to sit outside, I can often hear coyotes fighting or howling. This is the first time I have heard of one getting into a walled yard, however. I let Harper out in our back yard by herself all the time. I’d like to know how they think the coyote got into the yard but it seems inappropriate to ask at this time.
In the end, all I could do was click ‘Reply’ and express my condolences for their loss. It’s not enough but there is nothing else.
….. such a sad thing.