I love dogs. I really do. Decades of having those furry little beasts run up to me when I get home; rolling on the living room floor together on a Saturday afternoon; getting slobbery kisses; teaching them to fall down ‘dead’ when I point a finger and say “Bang!”; watching them bounce when it’s time for the Sunday afternoon canned food… so many warm memories. They are loyal and loving, more a family member than many relatives we avoid.
And it’s because I love dogs that I care for them religiously – good food; keep their shots up to date; register them; groom and bathe them. And above all I keep them on a leash whenever they cross the threshold of my house.
The leash keeps my dog from getting into fights with other dogs, chasing the occasional cat, and getting lost in bad weather. Above all, it protects my dog from Mel.
Mel is a friend of mine who is normally very nice. But he has a thing about loose dogs that dig in his garden, mess on his lawn, and steal hamburgers off his grill. Mel has a sort of progressive list of actions he’ll take. I’ve known him to do a couple of them, but never could prove that a dog’s disappearance was due to some of the more extreme acts on Mel’s list. He talks about these things after a few beers, and it’s hard to tell if it’s wishful thinking, drunken confession or simply his dark sense of humor.
If Mel recognizes the dog, he’ll usually call the owner; after all, it could have been an accidental escape. If it keeps recurring, he will call the pound and have the dog collected. He keeps a BB gun handy and aims for an animal’s flank, so that they go limping home. He has calculated how long a medium-sized dog can survive in the trunk of a car. Mel and his wife have nice warm fur coats in the winter – but I’m not sure of the source of the pelts. I will also not attend his “mystery meat” barbeques — you never know…
Mel has daydreamed about tying a dog to a passing semi. He has even suggested that the little yappers make excellent greyhound racing ‘rabbits’. According to him, large dogs make very popular den rugs. Incidences of poisoned animals have been suggested to trace back to Mel. He has mentioned as well that kidnapped dogs sell well on the black market, especially the pure breeds.
The ideas that pop out of Mel’s mouth during a Friday night poker game give me the willies.
And this is why I keep my dogs on leashes whenever they go out! I love them and want them to live long, happy and healthy lives.