Purple Car

10 Apr

There are loose dogs here a lot. They wander through, like tourists, discussing their travels with Falcor, through my fence. Sniffs and tail wags, maybe a little fence running, and then on they go.

Recently there has been a brown and white spotted pit bull mix, a male dog with his equipment intact. Very sweet and friendly. He’s been around for several days. It drives me crazy when they keep showing up, because I don’t know whether they are abandoned, or just on walkabout.

There was a white pit bull mix a few months back, also very friendly. He parked himself in front of my house for a day or so. Turned out he was getting loose from a house across the street, that is for sale. Some human associated with the house had been trying to park the dog there.

“He won’t stay,” I heard the human say.

There are three houses across the street currently in transit. A woman owns one of them. The people she rented to were unfortunate, and eventually went away, and she hired other, perhaps more fortunate humans, to clean out the house, and pile gravel on the yard again. I don’t know why she pays to pile on the gravel. Not everybody likes gravel. The first people hauled it all off again, but the later people after that probably weren’t the same people. The last one played some pretty good guitar on the front doorstep, looking lost, before he, too, finally departed to other pastures.

She drives a purple car. I’ve seen her around for years, but I don’t talk to my neighbors more than I can help because then they get to know me and they don’t like that.

So I was venturing across the street to the cluster mailbox, which I do either when it’s dark or when no one is around usually, and she drove up and addressed me as m’lady and asked whether she could speak to me, very nice, and I thought what, that woman who clerks at the grocery store calls me m’lady, and now there is another one?

I worked out later that this is probably the same person. Meanwhile, I did what I usually do these days when confronted by inexplicable behavior, and acted like we are actually people who know each other. Usually works.

She told me about a grey pit bull, who had been abandoned by whoever was ultimately living in her rental house, and how she’d kept the dog for two weeks, and she already had two dogs, and just couldn’t keep her, and she knew the grey pit bull was friends with Falcor, and wondered whether I would like to adopt her? She was going to have her spayed this week.

I was left wondering what Falcor had been up to when I wasn’t paying attention, because I sure didn’t remember a grey pit bull. I said no, I wasn’t in the market for a dog right now, sorry.

The director of our animal shelter here, Angela, whom I admire no end, has told me that most of the pit bulls who come in abandoned, and there are a lot of them, are really sweet. And she and her staff probably have to kill more pit bulls and mixes than any other breed, because there are just so, so many.

I thought about this as I said no thank you, I don’t want your dog, and felt bad for this sort-of-neighbor, doomed to be stuck sending this dog to the shelter where her chances would be dim, with only a ten or twelve percent adoption rate, and rescues not good for pit bulls either, though Angela spends her day off driving dogs all over this part of the country to rescues, so they won’t have to kill so many.

I was out selectively line trimming the easement today. I cut selectively, I only kill those who are too out of hand, too unattractive, too prickly. I get cited if I don’t cut it at all. The culture forces us to make bad choices.

My purple car acquaintance drove by and stopped. “I found the dog a home!” she yelled.

“Great!” I yelled back. “Good work!”

And she sailed off, in her purple car, optimism intact.

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