Sunday, July 17, 2011

The (Mis)Adventures of a Dog Named Louis

As you know, last weekend wasn't as we expected, nor very fun. We didn't get to go on the road trip we had been looking forward to, and we both suffered sinus infections (Jacob's lasting a tad longer since he's a smoker). The week was pretty average, even optimal in some places, and Friday started out much the same; operative word being started.

It was pretty quiet at work so I didn't have a whole lot to worry about aside from the giant hole-punching project I was helping my friend, Sunny, with. Jacob had a relatively calm, normal day until he jumped down 3 stairs and sprained his ankle (he insists he just rolled it but I've never limped around for 2 days on a rolled ankle. However, it didn't swell up so maybe he was right). Every Friday all I look forward to is a normal night with my family, and that is all I am really up for by the end of the week, so that is what we were having: a nice, normal, Friday night at home.

We walked into our house to find an unsightly scene, but not an uncommon one; the trash strewn about the living room. I had seen it coming, but the dogs had been such perfect angels since coming back from Grandma and Grandpa's that I took it for granted. I knew that morning when I used up the deli turkey and put the wrapper in the trash that I was playing with fire. I was so pissed at Louis that he was shaking by the back door; he knew the backyard was his sanctuary, but that he'd be out there for awhile. Maybe that's why he did what he did.

Every time Jacob cuts his hair, he decides he's going to grow it long again. Three months before we [re]met he chopped off 10 inches of his hair and donated it to Locks for Love. He's very afraid of going bald so tries to grow it long, "just one more time." Personally, I think he's crazy; he'll never go bald. But I do (gently) tease him when he grows out his hair although I never straight-out ask him to cut it. When we dropped Zoey off at Aunt Rachael's on Friday, with no provocation from me, asked to borrow her hair clippers. So come Friday evening, all three of us packed into the bathroom to watch Daddy shave his head (he's afraid she won't recognize him post haircut so he brings her into the bathroom to watch). As he was showering off, I heard the doorbell ring and as I walked to the living room, I saw two police officers walking away from my house and what appeared to be toward my neighbor's front door. I told Jacob what I saw and the first thing he said was, "Are both of the dogs in the yard?"

I opened the back door to find Durbin. And only Durbin. And there was no where to hide in the backyard. But there was also no way out that I could see unless he jumped over the fence. It was probable, but highly probable at best. I supposed if he was motivated enough, he could have. And earlier that evening, he had been perched on the fence barking at something. I immediately walked out to the front of the house and literally didn't hear a thing. And I knew instantly something had gone down; something told me that screaming out his name would be completely useless.

I walked back in the house and told Jacob that Louis wasn't in the yard. I walked around in a complete daze trying to figure out what to do. My first reaction was to get in the car as if by some miracle he had just wandered somewhere. Then I thought I should ask my neighbor since it looked like the police had headed in that direction. So I went over there but the police hadn't rang their bell, but, she said, "they walked around the corner." My first thought was, "Oh shit." I knew Louis was involved. I knew it with every drop of blood in my body.

So my neighbor and I walked around the corner to find the police and animal control. I was able to see just as a uniformed man was carrying out a small cage from my behind-me neighbor's front door, and people were everywhere. As I walked up, it was like they were all expecting me. The wife said, "It was your dog!" I said, "My dog? What happened?" Apparently this is what happened......

While doing whatever he does in the backyard after being punished, he found a week spot in the fence separating our yard from the neighbor behind us. His cat must have been spotted by Louis and then it's like every switch in his body turned to KILL KILL KILL! Louis busted through the fence and chased the cat through a presumed open door into my neighbor's house. He then proceeded to kill the cat in his bedroom. Oh, and children were present.

Animal control was called and the police showed up because of the commotion. At various intervals, Louis was almost shot by the neighbor, tased by the police, or clubbed by the animal control-man. Either way, he should consider himself lucky he was put into the animal control van conscious. Unlucky, however, for the animal control-man who prompted Louis to attack the front of his cage whenever he approached. He would have brought Louis back to my house right away but he had to get the cat to the vet; apparently he was hanging on by a thread. At the vet, it was the opinion the humane thing to do was put him down; he had a lot of internal injuries.

The good news: no person was actually harmed, and while people were afraid he would, he never made moves to attack a person or child (well, ok, minus the animal control guy but I think that's kind of understandable). He held Louis in mobile doggy jail for a few hours while he wrote up the various citations we would receive. I believe they total five, and that is including the mandatory court date. So, on August 2nd, I'll find out what my punishment is. It's time likes these that really make you wish you lived as a cartoon.

As you might imagine, I was pretty upset the entire evening. Jacob called his dad just to tell him what happened, but he was still in the city so came over, and agreed to take the dogs back to Columbus with him for an undetermined amount of time. By the time we went to bed, my eyes were burning and, as you could guess, I didn't sleep very well. Zoey was nice enough to not want to be taken out of her crib until 8:30am Saturday morning so that helped make up a little for being up from 4-5am. By Saturday morning, I just wanted to forget it ever happened. But the landlord came over to fix the fence, and the now cat-less neighbor had someone over to trim the giant, dead tree that occupied more of our yard than theirs.

People have warned us that there is a chance I might have to put Louis down; the fact that this all took place not only on someone else's yard, but in someone else's house, makes it a little more than dog-chasing-cat. And there was no reason for animal control not to believe Louis wouldn't attack him. He invited me to walk over to the van so I could witness for myself what Louis did when the animal control-guy approached. Saving me of having to decline, Jacob's father volunteered to go in my stead. I'm sure people across the river could hear the commotion from the van as animal control opened up the door. But as soon as Louis laid eyes on Jacob's dad, he was silent. And it was even he and Jacob who got him out of the van.

I guess you could say I was in shock, disbelief. I wasn't naive, I knew this was exactly his character. Just during his latest visit to Wyoming, my dad said they were lucky they had Louis in the house when a fawn walked through their yard; there was no doubt he would have caught it and killed it. What he would have done afterward, though, no one is quite sure. I know my Louis is not sweet; he has a definite line that new people cannot cross, especially if I am anywhere in the picture. He is loyal to me, and me only, and I am the only one who can make him shake by the door. But all of that aside, what he did was animal instinct, and now he is shipped off to no-man's land.

I hate to admit it - shit, even feel it - but after hearing how Louis narrowing avoided getting beat, shot, or tased, I couldn't help but think, "He fucking deserved it!" When I first learned of what happened, I felt all of the blood drain from my body and pool in my feet. At various times throughout the evening, I felt as if I were going to faint, and my lack of dinner probably didn't help anything. If shit didn't keep happening, I'd be able to gain some fucking weight! But that is beside the point.......

Aside from whatever happens in court, and if they say I need to do anything with my dog, I really have no idea what I am going to do. Jacob's parents have kindly offered to let the dogs live with them which is, of course, one of the best options. I don't even really know how I feel. I'm just.....pissed. And...disappointed. And completely shocked at how quickly your dog can land you in legal trouble.