6 Strikes and You’re Out

Ole Pops……

Ole Pops had aggression issues. Mostly he was super chill. Just hung around and napped. Once in a while came to me to get loved on a little, then back to one of his 3 beds around the house.

But in the 3 months he lived with me, he bit 4 people and attacked 2 dogs. Including a savage attack on my neighbors very sweet hound early Friday morning. The owner, I don’t like. Pops should have attacked him instead. The dog owner was understandably unimpressed with Pops unprovoked attack and threatened consequences as he stormed off. The dog was not hurt and neither was Tom. Just surprised and angry. Of course. He is president of our HOA so I will expect a letter this week. Probably a fine.

I was taking the trash bins out early Friday morning and left the door to the garage slightly ajar. Pops took advantage. I did not immediately see him because it was dark. When I got back to the garage and saw the door open, I grabbed his leash and went looking. I caught up to him but before I could get his leash on, Pops saw Winnie and was off like a rocket to start a fight. No idea why. Winnie is as sweet of a dog as I’ve ever met.

Who knows what demons Pops had to fight. What memories or past injustices fueled his random and seemingly arbitrary anger. I was about 4 or 5 seconds behind him and dove on top of Pops and wrestled him away before anyone was hurt. But clearly it was a pivotal incident.

After talking to my vet and a trainer and the adoption agency, we decided Pops just had issues that made him too much of a danger. It was just a matter of time before he seriously hurt someone or killed another dog. He was fine when I was by his side, but it simply was not possible for me to be with him 24/7. He was 75 lbs and could be a force.

So Saturday, we went to a nice park for a few hours. He sniffed everything and I fed him treats and we sat in the sun and then I took him to the vet for the last time. Really too bad. A tough call, but I am peace with it.

All big decisions have an intellectual component and an emotional component. Intellectually, I know this was really the only option under the circumstances. Emotionally, the decision to end a beings life is depressive. I called around a bit down home, in farm country. But everyone already has cats and dogs and most people have kids or grandkids coming around. Nobody needs the stress of a sweet dog with occasional severe anger outbursts that could result in stitches or worse.

So. Pops is moved on. Put a damper on an otherwise nice weekend. Brittany was in town so we had dinner Friday and Saturday night. We yukked it up a bit on Friday night, so Saturday was low key. Interestingly, I wanted to go to 3 Palms pizza joint in Beachwood. It was completely full and they would not accept any more walk-ins or reservations. The next 3 places we went, same thing. So, Pandemic seems to be easing I suppose. Or at least people are just fucking tired of being home.

We finally got into Firebirds and had dinner there. It was fine. Brittany is smart. Cool. Fun. I like fun. People who know how to smile and enjoy life.

Interesting times in COVID management. Vaccinations are really ramping up now, but so are COVID cases again. Michigan, our neighbor, is the hottest spot in the country. So it seems we may wind up with a lot of vaccinated people who will continue to be at risk (albeit significantly lower risk) because of the knuckleheads who refuse to get vaccinated. Of which I have met a few.

I get my 2nd shot of Pfizer vaccine this morning. By most accounts, we will most likely live with this virus for many years to come. Between rapidly evolving variants and people who refuse to get vaccinated, it appears this virus will find willing hosts for quite a long time. Which means it will take a while yet before we get clear guidance in travel and social protocols.

In other news, one of my young sponsor charges in Namibia left me an interesting voice note over the weekend. I am sponsoring Justine’s expenses while she fulfills a 6-month internship with a company in Windhoek. These internships are highly coveted and very difficult to get. Justine had exceptional credentials and was accepted a couple of months ago. However, it does not pay enough to cover living expenses in the capital, so I agreed to help. In her voice note, in which I could hear her frustration and emotion, the company was charging her for a mistake she made in a calculation. This company supplies wood products and often the wood is ordered to be cut to specific dimensions. Apparently she either transposed into the system incorrectly or otherwise made an error that resulted in some wood pieces being cut improperly and she got the bill. It is a horrific way of running a business of course. To penalize young kids. Anyone really, for normal mistakes. And they can get away with it so they do. It was around $75USD and it was time for my normal monthly transfer anyway so I added that to the deposit into her account.

It is just maddening that this type of behavior is allowed. Imagine if every time one of us made a mistake, which we all do routinely, we were made to pay a penalty. I wonder if the CEO and his immediate reports are made to pay for their mistakes? I assume not. Anyway, Justine is already looking for what comes next and hopefully she finds something with a different company. She comes from a very very poor and difficult background. So whatever money she does manage to make will be used to help support her parent’s and younger siblings. It is the African way.

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