Reasons for which, to those of you who know me and understand the depths of my affection for our quadrupeds, will become apparent as you read on.
Michael & I moved "to the country" last year. Ok, so we live in a rural subdivision. But there are no street lights, and there's a cornfield one house over...honest. And it's quiet here, other than the nearly incessant lawnmowers of the proverbial "Joneses." And while we generally enjoy country living, there are a couple of drawbacks.
The most frequently noticeable drawback is the lack of deliverable pizza, namely, Glass Nickel. We miss Glass Nickel. I'm sure they experienced a marked decrease in revenue after we moved late last year. However, the drawback we're concerned with here today is, as alluded to above, bumpkins. I have such an aversion to bumpkins that I don't even know if I'm spelling their moniker correctly. Most of our neighbors are very nice, however....
Specifically, on my drive home tonight, I very nearly squashed a medium-sized black and white dog of nondescript breed in front of a farmhouse. The same farmhouse that, not 3 weeks ago, featured a large sign out front: "Puppies for sale." Again, no breed specified. As the dog crossed in front of me, I honked my horn for several seconds to alert the person I could see going into the house to the fact that I had narrowly avoided killing her pet. Apparently, this was of no concern, however. She merely continued on into the house after barely glancing in my (and the dog's) direction, as the dog frolicked in the cornfield across the street.
I will never understand this. We have a fenced yard, MANY leashes and, if all else fails, microchips. We take every precaution against our dogs getting lost or injured. Meanwhile, the farmer down the street can't even be bothered to retrieve her loose dog who, in addition to being in danger itself, was creating a hazard for me. The puppies must have been an "income-producing" measure, since she seems to be not that fond of dogs.
I have called the sheriff several times about a "small animal auction" that I pass most nights coming back to the country from work. They have a large pasture full of many different kinds of animals-- goats, donkeys, ponies (or maybe mini horses?), geese, you name it. The first time I saw a loose goat next to the road, I took great pains to stop and inform the bumpkins about it. "You here about the goat? You're about the 20th person today. Once he gets big enough, he won't be able to slip out. Don't worry, he won't go in the road." What? Did the goat tell you he wasn't interested in crossing the road? I no longer stop-- just call the relevant authorities in the hopes that someday these people will get the message: it's a hazard to the animal, as well as to passing motorists.
Now I realize that it's not only country-dwellers who can be irresponsible with their pets. We went nearly every summer evening for 5 years to a dog park near a busy interesection in enlightened Madison, and rarely did a night go by when we didn't see someone let their dog-- unleashed-- right out of the park to head to the car, despite the signage saying, "Leash dogs before exiting." As if that weren't common sense in the first place!
Whatever the locale, there is no excuse for this irresponsible behavior. It is a sad comment on society-- and the role of individual responsibility in our society-- when so many people don't take better responsibility for the living creatures they profess to love.