Need Guidance

I’m having difficulty going to bed.  I was outside with Spriggan, telling her over and over again to ‘Hurry up!’, which she was ignoring.  I heard rustling and turned to look, thinking maybe some animal was going through the trash somewhere.  I saw a guy sitting on his porch across the street and a few houses down, and I’m guessing he was eating chips or something out of a crinkly bag.

I kept waiting on Spriggan, and she kept getting distracted by the noise.  Then the guy said something, and I noticed there was a white shape moving around in front of him in the yard.  I thought it was a cat at first, based on its size, but it wasn’t moving quite right to be feline.  After watching for a bit (since Spriggan was now entranced by THAT instead of the noise), I realized it was a dog, maybe a schnauzer.

I tried to get Spriggan on the other side of a bush so that she couldn’t watch it, but she kept her nose pointed in that direction anyway.  I started walking inside, figuring it was fruitless to keep waiting, when I heard a yelp from that direction.

My first thought was that someone had hit the dog, but then I told myself to be reasonable.  Sometimes Spriggan sits on her tail wrong and screeches.  Selkie, one time, was rounding the corner by the steps as I was leaving, and in her excitement, she jumped up toward my hand, hitting herself in the eye with the keys I was holding.  Periodically, when we’re both near that same corner, she’ll yelp and dash away like I’ve hit her, but it’s just the traumatic memory, I suppose.  So I thought I was just jumping to bad conclusions and picked up Spriggan to go inside.

But then I saw this petite, thin white girl standing, talking to the dog, who was sitting (or cowering) on the other side of the man’s chair from her.  She said, “Get over here.  Get out here and come here.”  She reached in, grabbed the dog, dragged it toward her, and hit it several times on the rear — HARD — the dog yelping each time.

Now, we live in what I might politely call a keep-your-head-down neighborhood.  There are drug dealers and… just… BAD people in pretty close proximity to my house.  Even the high school kids who walk by on long smoke breaks in the middle of the school day seriously frighten me.  My neighbor says some kids throw rocks at my dogs.  If I saw that happening, I think I’d go out and try to reason with them first; maybe try something like, “Hey, I know it’s pretty annoying when the dogs keep barking at you when you’re just walking by, but they don’t understand that you’re not a threat.  Please cut ’em a break.”

[Of course, if I saw someone actually hit my dog with a rock, I would probably wake up in handcuffs, covered in blood.  I’ve often said:  ‘I’ve never been angry enough to hit someone, and I think if I were angry enough to hit someone, I’d be angry enough to kill him.’  I just don’t have the capacity for genuine violence unless it’s a seeing-red sort of situation.  I don’t think it needs to be said here that my dogs are my children, and I would protect them the way a mama bear protects her cubs.  I have never taken it as a given that human life is worth more than other types of life by default; there are some people who might trump my dogs in a ‘choose one’ sort of situation, but a cruel stranger versus ANY dog?  No contest.  That girl should be killed in as slow and painful a way as can be imagined.  I’m not being hyperbolic.  I honestly believe she doesn’t deserve to be alive.]

I say all this to say that I am frightened of people in my neighborhood, not just because I’m scared they might shoot or hurt or rob me, but because I’m afraid they might hurt my dogs.  If someone knows I called the cops on him, I’d be afraid he’d take revenge on them; they’re in the yard when I’m not home, and I worry about that a lot.  So, things have to be pretty bad for me to take action like that.

Back to the incident tonight:  I had a brief moment of self-preservation instinct that told me to go inside and keep my mouth shut.  But the overwhelming injustice of it just shot through me, and I shouted at them.  The guy was the only one to respond:

Me:  Stop it!  What are you doing?!

Him:  Mind y’ own bidness.

Me:  You can’t just beat your dog like that!

Him:  Mind yo’ bidness.

Me:  He doesn’t know what he’s doing!  [I was trying to communicate that the dog didn’t know why she was beating him, but it occurred to me that might’ve been unclear.  Not that it would matter to them.]

Him:  Mind y’ own bidness.

Mike had apparently heard me shouting and came outside at this point.  The girl had stopped hitting when I’d yelled, and I stepped inside, Spriggan in my arms.  Tears started pouring out as I told Mike, “She was just… she was just beating the shit out of that dog!  I couldn’t — I didn’t know –”  He started to say, “No, you did the right–” but I interrupted with, “I shouldn’t — I mean I kind of wish I hadn’t said anything, ’cause they know where I live.  I mean, they know which house — our dogs.  They know where our dogs are… But I couldn’t just let… I mean, I couldn’t NOT say…”

He suggested we could leave our dogs in for a few days if I’m really worried about it.

So I don’t know what to do.  About two things:

  1. Is there anyone to report this to who would actually care at all?  I’m sure the cops don’t really give a damn, and even if they did, what’re they gonna do — go ASK the bitch if she was beating her dog?  And if I DID report it, those people would know exactly who’d done it, which brings me to the second problem…
  2. Do I need to leave my dogs inside for a while?  And if so, how long?  Are these idiots just going to forget?

I don’t even know if they live there.  I’ve never seen that dog before.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything; like I said, I try not to ‘notice’ too much around here.  But I also feel weird doing nothing.  I mean, that dog is living with that evil bitch.

If anyone has any experience with anything like this, I sure could use some advice.


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