When we bring a friendly dog or cat into our families, it is a companion animal and he or she looks up to us as a child, needing the care and attention we would give to a human nestling. This means keeping a close eye upon them, not allowing them to roam freely all over town.
This is the story of a pet owner who was irresponsible. As I was riding my bike back and forth to Laura’s house, I began to notice this friendly mid-sized dog with a collar around her neck, who would follow me a couple of blocks, then return to the same neighborhood she came from. One morning, there were dense clouds in the sky, so I decided to walk to Laura’s from Robersonville Manor with an umbrella in my hand, folded, in case of a sudden downpour. This same dog was running toward a man nearby, getting quite close to him, as he was clipping the grass in front of the church next door, getting in his way and making a nuisance of herself. “Go home!” the man exclaimed as he was trimming the grass around a pole, “Go back home!” Soon, her eyes fell upon me and she started running in my direction. I had never seen her in my neighborhood before, and she was probably lost.
She followed me down Main Street, with her mouth gaped open and her tongue hanging out, trotting recklessly in the middle of the street. An elderly woman went out of her house to walk to the mailbox, and, the dog catching sight of her, began running in her direction. The woman stooped down to pet her, then she started fumbling with the dog’s collar. The old woman motioned to me to come over. When I approached the two of them, the woman declared, “We really should find out who the owner is. Here is the phone number on his tag of her collar.” I took my iPhone out of my pocket, setting it so the woman could dial the number, handing it to her, but she kept holding the tag and wouldn’t take the phone. “Can’t you dial it?” I asked. “I can’t see,” was her impassioned reply. I bent over and got a hold of the dog tag, dialing the number of the Williamston Veterinary Hospital, giving out the number stamped on the dog’s rabies tag. “The dog is lost and we’re trying to find the owner,” I told the person on the other end of the line. She asked me for my name and phone number, but I would not be responsible for someones else’s dog. As I was handing the phone to the old woman, she said, “Maybe we can get her into my garage.” The woman was talking on my phone when I got hold of the dog’s collar and attempted to guide her towards the house. The canine began to struggle, dancing in circles as the collar entangled my fingers and started choking her. As I tussled to get my fingers loose, the dog buried her teeth into the flesh of my arm. We pried ourselves loose from each other and the animal ran across the street. “Your damned dog just bit me!” I exclaimed. The old woman left my phone on the ground beside the mailbox, chasing after the bitch as it was defecating in her neighbor’s front yard. I retrieved my phone and walked away incredibly angry.
When I arrived at Laura’s house, I showed her the dog bite and she put some alcohol on it. I wondered if the rabies tag was still current. When I called the veterinary hospital again, I told the receptionist that I had gotten bit by the dog I called about earlier, asking if her rabies vaccination was still current. The receptionist replied that she couldn’t give out that information due to confidentiality laws; I would have to call Animal Control to find this out. I immediately called those people, informing them of what happened. The officer described a long, drawn out process. A rabies vaccination, however, was sort of like a measles inoculation, and even though it requires booster shots, usually one will last for the lifetime of the animal. The officer would eventually inform the owner about the dog bite and the violation of the town’s leash law.
I used my iPhone and took a picture of the teeth marks on my arm in case I should need one.