She Said She’d Shoot My Dog … In Front of My Kid

treeing walker coon hound

You learn a lot about your neighborhood when your dog slips out the front door and decides to take your family on a run through the neighborhood.

You learn there are folks who will recognize your dog and stop their car to help.

You learn there are folks who will stop what they’re doing to point in the direction they last saw him.

You learn there are folks who will grab a baggie of cold cuts and tempt your wayward pup with turkey so that your child can snap his leash on his collar.

And then you learn there are people who come charging out of their house to tell you they’re going to shoot your dog.

For being on her lawn (for the first time that I know of, I might add).

In front of your 8-year-old.

I tried to stay calm. I used “ma’am” a lot, asked for a little human respect and compassion as I explained our predicament. She didn’t budge. She insulted us for not having him on a leash.

Do you leash your dogs in their house? Me neither. But we did have leashes – two of them, in fact – as we tried to capture our dog, as we tried to do right by our pet and by the neighborhood.

And we had an 8-year-old who was out of her mind with worry about her puppy.

Actually, it wasn’t just my 8-year-old. It was two 8-year-olds who were worried sick that our dog was going to run out in traffic and be hit by a car who were faced by an angry voice full of cruelty and violence, devoid of neighborliness.

You see, my daughter had a friend over on Saturday, and in the excitement of one 8-year-old greeting another, the dog slipped out the front door and decided it was a good day for a run.

We grabbed some leashes and all ran after him. Me. My husband. My daughter. Her friend. Her friend’s mom.

We ran from lawn to lawn, yelling everything you yell to entice a silly dog to just come home already, would you?

“Treats! We’ve got a treat! Come here boy, and get your treat.”

Still, he ran as hounds can only run, his long legs bounding over fences and around hedges.

He ran into stranger’s lawns. I’ll admit it. He hasn’t yet learned the difference between “his” toys and my 8-year-old’s. Expecting him to know the difference between our lawn and private property is, well … did I mention we were chasing a dog?

And so he was on this woman’s lawn. So were we as we yelled in increasingly desperate tones, for him to please, come back to us.

We didn’t tromp through gardens. He didn’t do his business.

He simply ran, and so did we. Until we were stopped by a threat of violence.

A threat made to two small children who were trying to catch one’s puppy.

The irony that my daughter had just seconds before fretted to me that our dog was nearing the main road and could get killed by a car wasn’t lost on me. Here was a child anxious that her dog was going to die, and here was a human being threatening to make it happen.

Thank goodness for those neighbors with the cold cuts.

Have you ever had someone threaten to shoot your dog? What happened?

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