Tonight I was meeting some neighbors for dinner at Sidetrack. I rushed home from work so I could get home in time to let my dogs play with my neighbor's dog, Cali. But, alas, Cali was not home. Cali's owner was home, however, and was quite worried. Cali had somehow escaped from my neighbor's gated front porch in the early morning. Naturally I was concerned because it isnt the norm for a dog that has run away to stay gone for so long or at least it never has been for most of the dogs I have owned. I took Tasha and little Maggie for a bit of a spin around the 'hood hoping to find Cali but we did not.
I had to meet people at Sidetrack so I put my dogs back in the house and headed over to meet my neighbors at Sidetrack. But as I was walking by the Food Coop, guess who was tied up out front. CALI! A staff person from the coop was standing outside and I asked about Cali and let her know that she was my neighbor's dog. Right then Cali jumped up on me which is something I have working with her on but apparently not very well because she keeps jumping on me when she is excited. I gave her a stern "NO JUMP" as is my habit and noticed a woman standing nearby giving me a very dirty look. Then she said, "If you didn't want the dog to jump on you, you shouldnt stand by her"
I replied, "She just isn't especially well behaved all of the time"
The woman wigged out. Her name is "Hope" which I have to admit is something I find highly ironic. Apparently in her world, suggesting that a dog might not be the model of good behavior is akin to serious abuse. At any rate, I started doing the whole thing of offering to take the dog home and whatnot. Hope just wasnt having any of it. Others tried to convince her that a. No one told me the dog was lost, I just knew. and b. Cali obviously knows me therefore I am probably telling the truth about knowing where the dog belongs.
She just started some crazy ranting about how I wasn't fit to own the dog because she wasn't fixed or because she got loose and a whole lot of other reasons. I kept explaining that the dog wasn't mine. I probably shouldn't have but I gave her a little lecture about how sometimes one might not approve of how someone else is raising their dogs (or children) but that doesn't mean one can just take the dog (or kids) away themselves.
I went to get a leash to take Cali home and Hope, seeing that I meant to take the dog home decided to try to leave. I just couldnt let that happen because I was worried that if she left, knowing only her first name, no one would ever see this dog again. I know that my neighbor would have been heartbroken but the truth is that I really like this dog too and have been really enjoying having her over every evening to play in my yard. The only way I could think of to stop her in that moment was to grab onto Cali's collar. She tugged and I tugged and sadly, we hurt Cali and caused her neck to bleed. I deeply regret that since my intention wasn't to hurt her. I guess when the adrenalin is high, it is easier than one might think to be rougher than one intended. Still, I couldn't let her take Cali so I don't regret stopping her from leaving.
Eventually some very wonderful women intervened. They helped calm everyone down and called the police. I also was very impressed with the way the Ypsilanti Police dept handled the situation. My neighbor got her dog back and I wasn't arrested for punching Hope in the face. Mostly because I didn't punch anyone in the face. That was because of those two awesome women and because of the police officers timely arrival.