How is it that someone else's good deed suddenly becomes my problem? Because I speak before I think and I never follow the one truth - the only truth - that I hold to be self-evident, never changing and always, well, true: "No good deed goes unpunished."
Yesterday, my neighbor found two stray dogs. These are lovely dogs that appear to be clean, groomed and very friendly.They did not, however, have either collars or tags. Of course, young Michael had to get involved. We asked the neighbors if they knew who owned these dogs, but no one did.
Shortly thereafter, the dogs got away from my neighbor and ran away down the street. We thought, "Okay, they will find their way home. Problem solved." Michael, the animal lover, was concerned though and took off after the dogs on his bike, promising to only go a couple of blocks and then come straight home.
A bit of time passed and just as I was getting that annoyed feeling of having to go and find my son, I saw a car in front of my neighbor's house and a cute couple getting out holding the dogs. Michael was jumping up and down, very excited. I was a bit perplexed as to why the dog's owners would be coming back to our street, but said to the young man, "Oh good. You found your dogs!"
"These aren't my dogs! I stopped my car to help this little boy catch his dogs! I didn't know I was helping him catch strays! If these aren't your dogs, is this your son?" Poor guy. Hopefully he'll follow that self-evident truth from now on.
We put the dogs back into my neighbor's garage and Michael and Margie (the heretofore unnamed neighbor) set off in the car and went door-to-door looking for the owners. I went inside to have dinner.
About an hour later they returned. No owner, but one stranger had given Margie some food for the dogs. "Everyone was so nice even though I know I interrupted some people's dinners." Margie said.
I'm still not really clear on what happened next, but the next thing I knew, I was on my way to Margie's house to get the dogs to put in my garage. I must have dozed off in the middle of the conversation.
Like I said, these are really nice dogs. One is a male pomeranian and the other is larger, a female spaniel of sorts. This morning they barked and we took them into the backyard so they could go to the bathroom. There was no problem with my two dogs except for Hank who seems to have missed the memo explaining that he no longer has studly abilities because he was trying his best with the spaniel. "Hank! Stop it!" I said. "It's okay Mommy, they're just playing!" Red flag?
By eight a.m., we had papered the neighborhood with Found Dog signs and posted notices in both supermarkets. By nine-thirty, no calls.
Shortly past 10, I was on the phone with a friend and Michael came running in in a panic! "Emergency, Mommy! Really! It's an emergency!" I hate being interrupted when I'm on the phone; all you moms out there know that that's the only time our kids suddenly need to talk to us! "This better be an emergency! There better be blood involved!" My usual response.
"There is blood, Mommy! The big dog is bleeding from her rear end and the other dog keeps licking it! Come now, Mommy! You have to fix it!"
There are just some things even a Mommy can't fix. Unless that Mommy is also a veterinarian...
About 11 o'clock, we took the dogs up to the SPCA to have them scanned for a chip. No chip. "What should I do now?" I asked the nice lady. "We can't take them here because we don't know if they've had their shots. You can take them to the county pound if you want. Here are the directions, but you do realize that it's a kill facility don't you?"
"KILL?" Michael started crying.
I stood there thinking, "Really? You're really doing this to me? I'm just fricking trying to do a good fricking deed and now you have my son thinking that I'm going to kill these dogs?"
We drove away with me thinking about dogicide and cursing under my breath about irresponsible dog owners.
"Why do some dogs bleed, Mommy?"
"It means they are ready to have puppies."
"But why do they bleed?"
"It lets the boy dogs know that the girl dogs can have puppies." I was wondering how far into the sex talk I was going to have to go.
"Oh. It's good that doesn't happen to people. All we have to do is look our best!"
Skating that bullet, I could return to contemplating my options for Useless and Trouble as I had mentally come to name these dogs.
Finally! at 12:30, the phone rang and it was the owner. "Sleep late? Worry much?" I thought.
She lives about two miles from me and came to get Spunky and Nitro with her two teenage kids. I was gracious and said all the right things like "It was no problem!" "It's only what I would hope someone would do for my dogs if they got out." and "Have a wonderful day!"
Not "Tag your dogs! Neuter and spay your dogs! Because of you I almost had to discuss S-E-X with my son and for a moment he thought I was going to be a dog murderer! They were missing for almost 24 hours before you looked for them!"
Oh well. All's well that ends well. I did a good deed and the dogs are where they belong and Michael can ponder S-E-X (because you know that's going to come up again when I least expect it) and I was not party to dogicide. All in all, it's been a pretty good day!