If there is one thing that rallies the fierce protector in me it is an animal in need. If there is a natural disaster, I donate money to care for the animals. If someone loses a pet, I donate money to the animal rescue organization. If I see a homeless person with a pet, I get the pet food or give the person money for the pet. If I see a dog wandering around lost, I will pull over and try to help it find its home. It breaks me to watch shows where animals are treated inhumanely. An episode of Hoarders where a woman has 36 cats, more than she even realized she had, most of them sick, all of them living in their own feces and not properly cared for drives me to tears and outrage.
So when The Music Man’s friend called me yesterday afternoon to ask for access to MM’s apartment because the dog was locked in the bathroom and needed to be walked I LOST IT. Granted, I internally lost it because I was at work but I quickly finished up what I was doing at the office and rushed home so I could let the pup out. He’d been in there since 11:30 the night before! It was 3:30pm when I opened the bathroom door. SIXTEEN HOURS locked in a bathroom. He had defecated, peed and thrown up. The bathroom was a mess with cleaning supplies (clearly not used) strewn about that the dog could have chewed up in his anxiety. There were fleece blankets for him to lay on but he had puked on them. I cleaned up the mess while the dog ran around the apartment looking for his owner and barking. I got it fresh water but he was too busy being free from that small, dirty space. I leashed him and we went out for a walk.
His demeanor totally changed once he was out. He peed 4 times in the span of 5 minutes. He would look up at me and wag his tail. We returned to the apartment and I tried to get him to eat but he was too playful, bringing me a toy and wanting to play tug-o-war. We played and I petted him as he tried to lick my face. I dreaded having to put him back in that bathroom but I had to go to an appointment then another appointment then to pick Kaply up at the airport. I couldn’t keep him with me.
With fresh water and food, I put him in and shut the door. He howled and barked and whined and my heart just broke. I forced myself to leave. I called both of The Music Man’s friends to let them know that we needed an alternate arrangement for the dog because his barking would disturb the other tenants besides the fact that it was just cruel to leave him trapped for hours on end in that bathroom. I left for my appointment and called my Mom who graciously and generously and without hesitation offered to take the dog for the night.
See where I get it?
I worried about over-stepping my boundary as an apartment manager. I’ve worked hard to hold a firm line with The Music Man in the past months, staying far away from any friend-like overtures because he takes any inch. But I could not stand by and not help that dog. I was doing it for the dog, not The Music Man. I got a hold of one of MM’s friends and he agreed that it would be best if I was able to take the dog which was all the go ahead I needed. I went to my appointments, ran home to pick up the dog and some food, and dropped him at my Mom’s before picking up Kaply and her 100lb luggage at the airport.
His friends say that The Music Man will be back today. They both initially said that MM was in the hospital suddenly. At first I didn’t tell them what I knew because what if MM was lying to them? But finally I was like, “Listen. I saw The Music Man leave with three officers late last night in handcuffs. I know he is not at a hospital.” Then they filled me in about how he is harmless and just went overboard contacting a person who has a restraining order against him. It actually made perfect sense given MM’s behavior. He is a bit over-the-top and has a problem with harassment. I’ve experienced it first-hand!
When The Music Man returns I am going to require him to have a back up plan if he needs to leave suddenly without the dog. A friend needs spare keys to his apartment and to be responsible for picking up the dog and taking him in or to boarding. I do not want to be the one who gets the dog removed from him as I know that that dog is his companion and lifeline in a lonely life ripe with a terminal illness and mental health issues. He loves that dog and takes very good care of him. . .when he’s not being hauled off to jail.
I know I’ve gotten too involved but like I said, there was an animal in need and my conscience couldn’t abide with me sitting by and letting it be someone else’s problem. If you see a problem, it’s yours. The world doesn’t get better if we all just watch from the sidelines.