I am not a sideline person.

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.

How could you not help this little guy?

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45 thoughts on “I am not a sideline person.

  1. Oh! That poor puppy! And the poor, poor MM. I hope he gets the help he needs. 😦

    You are one of the best people I “know”, Siz. You make us all proud to be faithful readers, sista!!!

  2. You are so very right, sometimes you can’t just stand by, you have to DO something. I’m so glad you have a soft spot for animals, that poor puppy needed you! Getting thank you’s in the form of face licks and tail wags makes it worth the effort.

  3. Oh, thank goodness there are people like you around. You are amazing and I think it’s wonderful that you’re thinking of a plan for how to avoid this situation again. And, that dog? Is so cute I can hardly stand it.

  4. MM is lucky to have you as a landlord… that dog is TOO cute! Thank you for not turning a blind eye to the situation, and setting up protection for them both in the future. You rock!!

  5. You did a very nobel act, the poor dog did nothing wrong. I hope that he had a lowly time spending the nit with your mom. Music Man and his friends should learn form this incident and have a back up plan,

  6. I am a total sucker for innocent people in need. Especially animals and small children who rely entirely on others to take care of them. When that care falls through, and they are left with nothing, how can you not step in and help out? That’s not somebody else’s problem, it’s everybody’s problem.

  7. I am the same way. I imagine that within a few years I will have a reputation in our neighborhood as the crazy lady who picks up stray dogs because every time I see one I run out to catch it and do everything I can to reunite it with its owner. I have already done it several times and we’ve only been in this house for a year and a half. But I’ve been quite successful and I don’t understand why I’m the only one who does this!

    Anyway, my point is, I would have done the exact same thing as you, and if MM thinks this is a gesture of friendship on your part you will just deal with it then. It would not have been fair to punish the dog just because his owner has issues. And speaking of which, I can’t believe the cops took him away and let the dog stay there for so long. Such a poor dog! I’m so glad he had you to take care of him. And your mom.

  8. I don’t think you’re overstepping boundaries because in the most pragmatic sense an abandoned dog in your building can became a public health issue or at the very least a nuisance. At least where I live, it’s well within our rights to call animal control if we think an animal is being abused by another human.

    But pragmatism aside, you still did the right thing by opening your heart and caring for the pup.

  9. I would have done the same thing. Look at those innocent eyes… I just want to scoop him up for a big hug. We need more Sizzles and Mama Sizzles in this world.

  10. You totally did the right thing, Sizzle. I’m so with you on feeling responsibility to help when I see a problem, especially when it involves an animal in need. They depend on us to care for and love them, and that’s what we should do. Thanks to you and your Mom for being such caring and loving people!

  11. Oh my heavens, that little pup is so adorable. Poor little guy. Thanks for helping (and thanks to your mom, too!) him – and all the other animals out there, Sizz. πŸ™‚

  12. I don’t think you got too involved – every creature in that building, human or otherwise, is your responsibility.

    But maybe you shouldn’t ask me as I would have done *exactly* the same thing, which is how I once ended up forking over hundreds of dollars that I didn’t have to a vet at 3am to get medical attention for a dog that I rescued off the freeway.

  13. How could you not help a dog? I would have done the same thing. And you’re right, once you know something, you can’t unknow it. Something had to be done.

  14. You are a good person, Sizz. Thankfully, it was less than 24 hours that dog had been alone … and thankfully you did the right thing. Kind of makes you think twice about having a back-up policy for any tenant with pets, not just the Music Man.

  15. Thanks for following up with MM story. You are a good person. Not just for the puppy but for your tenant too. I thought about him and his dog this morning while I was getting ready for work.

  16. Awwww poor pup! So cute by the way.

    As everyone has said and I wholeheartedly agree, you’re a very good person and the world needs more people like you.

  17. “If you see a problem, it’s yours.” I like this. I tend to not get involved in other people’s business, my motto is “live and let live”, but you are right, the world is not going to become a better place if we all look the other way. Good for you!

  18. I’m so glad you went and go that sweet face. Everyone should do this sort of thing. Like you, I can’t sit by and watch and animal in need.

    Thanks for doing the right thing. Farty puggle! πŸ™‚

  19. Not wanting an animal without a home is the exact reason why I have a cat upstairs that I am not a fan of. I couldn’t just let my cousin toss her out so I took her in. I am hopeful that when she graduates in Feb she can get a place that will be okay for her and the cat.

    Glad to hear that the pup is okay.

  20. Ugh, I started reading this and knew where it was going and wasn’t sure I could go on.
    My heart would have been broken. You’re a good egg, Ms. Sizz, and I think you are working very hard to make sure boundaries are being set up while still being good and fair.

  21. thank you so much for being a good person and taking care of that doggie. that had me so worried. i would have lost it too if i heard that he was in there for that long. poor thing.

  22. I love that you combined compassion with practicality. Oddly enough, I am glad that MM has this puppy to love. Dogs, unlike people, tend to be perfectly content with undivided attention for long periods of time.

    That said, it wouldn’t hurt to have a “just in case” plan. In a way, this dog is MM’s kid. Parents need to have Emergency Care Rules in place. MM should, too.

  23. Pets, in a sense, are like kids who never grow up, and animals who have a human family (i.e. not strays) are dependent on people for getting their basic needs met. I think you would have been neglectful if you HADN’T helped out this little guy. You did the right thing, and I admire you.

  24. I am totally stealing the “if you see a problem, it’s yours” thing. I can use it as a defense when I get too overinvolved and help people more than I should. Only kidding! I promise to only use that line for good, not excuses of why I need to help someone even when I shouldn’t.

    I couldn’t have left the dog either. My husband teases me all the time because when other people are hurting or in need I just can’t let it be if I have the power to help. It’s why I don’t volunteer at the animal shelter anymore. I just can’t stand leaving the animals there but know I can’t take good care of them at home either.

    Yes, sometimes people need to stand on their own two feet, but really how bad could the world be if everyone helped each other and sometimes helped too much? I think better than the alternative of neglecting people/animals who can’t fend for themselves but are sometimes left to.

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  26. Aw he’s a cutie πŸ™‚

    We’ve always taken in strays too – any abandoned animal always ends up at my parents’ house. My mother’s a vet-nurse and so has always loved animals. I was raised to be the same πŸ˜‰

  27. Thank God you are someone who helps, you make the world a better place. And made a huge difference to that sweet dog.

  28. Oh my God, that poor little dog. I was so worried for him when you posted the first thing about MM getting hauled off and leaving his dog behind. I don’t think you got too involved, given the situation… you did exactly the right thing. I hope MM finds a better back-up plan for next time.

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