Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I have to go kill something innocent in the morning.

I come after you with not a shred of malice in my heart. I wish you nothing but well, but if I find you I'm going to kill you without the slightest mercy.

You have come where you don't belong, and you can do nothing but harm. I have already given you the only warning you'll get, and I hope you took it. Now I'm going to hunt you, and I hope I don't find you. If I find you, I will kill you.

I don't want to do that. Run away. Run far. Go be somebody else's problem. You can't stay here.
I've seen their tracks in the wash for a week or more. I wondered about it, but the boys didn't alert to anything out of the ordinary and I never saw them. So I wondered, and I waited and watched.

Today we finally met, and in almost the worst possible way. For them, that is. The boys and I took a ride in the Jeep down into the meadow where Landlady built her house, and there in the yard was a dog. I did not recognize this dog. There was no collar, no tag. Then I saw two more, a big black male and a brown female. From the look of the bitch she's either very pregnant or she's got a litter somewhere.

Hanging around the wash, and around Landlady's house - It's almost perfectly the worst thing they could have done. I have responsibilities. I'm responsible for the welfare of the boys, and for that of Landlady while she's here. I am not responsible for the welfare of feral dogs. And so I have to hunt them, and find them, and if I find them I have to kill them.

I gave them one warning. It wasn't really for their welfare, but for my own. There are peculiar things here - None of the dogs look skinny. They're not very afraid of strangers, or agressive. There was a dead rabbit in Landlady's yard, and it has been dead a while but they didn't eat it. That's confusing. I'm afraid the dogs might belong to somebody.

If somebody shot my dogs, people would have to talk me down from the blood feud. I fear the day when I shoot somebody else's dog.

So I made some calls, and the people I talked to made some calls, and nobody seems to know anything about these dogs. And now I've got the boys safe in the Lair, but in the morning I have to go hunting.

What it comes down to is that I don't beleve these dogs have owners. They're a feral pack. They're not the first, but they're the first who have come here. If I find them, I have to kill them. If there is a god, and if living things have souls, may He have mercy on theirs. And may He damn the souls of the people who abandoned them to me, so that I had to kill them.

Dammit, I like dogs.


KurtP said...

You have to do what you have to do.
It's not their fault they're where they are, but you have responsibilities to you and yours.

It sucks that doing the right thing is always harder than anything else.

LJH said...

Here's wishing a lifetime of bad fortune and misery to the rotten bastards who abandoned these poor dogs and put you in such a position.

Claire said...

I know it's a long-shot, given where you are. But are there any rescue groups that might be able to track, capture, and save these dogs?

Or -- last resort -- could you call animal control?

In our area, which is as small as yours though a little more civilized, there would be people who could intervene, hopefully without the killing.

I know you have to protect the property and the animals & I know feral dogs can be dangerous. But what if you're condemning an already-born litter of puppies to slow death by starvation or thirst? If there's any alternative to hunting and shooting those dogs, I hope you can find it.

Anonymous said...

Don't reckon my previous comment went through. So, I will condense to say that living in the woods and dealing with "dumped" animals can be a real problem. It is not the dogs that have trespassed upon you, it is the people who dumped the dogs who have trespassed. It is you who is left to deal with the issue. It is a real drag to be you right now, Joel. I know because from time to time I am forced to feel the same crap and I like dogs too.


Anonymous said...

You have to do what you have to do. People with livestock down here get decimated by dogs whose owners refuse to keep them under control. My brother in law used to lease his acreage to a goat herder. Well, a pack of neighborhood dogs (5) killed 15 of them and didn't even tear off a bite. Just killed them.

Brother in law took care of business next time they showed up, it was the goats or them. Just harsh reality.

MamaLiberty said...

We had two packs of feral dogs to contend with when we first bought our farm. They had been terrorizing livestock all up and down the canyon for at least a year or more when we got there. The first week they killed our old house dog - right out of the blue.

My husband and I set out some bait and waited in the early evening for them to come. We shot several that night, and more as they came back until, after about a week, there were no more coming.

The neighbors all praised our efforts... but we just wondered why the newcomers had to deal with it alone.

And yes, that canyon was a prime dump spot for unwanted pets of all kinds. I wish I had never seen all the bags, boxes and crates of puppies and kittens in various stages of death and decay. The adults that were dumped sometimes found homes, or died. There were just too many of them.

I do hope hell has a special corner...nice and hot, for those who abuse animals. Right next to the boiling cesspool of fire for those who abuse children and elders.

Joel said...

Claire, for you I'm looking into it.

Early results are not encouraging. The closest animal shelter is (or was in 2006, the last time the website was updated) run by ... Tamara. Remember Tamara? The woman with the faded CPO tats on her forearms, who walks like - and may once have been - John Wayne? She's not only certifiable, she's certified. No way I'm letting "her" near this place - it'd be safer to be overrun with stray dogs.

Claire said...

Tamara? Runs an animal rescue? I can picture her running an alligator rescue and personally wrestling scaly monsters into cages. But saving puppies ...?

I see the problem.

Still, other than being extremely scary looking, she seemed like a nice person in my few encounters with her. You knew her much better than I did, though, so I defer to you opinions.

Brass said...

I hope that no one goes to hell. Can we hope that? Is it still OK to hope what God hopes?