I’m pretty much a nervous wreck today.
Tomorrow is the day I go to court to find out what the legal system thinks about our dogs. If you missed the explanation of what happened, it’s here. When I spoke to the animal control officer that day, he said that because I was so cooperative and polite, he’d give the judge a “heads-up”, and let him know that I was trying to work with them on this. I have no idea what, if anything, the officer has said to anyone about the situation.
On the outside, I was pleasant and polite, helpful and quiet. I didn’t make a big fuss and go off about the neighbors, because I knew that it would be counter-productive. Taking the high road, and all that.
On the inside, I was a bawling, mewling mess. I was angry – furious with the people we live near. I was torn apart about the possibility of losing our dogs, or having to pay some sort of outrageous fine. I was deeply depressed, because this was not the only upsetting thing going on in my household at that point, it was just the cherry on the crap-sundae.
I’ve calmed down, sort of.
The last time I was in court, I was a lot younger. I did stupid things in my youth (who doesn’t?), got caught, and had to fix them. But I haven’t been back to court for even so much as jaywalking in decades. I’m pretty straight-arrow.
Which also means that I have no idea what to expect.
This is municipal court, not district court, which I gather means that it’s not quite as serious. *shrug* It’s plenty serious to me. These dogs are members of my family, and they’ve been touted as being dangerous by the neighbors.
This is Jill. She’s 2 years old, and would rather lick someone and snuggle them to death, than hurt anyone. She still piddles on the floor if my OtherHalf reaches down to pet her right away on getting home.
I know that German Shepherds have a bad rep. I wasn’t sure about getting one myself before we actually got Jack. I’d had a scare from a German Shepherd when I was little, and was leery. I got over it when I saw this:
Jack. He is 5 years old now, and is starting to creak, groan and whine when he has to do anything strenuous. The basement stairs cause crying and yelping, due to joint pain that we’ve had to treat with chondroitin for dogs. He doesn’t even jump up to balance on the gate anymore to watch the people walking on our street. He lets Jill do the watching, and barks from behind the fence when she makes a noise.
Yes, he’s a guard dog. But a guard dog is different from an attack dog. Guard dogs bark and charge strangers that get too close to their property or look like they’re going to menace someone in the family, but do not bite.
Jack is a guard dog.
My OtherHalf recently took him to the vet, to get his updated rabies vaccination, and to get the new city license for him and Jill. He said that Jack didn’t make so much as a peep in the vet’s office, even when the vet poked him with the needle. He was calm, looked at the vet and then back at OtherHalf as if to say “What the heck?”
I can’t talk about any of this in court, or so I’m told. I can’t talk about how the neighbors have hated us from day one, even though we didn’t even have dogs when we moved in. How they throw noisy, alcohol-infused parties in their backyard, and have taunted and threatened our dogs over the fence. How they’ve accused my OtherHalf of sending threatening and harassing e-mails to them, even though they’ve never had any proof. And besides the fact that my OtherHalf has never sent an e-mail in his life, wouldn’t even know how to open the e-mail program on our computer, much less how to find an unknown neighbor’s e-mail. I can’t describe the many times that their dog has dug under the fence and gotten into our yard, nor the fact that when we got Jill, I took her down there to try to “mend fences” so to speak, hoping that the dogs could be socialised together so they’d get along, and the neighbor let her dog attack mine.
I can’t talk about any of it. I simply have to bow my head, promise that our dogs will not get out again, and tell the judge how we plan to make sure that this happens.
I’m not sure how many nerves I have left, but I know I’m getting pretty close to the last one.
Anybody have any idea how I can move a section of the Great Wall to North Dakota?