I know it wasn’t my dog’s fault, I should have been paying attention. She only wanted to say hello to pizza guy, and who could blame her. I know better than to turn my back on her exuberance; we had after all just left the house; she was a bundle of energy, coiled like a spring and raring to go.
I grew up with dogs; we had a Cocker Spaniel and a Saint Bernard. We lived on a farm, they had acres and acres to roam at will,not once were put on a leash, and slept outside in a dog house. It was only on the coldest of nights, after considerable pleading that my father relented, allowing them to come inside. They were well behaved, well adjusted, and part of the family.
Without question fond memories of my childhood dogs were the basis of our decision to purchase a dog for our family. My husband had similar memories, and we wanted our children to experience the same. Just one small problem – we live in a city, have busy lives, and “off leash” rules.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my dog. She’s part of the family, and it wasn’t her fault. I thought for a few hours that my arm was broken but it feels a little better. The five bandages on my left hand are a nuisance, aside from the one covering where the nail on my little finger was torn off, and possibly one covering grated flesh on my palm; they should be gone in a few days. It’s not her fault I wasn’t paying attention when her joy at going for a walk, and seeing pizza guy pulled me to the ground. Boxers are strong dogs – it wasn’t her fault.
A city dog is not a country dog, and it isn’t their fault.
A coyote just ate my neighbours cat. I assume it was the cat, she has lost three in the last twelve years; one thing for sure – it wasn’t the skunk who keeps spraying my dog. I doubt the victim was a raccoon; they can be nasty, and the alarming battle outside my window was brief. Squirrels are out of the question, they’re safely tucked under my roof, chewing what’s left of my wiring. I’ll miss neighbour cat; it was a stealthy hunter, most certainly responsible for keeping down the rodent population.
Raised in the country we listened to coyotes wailing on hot summer nights. Not once did I see one. The odd deer nibbled the vegetable garden but raccoons didn’t live in our garbage can. Pet stores were the only place to see rats, our dogs were never sprayed by skunks. Aside from the unfortunate young bear who chased us home from the school bus, sealing its fate at the receiving end of my fathers shotgun- life was gophers and an occasional garter snake.
Now I live in the heart of a major city.A skunk lives under my front steps. Raccoons waddle up and down the street, squirrels live in my roof; oblivious to the cayenne pepper bombs I place in their way. Rabbits happily populate parks. A coyote sighting is not out of the ordinary, sometimes spotting them three or four days in a row. Every once and a while they attack a child in the park, or go after a small dog. Mostly its rabbits and the likes of neighbour cat.
I ponder what Charles Darwin would have to say about urban wildlife. I doubt these city dwellers could make it in the wild, without question sharing less and less with their country cousins. If that’s not evolution, I don’t know what is.