And his name was…

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A dog in our neighborhood suffered needlessly.

The first time I called Animal Control it was summer four years ago. The officer walked with me to inspect. The little white dog’s plastic, fold-together dog house had collapsed and his trash can had 1 inch of water, but he couldn’t reach it if he’d had a jumbo straw because the dog house he was dragging on his leash prevented him from getting close enough. The temperature was 99 degrees.

“See,” the officer said to me, “he’s got water and shelter. I can’t do anything.”

He was tied there from summer on through winter, 105 to 14 degrees, there he stood.

In the ensuing years, we’ve called Animal Control at least two other times. We went through appropriate channels. We’ve called the police once at midnight during a hurricane to help with all four dogs left outside. The little dog never barked unless he was in dire straits. That night he barked, and the officers came and solved the problem. It’s been interesting about the police. Some officers do protect and serve, have helped politely and confidently. Other officers showed their immaturity by blowing us off.

As a caring citizen, we fed those four dogs (one nursing mother with nine puppies) 20 sandwiches a day on weekends when the owners were not home. With their permission, we tossed the food in the yard because the dogs were so frantic.

Surely Washington can do better than this. Does the budget need to be reworked to include more help in that department? Neglected and abused animals need to be taken from their owners. We are a society that firmly speaks for those who have no voice. It’s not being done.

This last time, when I called the police department at 8 a.m., Animal Control was “sitting right here” and came directly to our home. The dog was in extreme distress at that point. She stated she would be back by noon.

By 4 that last afternoon, I felt so sorry for him I called the mayor whose office CC’d the city manager. If no help came by morning, I was going to skip right over the governor and go directly to the White House. If anybody knows about pit bulls our new president does. Even he is familiar with the inside of a dog house.

The following morning, the dog house was empty. Now, two weeks later, it’s still empty. I hope he died and they gave him a big parade in doggie heaven. He was the bravest little dog, without complaint. Only on the second day of a water bowl, empty except for twigs and dirt, would he bark.

This is not right. Oh, I almost forgot . . . his name? A name he never heard because he was deaf from birth. His name was Caesar. All Hail!

Jerrie Oughton is a Washington resident and published author of children’s books.