Where do I even begin? I suppose a little background context is a good place to start.
So my dog, Mr Baxter, has a nasty habit of chewing his leashes. He’s pretty much the perfect pup outside of that one annoying, economically burdening trait. Most of my brainstorming for writing is done with a beer, on a dog friendly restaurant patio somewhere – so naturally he has ample opportunity to inconspicuously gnaw his way to freedom while I’m immersed in my journals and outlines. So every time he successfully liberates himself, I’m forced to buy a new leash. I’d get a metal one, but toting one of those around gets annoying and clinky.
Anyway, so the other day I left my office to grab lunch and run into PetSmart to return his latest leash. Obviously I couldn’t take him in because he wouldn’t have a leash on the way in. So I left him in the car. By the way, it was 64 degrees outside and I was only going to be gone for like two minutes. In and out.
Well as I return to my car, I’m confronted by a lovely social justice warrior taking photos of my beloved Mr Baxter in my car. So I’m like “um, what are you doing?”
The girl then proceeds to berate me and tell me how abusive I am to my dog, and that I was lucky she didn’t bust my windows out and next time she would. So I tried my best to explain how my dog is literally like a son to me (he’s all I have), and that he probably gets better treatment than most humans. She wanted nothing to do with that. Instead, she informed me of how illegal it was for me to leave him. A comment to which I responded “well if what I just did is illegal, then that’s a stupid law.” And I may have told her she was the problem with America, but whatever.
Anyway, I go back to work and mention my recent encounter on Facebook to get a laugh. Then, in my post thread, someone tagged a photo of my hometowns FB page where she had posted a pic of my car, license plate, and peacefully slumbering dog – telling the whole world I was a monster basically.
Naturally, as these things always do, there was a huge outcry of differing opinions. Most were pretty reasonable thank god, stating that he looked fine. So I then commented her public post myself and explained what had happened.
That’s when the business went down.
Suddenly an enormous surge of awesome, logical folks came to my defense. It was amazing, and I’m still speechless at how good it felt to have so many kind hearted people to have my back.
The post has since been deleted. But now, at the behest of some of these community members, we are going to host a #vivamrbaxter event where people can bring their dogs, have fun, and get educated on the legal standpoint of this type of thing. Like when you can and cannot be a hero.
Point is, now the community has turned what could have been an overly dramatic fight into something that will raise money for animals, and everyone wins.
That, if I may say so myself, is how the world should work.
I freaking love my city.