I stayed in the city last night. Slept in my favorite closet at my daughter’s little place. This morning, as anticipated, the woman who purports to hate her dog was up early, screaming obscenities through the thin walls. The dog is a little Corgi with the requisite liquid brown eyes, short fat legs, and wagging tail. It has no apparent way to defend itself.
According to other neighbors, the verbal assaults have been steady for the past five years, and include constant haranguing about the dog’s inadequacies and sins: stupidity, hair shedding, eating, drinking, looking, lying down, getting up, needing to go outside, and, well, being a dog. Strangely, I’ve rare even heard it bark.
The few times I’ve seen them outside, the woman walks close to the dog, yelling in an ugly voice. She openly declares her hatred for the dog, as if this will garner sympathy, connection, or even affection from her neighbors or passers-by. The dog looks innocent, but her ranting suggests such horrid behavior that even the most sincere dog lover might wonder about the incorrigible nature of this awful little dog.
So my daughter has orchestrated a rescue. She found someone willing to adopt the dog, and I helped her negotiate all the strange requirements necessary for the dog to move to a happy place. She chats up the neighbor most days now, tries to set a date, listens with patience and empathy, and waits for the dog to be handed over. She waits, and chats. And waits.
My daughter is too young to realize the enormous value of having something to hate.