I started to respond directly to this acquaintance with a story of personal experience, but decided instead to share it here and allow my friends, new and old alike to hear it all at once.
I'm feeling nostalgic and saddened by the recount of another "Lab-Pit mix" that once trolled my neighborhood...
My neighbor had a beautiful long-haired grey cat, just lovely to spend time with (this coming from a non-cat person). We would sit on her patio in the evenings on occasion and Sir Silverspoon would entertain us with his antics. He loved the backyard, his ‘jungle’, where he would crouch and loom while hunting the grasshoppers or butterflies and we would laugh at his clumsy and comical charge as he’d gallop onward in his attack. Sir Silverspoon was a tad over-weight, grace and agility were not his partners in crime!
|Note: This picture is not the actual Sir Silverspoon. This pictures merely represents a likeness to the cat described in this story. The photo belongs to SteamClan.|
One late afternoon a young man came through the neigghborhood with his beautiful black lab ‘mix’. The dog really was stunning, it’s coat very shiny, but what really made you feel either drawn to the dog or petrified to move (depending on who in the community you talked too) were his icy blue eyes. They could penetrate your very soul.
On this particular evening, the young man chose to allow the dog to walk obediently next to him, without a leash. We were accustomed to the man and his dog passing through nearly every evening and really gave little thought to it when he did. The dog was friendly, well-mannered and appeared happy to mind his own business. But my friend was in her front yard pulling dead bloom from flowers planted as borders along her walk. Sir Silverspoon had joined her, lazing and lounging on the warm cement of the walk just feet from Carolyn. She would toss a dead bloom onto her little tray and Sir Silverspoon would come to inspect the token as if to give his approval the bloom was infact ‘dead enough’. Then he would sashay over to rub along Carolyn’s thigh where she knelt so that she would know he did grace her meager effort to appease him!
Sir Silverspoon and Carolyn both were in their own little world when the man and his Lab ‘mix’ came walking leashless that evening. In fact, it wasn’t until they heard the man yelling for his dog that they even noticed he was in front of their home. Carolyn said it all happened so quickly. Sir Silverspoon leapt to his feet and attempted to scurry for the safety of the backyard, the dog cornered him on the front porch under a patio chair. Carolyn clambered to her feet and ran in their direction hoping to scare the dog away, as the owner passed her in a full-run bolt. Before either could reach the porch, the Lab ‘mix’ had Sir Silverspoon in his mouth, shaking him and thrashing him similar to a scene from the movie JAWS.
Carolyn screamed, she said it was the only way she could drown out the horrific sounds that Sir Silverspoon was making.
In an instant it was finished. The man had grabbed the dog by it’s leashless collar and began pulling him back from the porch, telling him to drop the bloodied and limp mess of fur. Finally the dog owner PRIED the jaws open after the dog was certain there was no longer any “challenge” left from Sir Silverspoon.
In her shock, Carolyn ran to the cat and scooped him up, running for the car without any hesitation or conversation. She drove away leaving the dog owner on her front lawn and a few neighbors gawking from distant driveways.
When they arrived at the Emergency Vets Office, she learned that Sir Silverspoons back was broken, ribs were crushed, one lung collapsed and he suffered extensive internal injuries. They recommended she allow them to finish what the dog started.
She held him in her arms while he received a lethal dose of pentobarbital and nodded off for one last time.
The staff was amazingly supportive. They helped clean him up, wrapped him in a blanket and placed him in a small box, similar to that of a ladies boot box.
Carolyn drove home in hysterics, shock and disbelief. This is when I first learned of what had happened.
She phoned me on her way home asking that I come over to help her prepare a final resting place for Sir Silverspoon. I couldn’t believe he was gone. I had just seen him that morning laying on the chaise on the front porch as I pulled away for a day of volunteer work. He flipped his tail as I got in the car, and I had giggled at the thought of coming back as a cat in my next life if I could have the life of Sir.
Now here I was being told he died a violent and horrific death, MURDERED.
When Animal Control arrived to take Carolyn’s statement, we learned that the man and his Lab “mix” had actually been a Lab-Pit mix. We also learned the dog was being quarantined because the owner had received an injury to his hand.
Carolyn’s story didn’t make a single news broadcast and wasn’t reported in any newspapers. Her day in court awarded her the cost of the Emergency Vet visit.
There was nothing more, no apology, no explanation, only an empty place on a chaise lounge on the front porch each morning and a multitude of unchallenged grasshoppers in the backyard each evening.
I don’t care what the Pit is mixed with. It’s a pit and has no place in our communities if the owners are so nonchalant about their own responsibilities.