Yesterday I ran into a student teacher in my department at the middle school. She was running around the school, being sent from one classroom to another to “sub” – that is to say, to cover for teachers, one period at a time. There had been a run of bad luck; teachers had to go pick up sick kids, etc.. I guess it began early in the day when our young band teacher’s husband showed up at the school and took her home. Word had it that her dog had been poisoned.
This morning I saw her and, trying to be the good neighbor, asked after her sick dog. It didn’t occur to me that “poisoned” meant killed. (Is “murdered” an inappropriate word for a pet? To me, this is clearly murder, at least on an emotional level.) She told me that her dog was dead, and that someone had thrown poison over the fence into her backyard.
A few years ago, there was a spree of senseless killings in our community. Someone took it upon his or herself to go around a very family-friendly part of town and throw poison over the fence into yards where dogs lived. I don’t remember how many dogs were killed in this manner. I am fairly certain that the culprit was not apprehended. The band teacher lives in the same part of town. It could be the same person; it seems like far too much time has passed for it to be a copycat.
What kind of sick person could do something like this?
I feel just terrible. I was just trying to be nice. And I’m sure she wouldn’t take it any other way. But I certainly wouldn’t have said anything in such a way if I’d known.
And I feel sick and scared. I don’t live in that part of town, but it isn’t that far. Paisley doesn’t stay outside for any length of time, but how long would it take for a dog to take and eat a proffered treat from a stranger outside the back gate?
The band teacher is probably about my age. I imagine she and her husband are at about the same point in life as Ryan and I, at which point their dog was basically their child. Losing a dog or cat is not the same thing as losing a child; I would never claim it is. And yet….
I feel enormous amounts of disgust, fear, and anger about this. I have a hard time reading or watching fictional stories that involve cruelty to animals; the fact that this is real, and here, is so much worse. I like to think that I am a pretty spiritually secure person with a strong desire and ability to forgive, but this? I don’t even know where or how to forgive this. This seems quite unforgivable.