Monday, August 09, 2010

You Can Take the Girl Out of the Job...

But you can't take the animal control officer out of the girl.

My sister has always given me a hard time, because it's hard to go anywhere with me. I don't know if I attract stray dogs or if I just see them. I can't help it. It happened before I was an officer, but since I've been doing animal welfare stuff since I was 18, it's hard for me to remember if it happened since ever. Basically it happens a lot. I just expect it. And until recently, it's been very hard for me to just look the other way and drive by. I'm annoying, I know, but I usually try to track the dog down and leash them and do... I don't know what with them. Anyway.

I'm also annoying in general about animal stuff- is that dog on a leash? Where's that dog owner? Why does that have balls? etc, etc. If you know one of us, you know how it goes. If you don't know one of us, you're not really missing much, at least that part of it. We're great people, but it can be a little tiresome. I do all these annoying things, and I still know it's tiresome. I try to control myself- I've driven by a few stray dogs lately, really! The other day on the way home from a ballgame with my dad, I even let him drive by two pit bulls that I know I could have caught easily. I did ask him if he had leashes, even though I knew he didn't, and I did look in the backseat for leashes, even though I knew there weren't any, but I didn't make him go back, even though I could have caught them without a leash. Anyway.

I went to the Sonoma County Fair with M on Sunday. It was great. I took the day off to go, which is amazing- I never take the day off. But I couldn't help myself, I was still working. On the way up, I found out from M and B that rescue groups are placing intact dogs on spay/neuter contract. This is illegal in California. A friend of theirs, someone I respect greatly by hearsay, told a group she would only adopt the dog intact due to past experiences. I totally believe this person will neuter the dog, and that no breedings will happen. But that's how the conversation started- the group let it happen. And then M and B told me about other groups- they had no trouble rattling off three to five groups that also adopt out without altering the animals. M suggested it's cheaper for the groups- if an adopter takes the animal to their own vet, it doesn't come out of budget. But really? It's illegal and unethical. I pocketed this information and put my blinders back on. For a minute.

Then we watched dock diving, which was fun, of course. While they were doing practice runs, a woman was working her bulldog in obedience. They looked like a great team, and out of nowhere, a malinois ran right up to them. The woman grabbed the mal by the collar and kind of held her out at arms length, looking around in what I interpreted as panic. There were about 5 or 6 other people with leashed, amped, aroused dogs and no one moved to help. So I went up and grabbed the mal by the collar. (Who DOES that? Grab a strange malinois by a collar? Answer: a dumb off duty animal control officer.) The lady was like, oh, she'll bite someone, I'll put her up. Oh- it was her dog. Right. My friends were like- yeah, that's her dog. Whoops. I felt stupid. I later apologized to the bulldog owner, saying I didn't mean to grab her dog (a big no-no in dog sports) but that it looked like someone's dog had gotten loose and too close to her bulldog. She was chill about it, saying if it had been any other dog, it would have been a big problem. I even annoyed myself that time.

Later, we walked around the horse stable (see my very awesome horse picture below) and a meowy cat came out and made friends with B and M. I could not believe myself, but of course I found myself checking if the kitten was fixed. Of course the kitten was not fixed. M told me to take my hands off the cat, thinking I was taking the cat. Of course I was NOT taking the cat, but of course I was checking for spay scars. Really? Really?

It's innate. I may be burned out, I may need more days off, but I can't help it. It's like... who I am. For your time, Horse, double time.



KHB said...

You rubbed off on me a little! I tried (probably stupidly) to get the LA white fluffy.
And didn't you have to sign off on a code of ethics? You are simply trying to do the right thing - something that I have not always realized :)

Anonymous said...

Pen and ink is wits plough...................................................................