Don’t care what the Chinese say, I’m calling 2021 the Year of the Rat.
2020 was obviously the Year of the Dog. The pandemic put us all at home. Heaven for most dogs. Free treats and walks all day.
We even picked out our own pandemic puppy when puppies were hard to find.
But late in this year, vaccines are finally “out there” to enough humans to put a significant dent in the threat. People who couldn’t get their hands on a dog fast enough last year are “giving them back“. Or in the most obvious of all rich people problems, complaining how hard it is to find dog walkers and doggie daycare.
Don’t worry, Carol Baskins will be fine. She’s “learning” how to be alone, and the wife has trained her to be a comfort animal. To date, she has been in the 7th grade classroom three times. No major traumas, but she’s done after a few hours.
“About 250 kids all want to pet her at once,” the wife and chief dog trainer said. “It’s just exhausting.”
I’ve been pulled out of my quiet little house to drop the dog off or pick the dog up — depending on which shift the pup works. It reminds me of the fathers in the pre-union days dropping their kids at the factory (a kid got paid less and would strike less, so fathers made their living dropping the family off at work, since no one would hire the adults).
Turn the clock a century or so, and now I’m the guy dropping his dog off at his wife’s job either before or after my afternoon nap. Yes, I have become that guy. It’s an effort to put on anything more than gym shorts or sweat pants.
But it takes a special kind of a son-of-a-bitch to turn a dog back in just because you’re back in the office and the kids are back in school. I’m sure there are people who had good intentions. I’m sure there are people who got a “bad dog” that bites or tries to kill the other pets in the house, or took a hunk out of little Johnny’s leg.
Sometimes shit just doesn’t work out.
But with these kinds of numbers, you know many if not most of these fuckers just couldn’t think past their own needs for more than a few days. They were lonely and bored and wanted company. They didn’t make plans for what to do with the dog when the lock downs were done.
Back to the “rescue“, or pound or pet shop they go. Older and nearly unadoptable. In 2020, when we went looking for a dog, there were only 5 animals to pick from — we took the one no one chose for 3 weeks.
I went on Petfinder today, punched in my zip code and there were 65 pages of dogs within a few miles.
I’ve given what I can to my one, 10-pound hound, I couldn’t look any further, and keep my human-to-canine ratio right. I don’t what to end up like my hill billy in-laws who have twice as many dogs as people.
I wonder how many of the 16 million people who have quit their jobs in the “Great Resignation” did it to save their dogs? I want to know those people. I quit two jobs in 2021, but I can’t say I did it for Carol Baskins.
Maybe we won’t shorten our work week or add tele-work for our own health or society’s good. We sure as hell won’t do it to improve child care. But maybe these lost dogs could be our ticket to a better work-life balance. Maybe Sarah McLachlan can sing songs that can make a death-row inmate cry to keep more people at home for their dogs.
Maybe we could have a mass movement to improve our entire society for people because they need more time to take care of their dogs...
Ehhh Fuck it. That shit is not going to happen. We are just going to be a pack of assholes sending our dogs back when it “doesn’t work for us” anymore. 2021 the Year of the Mother Fucking Rat Bastards who Abandoned their Innocent Dogs to a Probable Death Sentence… AKA “The Year of the Rat.”