Last night, we lit the first Hanukkah candle, but I'm afraid this post isn't going to be exactly festive. You know I don't often go into rants here on the blog, so I hope that this time you will just bear with me, because I believe I have a good reason to complain. Besides, I really need to let off some steam.
Yesterday after lunch, we managed to get a really nice, lazy Shabbat nap. Then, some time later, we woke to the sound of barking outside our window. My first thought was, "oh no, the dog got loose". But when I pulled the curtain aside, I realized two things: 1) the dog isn't mine, and 2) one of our goats is pressed into a corner of the balcony, trembling from head to hoof, and BLEEDING from her ear. As soon as we hurried forward to rescue the goat, we noticed with a shudder that a chunk of her ear is actually missing. The poor thing was clearly in pain, and so frightened.
Well, it turned out the dog's owner was not far away. He took his dog for a walk, and simply decided that he'd let her loose for a bit, so she might get some running about. Unfortunately, she chose to run into our yard and maim our goat. If this isn't enough, when we confronted him we met total lack of remorse and utter defiance. According to him, he "couldn't be expected to always keep his dog on a leash". When we pointed out that we, too, sometimes let our dog run around with no leash for exercise, only we do it FAR from anyone's (human or animal) place of habitation, he had the audacity to say he "can't be bothered to walk too far", and that we are guilty (!) for not keeping our goats penned up. As if it would be justifiable to have his dog in our yard as long as no actual damage was done! Just to clarify matters, we aren't talking about someone old or crippled or very overweight, but about a young, lean, apparently fit man who looks perfectly capable of jogging along with his dog. This is just what is very accurately described by the Hebrew word "chutzpah".
He offered to pay "whatever expenses" we might have as a result, but naturally, nothing will repair our goat's ear. Of course, this morning I issued a complaint to our local authorities. A person who owns a dangerous dog and isn't prepared to be responsible for it shouldn't be allowed to keep one.
The poor sufferer, today. She appears to be eating with good appetite, but she doesn't get into everything as much as usual. Most of the time she keeps close to the house, and to me. From this angle you can't see her maimed ear, but if you have very tender sensibilities, you probably want to skip the next couple of photos.
I just feel like crying every time I look at her. She is so friendly, and a special favorite with us all. I've been giving her treats (cabbage leaves, banana peels and other such delicacies) and extra affection all day.
We called our vet and got instructions for disinfecting the wound, and today we emailed the photos above to her. Perhaps she'll drop by for monitoring, to make sure there is no infection.
It is so VERY crucial to be responsible for one's dog, especially if you own a large breed. Our dog is a pet and generally very friendly to everyone, but we wouldn't dream of letting her loose if there's the slightest chance she might encounter and startle someone, let alone do actual damage. I shudder to think about what might have happened if one of the children was playing in the yard at the time the aforementioned accident happened.