Monday, 17 November 2014

Dog In The Manger

I heard this story last night, and it's half-way between making me really indignant and incredulous - as in who the he;; behaves this way?! I know, like, and respect all the local people involved, went to school with their kids, that sort of thing, and I'm really hoping it works out...I'm waiting for the next instalment of the drama.

Now, this is a small rural community. Everyone knows everyone, kind of thing, and news spreads fast. The locals involved are all long-time residents, well-liked and respected. There's the Farmer, his Dog, the Baker, the CSA grower, and the Baker's Friends, as key players, as well as the Week-enders. What happened is this:

The Farmer has several dogs, and likes them, but can't give them a lot of one-on-one time - farmers are busy people. So when one of his dogs decided she wanted more company, and headed down the road to visit the Week-enders from the city who had bought a house for week-end visits, he didn't worry about it too much. The Week-enders thought this was the cutest thing ever, and took the dog everywhere with them when they were there on week-ends, having discovered the Dog loved going in the car. They took her to the local picnic, where she got into people's food. When the Farmer (who was also at the picnic) remonstrated with the Weekenders, they said "not our dog, not our problem". They also took the Dog to the Baker's when they went there to lunch every weekend, which she loved. There were people and other dogs, and it was fun.

The Farmer asked the Week-enders if they wanted to keep the Dog, since he knew the Dog wanted more company than he could give her, but they thought it would be too much responsibility, and they really preferred just the part-time visits. They thought it might be nice to have her in the city for a bit, but they had to bring her back after a couple days, since the Dog stopped eating and pooping, and was clearly unhappy and wanting to go back to the country.

The Dog, by this time, could find her own way to the Baker's, and went visiting there, where the Baker fed her and let her lie on the porch and socialize with visitors. The Farmer then asked the Baker if she wanted to keep the Dog, but the Baker thought her house was full enough with a husband and two daughters and a grandson and two other dogs and assorted cats and birds. But she offered to look for another home for the Dog, where she would have lots of company. It happened that the Baker's Friends, who she had known for decades, were looking for just such a dog, and they had acres of space, and another dog, and were home all day to pay attention to the Dog. So the Baker told the Farmer this, and since the Farmer also knew and liked her Friends, he agreed the Dog would be happy there. And she was. And the Friends told the Farmer this, and everyone was happy.

Now comes the kicker. The Week-enders, when they came down again, were mad as hops when they discovered that the Farmer had found another home for 'their' Dog. They stormed right off to the Baker's Friends, and yelled at them for taking 'their' Dog, said she had been 'their' Dog for years, refused to listen to anything they could say about the Dog being happy there and the Farmer (who was, after all, the actual owner) giving his permission, told the Friends that they had been planning to adopt her all along, and had made arrangements with the CSA grower to keep the Dog when they couldn't, whistled the Dog into their car and left in a cloud of dust. Then they called the Baker and yelled at her for  twenty minutes for giving away 'their' Dog, and told her the same story about their arrangements with the CSA grower. Now, the Baker and the CSA grower are neighbours, and his wife and her sister are good friends of the Baker's, and were there for lunch. So it didn't take long for the Baker to discover that the Week-enders had never said anything about their so-called 'arrangements' to the CSA grower, and he was not happy to hear about them lying about talking with him, or about them taking the Dog from the Baker's Friends.

So as it stands, the matter is thus: the Week-enders have essentially kidnapped the Dog from the people the Farmer approved as her new owners, claiming her as 'theirs', when they said previously they never wanted her full-time, (and when she was clearly unhappy in the city with them). They have permanently alienated the Baker, the Farmer, the CSA grower, the Baker's Friends, and most of the county, since the locals know and like and will support their own against the Week-enders, shocked and indignant at their behaviour. And the Friends and the Baker and the CSA grower have agreed that if the Week-enders do try to place the Dog with the CSA grower, that he will agree and then return the Dog to the Baker's Friends, and tell the Week-enders that she ran away or something. We are all hoping that that is what happens, and that the Week-enders don't keep the Dog until she gets ill, or worse, out of sheer pig-headedness. She shouldn't have to suffer for their behaviour!

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