Fate has stepped in, and as a result, I am now a new pet owner. It all started two weekends ago when my guy and I were playing baseball with his son outside my apartment (I live in the Field of Dreams, for chrissake). We noticed a dog on the second floor balcony of a neighboring apartment. The poor thing was trying to scratch her way out. Porches in my complex are screened in, and she had already destroyed a panel. When she saw us, her efforts became even more focused. I found out later that her owners had left her on the deck for over 13 hours (this is a 6-month old puppy, I must add). She ripped through the screen, then propped herself up like she was going to jump. I immediately freaked out, guy-I-date ran over to her, and before he could get there, she did just that...she jumped. Beautiful, brown little boxer baby just jumped off the deck like a kamikaze pilot. Poor thing just wanted to be away from where she was. She fell on her shoulder and it looked pretty broken when he got to her. He scooped her up, brought her back to my place and we doted on her for an hour while I desperately tried to track down her absent owners.
After we found them through my leasing office, I learned a few things about the owners. Dude owner is not only a deadbeat and hasn’t paid his pet fee, but he also is delinquent on rent, and there have been complaints before about his pet handling skills. Nice. As a side drama, my ex-cop neighbor answered her door sometime last year to a bloodied face of dude’s live-in girlfriend caused by an “argument”. I swear to Christ, I live in Jerry Springer’s backyard.
Now, I know the Ted Bundy-type abusers. These are the guys who are handsome and charming on the outside, dress well, act "normal" to the outside world, but are manipulative beyond belief and sing a different song behind closed doors. I've experienced that type in my life, for sure. They all have that “devil’ thing in their eyes. It’s your classic fratdaddy look with the Ted Bundy interior. This guy is one of those guys, and I seriously want to cause bodily harm to him as a result. You know that if he’s beating his girlfriend, he’s definitely smacking the puppy around without any conscience whatsoever.
After the kamikaze episode, it was the girlfriend who picked the dog up from my apartment, and she really didn’t say much at all. In fact, she barely could look me in the eyes. She’s your textbook abused woman, truth be told. Beautiful face with no trace of makeup (he probably doesn’t let her wear it), disheveled hair, cute figure with abnormally baggy clothing (textbook). She never once looked me in the eyes, instead averting them to the ground pretty much the entire time. I talked to the couple a few times. With the combination of their body language, the fact that the dog cowered every time dude approached her, and then my newfound knowledge about what these people were all about, I was peeved.
Now, I know I can’t do much for the girlfriend except befriend her a bit and hope that she wakes up in time to leave that bastard. I have opened my door to her in case she needs someone to come to, but that’s pretty much the extent of what I can do. Well, that, and I told my ex-cop (yet always connected) friend down the street, but who's keeping score, right? As for the dog, though, she’s now mine. I pushed a bit to take her off their hands, and I got her last Friday night. I’m not looking back. She’s beautiful, well-tempered, and so appreciative of her new digs. She rides in the car like a human, chases after tennis balls like a bunny, and has the best, most loving personality. I can’t wait to see her grow up.
So that is the story of how Tessie Larue came to be. Easter weekend 2006. For Christians, it's a weekend of celebration for resurrection. For Tessie, it was just that. She fell out of the sky, really. Kind of like a fated gift from the heavens. And now she has a shot at a great life. And, I've got a new shot at getting back what I've lost in the past canine-wise. At least I’d like to think so.