Friday, November 26, 2010
Last Rites For A North Minneapolis Pit Bull...
Photos and blog post by John Hoff
This is not a happy story about a dog. If you are quite sensitive and would find a dark story about the death of a canine too disturbing to bear, you won't want to click the "Read More" and read the rest...
But I see you're not that kind of person. Fine, then.
It was Thanksgiving morning and everybody had places to be: I needed to pick up my son in the affluent south suburb where he lives, for four days of visitation. My girlfriend, North Minneapolis super citizen Megan Goodmundson, was making green beans almondine with maple dijon dressing for the police officers at the Fourth Precinct, and some chocolate dipped orange clementines for good measure. Really, nothing is too good for our cops.
We were going from Point A To Point B, crossing the intersection of 26th and Emerson, when Megan spotted a large dog laying on the sidewalk, looking dead or injured. Megan stayed in the car while I got out to deal with whatever was dead, dangerous and/or gross.
The dog was indeed dead, and frozen stiff, but not frozen solid. His eyes were open and the palest shade of blue. His tongue was extended. There was no blood, no sign of a wound, but there he lay dead. The dog was obviously NOT NEUTERED, with testicles like a woman's handbag.
Megan called the police, but the dispatcher said Animal Control wouldn't be around until Saturday.
"So this dog is supposed to lay on the sidewalk for two days?!" Megan asked, in a tone of disbelief.
Affirmative. Nothing could be done until Animal Control returned on Saturday. Megan wanted to be mad, but it wasn't the fault of the dispatcher. But having this big, dead dog lay on the sidewalk for two days over the Thanksgiving holiday, in plain sight of a major intersection wasn't acceptable.
It was time to take matters into our own hands: we obtained a heavy duty black contractor bag and I scooped up the dog for transport to a more private and controlled location. All of the great outdoors would be a meat cooler until Saturday, when a pickup could be arranged, hopefully, with Animal Control. As I bagged up the dog, I saw his body heat had melted through to a patch of sidewalk.
So, clearly, he'd been alive when he laid down and died. Even on the "sidewalk side" of the animal, I didn't see any wounds or blood. Perhaps he'd been hit by a vehicle, sure, but the injury wasn't obvious. I wondered how long he laid like that, how much pain he experienced, and what exactly had happened.
Incredibly, I thought I recognized the dog: it looked like the exact same pit bull I'd called about in an incident on the Jordan Pond, click here.
As rough as those last rites were, as unpleasant as the task was on Thanksgiving morning, I took some quantum of solace in the belief I was showing that animal more kindness and decency in its death than it may have received during its life. Just as important to me: my neighborhood is not a ghetto where a dead pit bull lays in the street for days at a time. My neighborhood is nice and getting nicer every day. When something bad happens, there are decent people who will not hesitate to take matters into their own hands, and do something.