Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Canus Interruptus

Somebody had left a small dog tied to a parking meter, yelping miserably while they ate in a neighborhood restaurant. The dog had wound himself around the post once and come to the end of the line. His leash was only about a foot long.

At a window table, two women were stuffing face, doubtless comparing their cosmetic surgeries, completely indifferent to the suffering they were inflicting on their best friend.

What a rotten thing to do.

Dogs are not accessories. They deserve better than to be tied up for hours in the hot sun without water, or a pat on the head.

They could use a little love and loyalty in return.

I often see dogs tied to meters all evening while their owners drink themselves under the table.

Last week, we walked to dinner about a mile away. A Golden Retriever was lying on the sidewalk outside a crowded, noisy bar in heavy rain, too miserable to complain.

When we passed by on our way home about two hours later, he was still there. We stopped to pet him, and his eyes pleaded with us to take him home.

I wanted to storm into the bar and confront the dog's owner, but Flip assured me that it would get ugly.

"Nobody will hit me," I said. "I'm a girl, and I'm small."

He agreed that I was counting on that, exactly. "But I will have to defend you."

I accused him of being a wuss, but agreed not to bitch-slap the dog's owner in his presence. I can fight my own battles. I don't need a goon to protect me.

And besides, I know that karma will bite these jackasses in the butt. Just not soon enough.

In their next lives, they will come back as dogs with cruel owners. Or better yet, they will come back as amoebae and have to work their way up to being dogs.

If they are not human now, they will never be humans again.


Laurie said...

I agree 100%. That makes me SO MAD!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Maybe we could unionize the dogs. But we wouldn't charge them any dues. Dogs pay theirs every day, 24-7.

meno said...

Even those pictures make me tear up. I hate it when people treat animals with less than the respect they deserve.
I would have come to visit you in the hospital or the jail if you had confronted the asshole.

Pickled Olives said...

Oooh, I am going to bed now with thoughts of sweet puppy dogs tied up with shitty owners. Poor pups. Next time leave a note on the doggy like: Hey butt head, next time let your dog stay home or I'll call PETA on you!!!

thethinker said...

Seeing things like that makes me hope that my belief in karma and reincarnation (like yours) is real.

I can't imagine what it would be like to watch life go by around you, tied to a parking meter. I hope that their owners get to experience something similar to that at least once in their lifetimes.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You may have to visit me in jail yet. Periodically, I get into arguments with strangers about hitting their dogs or children in public. Both should be jailable offenses.


Great idea! I once called the humane society about a neighbor whose puppy was tied up on their front stoop All Day long. I was told that they didn't have the manpower to investigate, so I cut the dog loose after dark and took it home. After a few days, I found it a better family.

I did not feel guilty at all.

That was when we owned a house, and I could do such things. Maybe it's time to Let Go and Let PETA now.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I didn't skip you. We were posting at the same time.

Great minds and all that...

I can't imagine what makes people think it's okay to treat an animal like that. Or to leave them in cars all day. Why don't they just get stuffed toys so they can put them back on the shelf when they're through playing with them?

About reincarnation: I actually believe that bad people will probably come back as humans again, but they will suffer in some way that corresponds to the suffering they caused in this life.

It may very well require human understanding to learn their lessons, without which there would be no point in anything.

Lex said...


What does an amoeba do to earn good time credit? I asked a Buddhist this about a plant once. He couldn't tell me.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Well, if it doesn't cause amoebic dysentery, that would be good.

And considering how they reproduce, they probably never have wars, or rape each other.

Being an amoeba might be a pretty good gig. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

Thailand Gal said...

I agree. That kind of behavior is just the height of absolute self-centeredness. Geez, it's practically sociopathic!

My dog is a tiny little girl. You know, the kind that Paris Hilton carries around as an accessory. That really ticks me off, too.

All of us would have pooled our money to get you out of jail. :)



heartinsanfrancisco said...


That's so good to know, about bailing me out. Save those pennies. You may get your chance yet.

The Law Fairy said...

heart, I would've had your back, legally speaking, if it had gone down at the bar.

I will never understand "people" who mistreat dogs. I have a theory about dogs: I think dogs may in fact be angels sent to earth to watch over us and in some sense to test us. It's the only explanation I can think up for why God allows such amazing creatures to hold a subservient position in our world.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Law Fairy,

I've always thought there was something fishy about it, too. That's as good an explanation as any. Dogs blow their own cover by understanding so much more than they are given credit for.

I wonder about human arrogance which holds that we are at the pinacle of Creation, and that all other beings are somehow lesser. This has never made sense to me from any point of view. Many species have abilities far superior to ours, and if we did not have thumbs, we would probably be further down on the roster.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Shocking behavior by the dog owners. I share your indignation at their lack of sense. Wish there was someway of making them take an exam before allowing them to have pets.

Judith said...

my butt is firmly on the dog bench as far as pets are concerned. It makes my heart break seeing those pictures. What a joy it would be to behold seeing these cruel bastards tied to a lampost for a few days with no food water and lying in their own filth, thats the way forward with them............ Poor doggies :o(

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I was leaving you a comment at the very same moment you were visiting here. :)

I have always thought that exams should be required for parenting and for having pets.

Some people don't have the wit to take care of themselves, even.


Tied to a lamppost with no food or water, lying in filth. Oh, now you're talking.


Odat said...

oh wow...I hate to read stories like these...damn those people...hope they'll get tied to a tree with honey all over em so killer ants can get them....grrrrr ,this make me sooo mad.


Dan said...

GOOD FOR YOU for posting this. You're a real sweetheart for saying these things. My wife and I often see dogs tethered to parking meters, sitting in the freezing cold, looking so sad. It often makes us wonder why people would get dogs if they're going to neglect them so!

Poor little things.

jali said...

I hope the local news gets wind of it and films people enjoying themselves while their helpless pets suffer in the hot sun. Next shot: the well dressed "owner" coming outside to face a camera crew : film at 11.

furiousBall said...

That's freakin' terrible. My golden sulks at me on days that I don't take him on runs or go for runs over 5 miles (that are too long for him). He would never talk to me again if I hitched him to a parking meter.

Perhaps someone should start a but for these dog parkers?

Kevin said...

I know someone who has some sort of small dog. I mean really small. She uses it as an accessory ALL THE TIME. Always carries it around in the palm of her hand, little bows on it that match whatever outfit she's wearing.


Caleb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This boggles my mind. Your words and your images are very powerful. You can see it in those dog's eyes -- pleading, begging, hoping. It is heartbreaking.

As a society, we still have a long way to go don't we?

I love the idea that "karma will bite these jackasses in the butt. Just not soon enough." Who do we talk to about speeding up this karma thing?

Bob said...

Around here the marshall acts on animal abuse. I think I would've put in a call for the dog left in the rain.

Dogs offer us unconditional love. There are people that don't deserve it, and you've documented a few of them.

I'll testify in your behalf.

Liz said...

I see this kind of thing around here as well, except sometimes the dogs aren't so friendly and they're trying to nip at anyone who walks by. Regardless, their owners are completely irresponsible and I think they should be fined in some way for doing this. It's just wrong and unfair to the dog. Maybe a good punishment would be to tie the owner to a pole for two hours in the hot LA son or the cold San Francisco rain.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Honey and killer ants, yeah! Very creative.



Why, indeed? Are they really so stupid that they don't realize they're abusing a living creature? Or do they just not care?


You've given me a great idea. If the humane society can't do something, maybe the news people will.

I was interviewed on ABC news months ago when SF wanted to start charging for grocery bags. They finally dropped the idea, thankfully.

Thank you for suggesting this. I'll do it.


I love your idea in theory, but some of them would probably take it out on the dogs. After all, they're assholes.


Some of them dye the dog's coat to match their outfits. They should get hard time for dying a poodle purple.



If I knew that, they would already be amoebae and we wouldn't have this problem.


Thanks for the support. I don't think we even have a Marshall.

The world seems to be growing less humane. I don't see how this qualifies as progress.


Only Two Hours? I'm sure we could do better than that. Bwahahaha.

I think that when dogs are hostile, it's because they've been abused. Very few, if any, are born that way. The ones who should be bitten are their selfish owners.

Lex said...

I love the Law Fairy's take on dogs. I think she's on to something.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I agree. I've heard that theory about dolphins, but it makes more sense with dogs since they share our lives much more intimately.

And far too many of us are failing miserably.

Ryane said...

I HATE it when I see dogs left in cars and tied up, etc.. There is a guy at my gym who brings his dogs w/him, and leaves them tied up outside while he works out. I am always soo astonished when people walk by them without saying hello!! How could you not? They are the cutest dogs ever...and their eyes just beg you to stop!

MsLittlePea said...

OH! That breaks my heart. I love dogs so much. I don't understand why people do that to their pets. Would they do that to a kid?

There should be some kind of application requirements for people to have pets.....

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Some people are afraid of strange dogs. But the guy who leaves them outside for hours should be hung up on a pole by a very sensitive body part.

Sweet Pea,

Sadly, a lot of people do abuse their kids as well. See above suggestion in comment to Ryane.

seventh sister said...

That first dog looks so much like my daughter's dog it is uncanny. Her dog's name is Asha, which means 'hope'. That poor baby looks like it needs some.

EsLocura said...

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein sometimes humans just make me wanna hack up a furball

heartinsanfrancisco said...

7th Sister,

Sometimes it seems as if there is not enough asha to go around.

We can do better.


That's a great quote. He was one of my heroes.

Eat some palm leaves first and make sure you do it on the carpet.

katrice said...

It should be against the law. Meter maids would be more useful walking up and down writing tickets for THIS!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


A brilliant idea! But the city makes millions of dollars every year in parking violations, so they're not about to change their evil ways.

If the humane groups could get some kind of legislation passed that would fine people for such animal abuse, it would be wonderful. Unfortunately, it's not very likely, though.

Jocelyn said...

I wonder if the Humane Society has any clear rules of what constitutes pet "abuse" outlined somewhere. You could print them out, carry them around, and stuff them under the dogs' collars...

Sienna said...

Such a nice blog, nice, caring people...g'day everyone.

I breed and train dogs in Australia, it is distressing to hear of animals and children mistreated (and not appreciated) for the wonderful, beautiful gifts they are..(Love the bit about dogs as angels) sometimes you get the feeling they may know us even a little better than we know ourselves?

I love my dogs very much, all my animals and kids, thank goodness people like you guys are around and voice the wrongs...I do think laws and legislation and education are improving things slowly, I know I get to be the ripple affect here in my little corner of the world, and we adopt any creature that may want for a safe person's voice does make a difference, good on you all.

Heartinsanfrancisco, this is a great blog, love your writings, thoughts and humor!

All the best.


heartinsanfrancisco said...


I don't think they do, but I could certainly come up with some. You and others have given me some wonderful ideas.

It's terrible that so many people think it's all right to treat animals so badly.


Welcome to my place! I'm so glad you could make the trip.

Your blog is quite fascinating, with excellent photography. I was especially intrigued by the terrain around the opal mines where people live in caves or underground to escape the heat.

I have always tried to live closely with animals, especially dogs (and wolves) and horses. They are so peaceful and exciting at the same time. There is much that humans could learn from them, the most important of which is kindness.

Thank you for your visit, and for saying such lovely things.

urban-urchin said...

i get in arguments when people hit their children in public or are rude to mine- I may be joining you in jail one day

Molly said...

Ohhh! I wish your husband had left you off the leash to go inside and deck 'em!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I have also done that, but sadly, the parents often take it out on the kids. After all, they're already out of control angry, and now they're embarrassed, too.

I wish I could save all the abused children and animals out there.


They really need to be decked. Deckers R Us.

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad in jail with you guys along for company.