So I have this dog. Ok, well, I have two dogs. One is an eleven year old Cavalier King Charles, named Scrappy (as in Scrappy Doo). He is a tri color, just so you know. Then, in November, I got suckered into rescuing a Rottweiler mix. Her name is Harley (as in Harley Quinn, from Batman). She is about a year old, cute as hell, and obnoxious as all get out. I’m trying to train her. Wish me luck. She keeps escaping out of our yard, into the neighbor’s yard, to romp with their dog, a little fluff ball of a mutt…and when I go over to retrieve her, Harley laughs at me. She streaks past me, fire shooting out from her paws, daring me to try and catch her..she will stop..look at me, laughing, and then, just as I go to grab her collar, lurch out of my grasp and run in circles around me. Much cursing is heard, as my sailor vocabulary comes out, as well, I’m in the neighbor’s yard, and I’m pretty sure they aren’t too happy with the fact that my dog is tearing up their yard and chewing on their dog’s toys. And don’t even go into any bathroom issues. I’m gonna have to send over a clean up crew later. Sigh.
Suffice it to say that Invisible Fence is getting a STAT CALL later. And I want our fence put on MAXIMUM STUN. Hey, don’t hate me. I don’t want my dog hit by a car or terrorizing any neighbors. DON’T JUDGE ME PEOPLE.
Anyway. Today some men were in my yard, doing some spring clean up stuff for the neighbor behind me..they had to point their leaf blowers thru my fence. Miss Harley was out, but I was smart enough to put her out on a lead, so she wouldn’t be four miles away, at the local brewhouse, the minute I put her out. The guy in my backyard came up to play with her…and in an effort to make her less afraid of him, took off his leaf blower gear and laid down on the ground. Harley began sniffing him, then licking him a bit, and they wrestled a bit. Wow, I thought, that’s sort of cool…what nice guy.
He explained that he had Bull Mastiff’s and that they were good to him but not to strangers..and we talked about our dogs..a nice conversation…and then he said it.
He said, “You know, I live in a neighborhood with lots of blacks in it, so I need my dogs. You just never know.” I was speechless. Me, the wordsmith, the person whose big mouth get’s her into trouble all the damn time–at a loss for words.
He said some more shit about how great his dogs were and then moved on with his yard gear and I went back into my house. Stunned.
If you don’t think we live in a racist nation, you’re kidding yourselves. I’m sure he doesn’t consider himself a racist. He was a nice guy. That’s the problem with racism…how hidden, how insidious it is.
I wanted to say…I wanted to say, how would your dogs react to my African children? I wanted to ask “Why does a neighborhood with lots of blacks in it, make it a bad neighborhood??” I wanted to ask “Why do we assume that a black person is bad but a white person is good?” I knew that all of this would be denied…explained away…I’ve heard it before from my “non racist” racist white friends (no–I have black friends! I’m not a racist!)
This post may not win me any friends. Maybe it will.
All I know is that we need to have a real conversation about race in this country. And our reactions to it. And I could go on here but I won’t.
Right now I’m too busy spending time with my crazy dogs. And my children.