Nearly thirty years ago, I was living through a particularly rough patch of life. My husband and I were divorcing. All the usual ugliness that comes with divorce was going full force. My family was literally diminishing before my eyes. My oldest son was in the Navy on board the USS Forrestal which was in the Persian Gulf that summer of 1988. My daughter was newly graduated from high school and spreading her wings at Lake of the Ozarks, staying with my closest friend and even so I was worried but knew she needed to experience life without Mom. Number two son had been on probation for truancy and expelled for a month. I had to work, there was no staying around to watch him and no one else was offering help, except the good friend at Lake of the Ozarks. So, that’s where he went and was doing really well.
Although, I had informed his juvenile officer of the situation, at my son’s next hearing they took him from my custody and threatened to have me incarcerated for taking him outside the St. Louis County borders. So there is number two son in juvenile hall. This leaves only me and my youngest son at home. While I worked he was watched by a fifteen year old neighbor boy and his mother. I trusted the young man and allowed him and my son to go back and forth from my house to theirs.
We had a good little watch dog named Pepper. He was a barker but only when things were not right in his radar. In Ferguson, MO there was an ordinance against noise after 9pm. Pepper had been barking every night after 9pm for about a week. Though I tried to find the reason this dog was acting up, there was nothing I could find. The city issued me a warning to get the dog to be quiet. I brought him into the house and still he barked and again I could see nothing but knew he was sensing something.
Shortly, I was given a summons to appear in court for violation of the ordinance. No matter my defense that he was barking at someone prowling around, I was fined $150 and/or one year in jail. This was impossible, so they offered to expunge the fine and possible jail time if I got rid of the dog. I know there are many right now saying NO! I felt the same. However, I did give Pepper up and broke my little boy’s heart. He is now nearly 37 and still feels that hurt.
Very shortly after Pepper was gone and in broad daylight, I was robbed while at work. My son and his caretaker came to the house to eat some lunch and discovered the door standing open. They knew immediately something was wrong and called me at work. I was not only frightened over the theft of a VCR, a jar of change and small bills amounting to about $200 and some costume jewelry, I was frightened that my son so nearly walked in on the thieves. I took my son three hundred miles away to spend the rest of Summer with his grandmother and then I was alone.
Two weeks later, they came again in broad daylight. This time they took the lawnmower, two bicycles and a project motorcycle. This was some scary stuff. If they were that bold in the daytime what might they consider doing at night and I was alone. I wasn’t the only one afraid, my friends were afraid for me, as well. They insisted I take home a crusty, old, black lab who had just shown up and made their place his own.
He was cantankerous and guarded his new home, even from them. He wasn’t a barker. He was a growler and potential biter. Yet, he liked me and wagged his tail and allowed me to pet him each time I visited. I did take him home with me. If you have ever watched the movie ‘Cujo’ you can imagine just how awful George smelled and looked. Yes, everyone named him George and it stuck. I’m not sure why he was covered in caked up blood, mud and horse manure and I was sure I didn’t want to know. It took nine baths to get him tolerable to live with. He and I bonded the next few evenings over Domino’s Pizza.
In my spare time I began packing up the past twenty years of my life in preparation to leave my home of thirteen years. No matter that George was more show than go, the neighborhood and surrounding areas soon came to know him as the one you don’t want to mess around with and I felt considerably safer.
Why am I dredging up past history? Remember the sweet little dog Pepper? I sensed something wasn’t quite right with the complaints. We had him for several years with no complaints. He had never before barked as much as he had those several nights before the complaints (the complainer(s) were never revealed to me). Both my immediate next-door neighbors thought it strange the robberies occurred so soon after I had to give him away.
What brought me to this analogy, is the fact that Obama is pushing more gun control with a vengeance. Even with the atrocities happening in Paris and not backing down on bringing in these so called refugees. Regarding my personal situation and I truly believe this, my one deterrent to being robbed or perhaps worse, was Pepper. Those devious thieves were likely responsible for the complaints against the dog.
Will having a barking dog or a gun be totally effective against all trespassers? Probably not. Will they help? Most definitely. Will we keep all terrorists out of our borders by refusing sanctuary to any professed refugees? Again, Probably not. Yet, bringing in these refugees in the thousands is just asking for spilled blood in our own front yards. Some think that many of us are over-reacting from fear. I believe as do many others, that to be fearless and not proceed with extreme caution with these avowed enemies is beyond stupidity and edges just over into insanity.
Some sampling of what’s currently going on in Missouri and worldwide;
Prayers for a peaceful outcome and keeping my barking dogs.