*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.
I worked at a group home in a nice residential neighborhood. It was just a regular three-bedroom house surrounded by the same.
One of my coworkers had three tiny dogs that she brought to work with her all the time. They were no trouble at all, and the residents loved them.
Another coworker decided to get a dog so he could have a dog at work, too. When he told me his plan, I told him I was firmly against it. Due to his party lifestyle, especially on the weekends, he didn't have the stability required to take care of a dog, and I told him so.
"Too late," he said. "I already got one."
A few days later, I unlocked the door to the group home, walked into the house, and found the staff room with the door shut. We never closed the door. I knew something was amiss.
When I opened the door, I found the cutest pit bull puppy looking up at me. I knew immediately she spelled trouble. I am not blaming her. Once again, I knew her owner wasn't equipped to be a good dog owner.
Exhibit A: Why was my coworker's brand-new puppy waiting for me completely unattended at work when I arrived on my coworker's day off? He hadn't even asked me whether I'd like the added responsibility of taking care of his dog atop the responsibility of running the group home.
Here's where the trouble began in earnest. My coworker's dog, instead of accompanying him to work during his shifts, simply lived at the group home full-time. No, my coworker didn't ask anyone. Not me, the full-time employee who got "stuck" with his dog, and not the boss, who remained blissfully unaware of the dog's presence until she received "the letter."
The group home didn't have a fence. When I worked, I patiently put the dog on a leash in order for her to do her potty business in the backyard.
When her owner worked, he simply opened the door and let her run free all over the neighborhood.
Do you know how they say there are no bad dogs only bad owners?
She was a good dog, filled with energy and youthful exuberance, and every time she found herself loose in the neighborhood, she took the opportunity to chase joggers and cyclists. Once, she even managed to knock a hapless cyclist off his bicycle under the pavement.
That's when the boss got the letter.
In the letter, the cyclist explained he was writing on his own behalf and on behalf of joggers and pedestrians all over the neighborhood. He complained about how the dog chased anyone in motion and knocked him off his bike.
The boss was livid. She tried to blame the whole thing on me, but I set her straight.
When she confronted my coworker, he tried to convince her the dog was gentle, which was true, and wouldn't interfere with joggers and cyclists, which wasn't true. He promised to leave the dog at home from now on, which also wasn't true.
This time, instead of a letter, the cyclist sent the police.
And that's how my coworker lost his job after his gentle dog ran after the neighborhood joggers and cyclists. Faced with having to take care of his own dog at home in his tiny apartment, my former coworker dropped the poor pooch off at the pound.
What would you have done? Comments are welcome.
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