Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Fulfilling Experience

A Fulfilling Experience

Here’s a case that shows that at least on some blessed occasions things really do work out. I received a call from a call from a friend who often helps people and dogs, especially pit bulls find good solutions. 

The owner of the pit bull (call him Joe) lived in a trailer park and was just barely making it through life. He had lots of personal challenges, was seeing a counselor, on medication etc. but not causing any trouble and somehow surviving on a part time job. He was one of those beings on the margins but somehow doing OK. His dog was his faithful companion and functioned as a therapy dog for him for 5 years since the dog was a puppy. There had never been any issues with his dog. 

He had a tenant at his place and it did not go well. He evicted the tenant and as the tenant was leaving let the dog out without a leash. This was the first time this had ever happened. The dog jumped on a neighbor’s dog grabbed her fur with his mouth but did not penetrate the skin. The owner of the attacked dog was freaked out for the moment but grabbed her dog and that ended the incident. However, all this was viewed by the on-site manager of the trailer park who insisted that a letter be written to Joe stating that either the pit bull must go or both Joe and the pit bull must go. Those were the rules of the trailer park. The letter was sent by the trailer park’s lawyers.
Working with my good-hearted friend, the dog was brought to a dog behaviorist to immediately begin further training. To our pleasant surprise, the behaviorist said that the dog was already well trained and the dog passed a good citizenship test that requires the dog to perform a variety of tasks as well as obey many commands. The dog was issued a good citizenship certificate. The neighbor, whose dog was attacked, knew Joe and his dog and had never had any problems. She wrote a very kind letter saying that she had only had prior good experiences and asked that Joe be allowed to remain in the trailer park with his dog. We gathered police reports that clearly showed it was the tenant who inappropriately let the dog out and that the tenant was evicted and no longer there. We obtained a letter from his therapist /counselor saying how important the dog was for Joe’s mental health. Finally we took some photos of Joe and his dog simply and peacefully hanging out together.

Even with all this information in hand, the lease would definitely have allowed the trailer park to force Joe to get rid of his dog. So our strategy was to appeal the better nature of the trailer park owners through their legal counsel.

I simply called their lawyer who had sent the original letter. And then as sometimes happens in life, a little surprise occurred. The lawyer was away on vacation but the office manager who had been there for 20 years and clearly ran the everyday affairs took the call. The luck was that she loved dogs and clearly understood the situation. I organized and sent her all the information we had gathered. When the lawyer returned they forwarded the information to the trailer park management with the recommendation that it might be best to drop the case. And the management agreed! I spoke with Joe who was highly relieved, cried tears of joy on the phone and hugged his dog!!!

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