Bringing On The Crazy

People like to think that when a wrong is occurring, their internal moral compass will direct them to do the right thing, despite the possible ramifications.

Though I always thought I would step up in circumstances where others would run, my belief in myself was never put to the test – until today.

People do horrible things.  Since we’ve lived at The Ranch (1996), we’ve stumbled upon far too many examples. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to.  I’ll just leave it with saying not all animals abandoned on the desert are left alive.  Gracy, Franky and Morty were some of the fortunate ones who were.

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Franky was dumped.  We’re ashamed to say we don’t know how long ago.  Maybe 5 years?
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Gracie was dumped 8 years ago.
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Morty the day he wandered into The Ranch in 2012.  Who knows how long he had to fend for himself after he was dumped.

Morty, Willy, Franky and Slugger were my 1st group out for Sunday Desert Walk.  Crabby was still in bed. Toward the end of the walk I watched a man in a pickup park on a trail in an area off limits to motor vehicles.  He pulled a rifle out of  his cab, and then wrestled a bag out of his truck bed.  He was too far away to tell if the bag was moving or not.

The man kept looking over his shoulder at me as he went down a trail.

Morty and Willy originally ran in his direction to greet him, but stopped short and ran back to my side, before I even had a chance to call them. That’s not normal.

The bells went off in my head – but I could not confront a man with a gun when I had the boys with me.  I rushed them home and returned to the scene, deliberately driving onto the desert parking behind the man’s truck.

I began walking in the direction the man had walked.  I went maybe a few hundred yards when I heard the scream – the scream of a dog in agony.  My walk became a sprint, leaving the trail and charging in what I could best determine was a straight line towards the source of the scream.

When I heard the second scream, still running,  I dialed 911.

I continued running, falling often on the rocky, uneven desert while alternating between screaming into the phone at the 911 operator and shrieking to the top of my lungs, that I had called the police, hoping the man would release the dog and run.

I crested 1 more ridge.  I fell again, dropping my phone, cutting off the 911 operator.  I looked around desperately for the dog being tortured.

Instead, I saw a very befuddled looking man peeking from behind the protection of a boulder.

“Is there a problem lady?” he asked with a shaky voice.

“You let that dog go!” I shouted, “I’ve called the police!”.

“Umm…  look behind you” he said.

And when I did, the sound of the tortured dog was nearly at my feet – coming from a speaker.

{This is NOT the same sound I heard earlier today, but I post the video  link to give you an idea of the type and loudness of the sound I heard.  You may want to turn your volume down before listening:

A variation of a coyote bait call

Now tell me, can you really blame me for my reaction?!?!?!}

Apparently, someone in their infinite wisdom decided that blaring the sounds of wounded animals from speakers was a nifty way to lure coyotes during coyote hunting season.  This unfortunate hunter in HIS infinite wisdom decided to use the sounds of wounded dogs as his sound of choice – in the very same area where locals, including this Crazy Dog Lady, walk their dogs regularly.

Seeing an upper middle aged woman barreling over the ridge, hair sticking out in all directions, entangled with various debris picked up from many falls,  body covered in cholla, while screaming up a storm apparently alarmed the hunter a wee bit because he then, with great desperation in his voice, informed me that he loves dogs, has 2 of his own and asked if I wanted to see their pictures.

When the armed man was convinced the unarmed crazy lady wasn’t going to hurt him, he quickly packed up his hunting gear and with great haste made his way back to his truck, I think we can all assume, never to return.

I learned something about myself today:

Apparently I WILL run head long, alone and unarmed, at a psyco with a loaded gun to help a dog.

While that may be all well and good, Crabby has requested that I refrain from doing so again in the future.

I can’t make any promises.

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Go ahead!  Try and harm a hair on my head! My Mommy will DROP you!