Facebook, Dogs and Compassion
Not 3 things you normally talk about in one sentence, but here I go.
First, let me start this little story by telling you that my mom has never been a dog person. She had a traumatic experience with one as a kid and then tried to give my sister and I a Yorkie when we were little, who ended up terrorizing the neighborhood and she really never looked back. (side note: she tried to make up for giving away the cray cray dog by replacing her with gerbils because the guy at Earl May told her they had short life spans. My Chucky lived for 4.5 years. Take that, mom!)
Fast forward to a month ago when this sweetie pie arrived on their door step:
He literally showed up and never left.
They named him Rodney and he drug their throw pillows and shoes out into their yard but didn't chew them. He just must have liked them in the grass for some reason. With a face like this, you can pretty much do whatever you want.
When I say that my mom was new at the whole pet thing, I am not exaggerating. I had the pleasure of talking to her on the phone while she took him on one of their first walks together and she actually said "Oh my gosh, Rodney is pooping. Right now, he's pooping and I have him on a leash. What do I do? Do I look away? Do I block him from people?"
I just laughed and imagined my mother trying to act as if she had no idea there was a puppy attached to the leash she was carrying.
Rodney quickly took up a place in our hearts, especially because my mom kept us up to date with Facebook posts like this:
"Rodney's first trip to the vet. Do I stay and wait or come back? What questions shall I ask the doctor?"
"If someone would have ever told me I would be sitting outside at dusk so I could be with "my dog" I would have never believed them. God knew EXACTLY what I needed. #rodney"
She also made Vine videos of Rodney barking after cows and celebrated National Dog Day. I was so happy for her and her new companion and the new layer of companionship he had brought into their lives.
So friends, this is where Facebook comes in and a pretty big piece of sadness as well.
On my mom's birthday, just a month after Rodney had found them, my mom and dad came home from from dinner to find Rodney laying motionless by their drive way.
Someone had hit him, and he didn't survive.
Mom was devastated.
She took to Facebook to announce the news that her new friend was no longer with them. (It was so hard to read her post because I could totally tell she was trying to be strong even though I know writing it was really hard for her).
Facebook is supposed to be a great way to connect with people. Unfortunately, Facebook is also a place for people to act braver than they probably would face to face. I think the more people who log into Facebook each day, the less compassion there is in the world. Granted, there are also a ton of great things going on but for some reason, I think Facebook can bring out the ugly in certain people.
Case in point: This woman's uncalled for response to my mom's post saying she had lost her dog friend.
My mom's post:
Some chick's awful response: (Second one down)
Like, why? Why Cheryl, whoever you are? Cheryl went on to say that she is the best dog owner she knows and people should take better care of their pets if they want them to live.
Couldn't she see that this wasn't the time and place? Ugh, I just don't understand.
What is it with the interwebs that give people guts to be rude and robs them of a little more compassion?
Lesson of the day: Dogs are amazing, bad things happen and people are mean.
Rodney, you filled their lives with more love from a dog into one month than my mom had known in her entire life. So kudos to you, little buddy.
And Cheryl? I hope the dogs roaming in your neighborhood poop all over your lawn.