“Dog on 54 Avenue. Wouldn’t come close to check collar.”
That’s the caption underneath the photo of my dog.
You can see a Yellowknife resident’s hand reaching out of their car door, offering a gesture of peace. You can also see, about five feet away, my dog resolutely ignoring that hand.
“Me? I’m not lost,” my dog declares. “I’m just… smelling the air. In the road.”
And having refused to share the contact details on her collar (great purchase that was — the dog has decided it’s a secret), here she is: the latest in a long line of street dogs posted to Yellowknife’s Facebook groups each week.
The unfortunate thing is that with every word of an article about Harriet the douchebag dog, I’m becoming aware it’s actually about Ollie the douchebag owner.
I’ve often wondered which terrible owners let their pets end up on the other side of town, alone, afraid and unloved.
The answer is apparently me and now I must wear the online cone of shame: tagged by a friend under a photo of your pet roaming the streets. “Your dog?”
Yeah, that’s my dog.
Why is that my dog? Why is my dog in the street? Why is my dog in the street on the internet?
Am I, in fact, the worst dog owner alive?
Is my dog, in fact, the worst dog alive?
The kind individual who found my dog added her to Yellowknife Classifieds as a “sale” item but, obviously, didn’t fill out the option to add a price. So Facebook, in big letters, has added to one corner of the photo: “FREE.” Which is probably exactly how the dog felt.
Now, I have to take the blame for this one. My wife — who returned home to scoop up the dog and deposit her back in her two-bedroom, adequately furnished prison — discovered the front door swinging open and our own apartment door ajar.
Only I could have committed either of those sizeable security crimes. This raises the odds that I am, in fact, the worst dog owner alive.
However, I would like the court to consider my dog’s record.
Two weeks ago, we came back from a weekend canoe trip and hauled our exhausted dog up the stairs to the apartment while we unpacked.
Instead of passing out on her bed, she waited till we were busy unloading the car then nipped back out of the front door, over the road, and into a house belonging to people we’ve never met.
We only know that because my wife caught a glimpse of her tail as she hopped up their steps. So my wife goes after her and finds our dog in a stranger’s kitchen, eating their dog’s food.
Coincidentally, that’s exactly the moment their dog found our dog in its kitchen, eating its food. Realizing her grievous error and eager to rectify this awkward situation, our dog reached the only rational conclusion — and elected to beat the crap out of their dog. In its own house, having eaten its dinner.
I am told by my wife that this is actually quite a difficult social situation to navigate. “Sorry that my dog came into your house, ate your dog food and messed up your dog,” etc. “Oh and hi! We live across the street!”
I came home that night and was told we were moving to Whitehorse as we could never be seen in public again. If that was your house/food/dog, we are eternally sorry.
The unfortunate thing is that with every word of an article ostensibly about Harriet the douchebag dog, I’m becoming aware it’s actually about Ollie the douchebag owner and an object lesson in Why Ollie Isn’t Allowed To Be A Parent. (A three-year-old child abandoned in the street for an hour isn’t so great for throwaway humour, although the part about going into a stranger’s house and eating all their dog food still checks the boxes.)
I can assure Yellowknifers, and municipal enforcement in particular, that stringent security measures — such as closing the door to my house — are now in place. Dog and owner are embarking on a joint re-education program which will involve never going outside again ever.
And if you happened to see a small black-and-white dog listed for free on Yellowknife Classifieds, I regret to inform you she is not for sale.