Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bessie, the pit bull, returns home after shooting

I recall one of the few times I've knocked on a neighbor's door when they played music loud. The neighbor was dressed only in a blanket wrapped like a toga and clearly inebriated. She seemed receptive to the whole "turning down of the sonic-booming music at 3 am on a Tuesday" and promptly turned the music up. I called the cops and eventually my landlord and she was gone within a week. It just never really crossed my mind that a simple request, turning off your music, could end in tragedy.

On September 3, a 45-yr-old man in Fresno, Ca knocked on his 60-yr-old neighbor's door and asked him to turn his music down. The neighbor became irate and the 45-yr-old returned to his home. Moments later, he opened the door to knocking only to be shot in the neck by his neighbor. The bullet passed through his neck, into the apartment window and struck his dog in the neck as well.

There is no great news or miracle for the man. He is in critical condition. He is paralyzed from the neck down. Life will be forever changed, scarred, muted, different and scary. I don't know if he will survive it or find happiness or joy. I can only sympathize with his plight and with the struggle his family and friends must be enduring.

So when I read the dog had survived, that it was her own vertebrae that stopped the bullet from causing more harm, I was relieved. This is a small beacon of hope, a little reminder of the man who will no longer be able to walk or even pet his dog. I hope she brings comfort and joy to his family and, if he is ever released from the hospital, to him as well. If you watch this video, you know this is a resilient dog, one who is confident and comfortable and who could probably deal with all the intricacies that come with being almost completely paralyzed.

Yes, she is a pit bull. But she is a dog first, a friend to a man who only wanted a radio turned down. I wish this family the best knowing they are faced with one of the worst things that can happen to the human body. And I hope little Bessie is there, providing support. She won't have to do much, just be herself.

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