The White House

The White House

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rusty Boy

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This is our little Rusty Bucket. He’ll be six in March. Or at least we hope.
Today, Rusty was shot by our neighbor. An accidental unlocked gate. He was free for 5 minutes and ran  into the road.
Our neighbor shot him in the butt and the bullet went through his tail and traveled to his bladder. He was peeing blood. It was a horrifying mess as my son and I tried to clean him and figure out what was wrong.
This is Elijah’s dog. It’s not as if my poor son hasn’t had enough to deal with in his young life, but today, he held his dog as I drove to the vet. They sedated, did an X-ray and put in a catheter. Rusty is spending the night at the vet. So far we’ve paid $415.59 that we don’t have to spare. They will watch him all night and tough decisions will be made tomorrow. If Rusty’s body is able to repair itself he will come home. If the damage is significant then he will have to be put down. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to spend thousands on a delicate surgery to repair his urethra.
I, more than most, know that  a dog roaming free is unwelcomed. I own livestock….and have suffered many tragedies at the mouths of loose dogs. With that said, Rusty weighs about 12 pounds. He’s 8 inches tall. He is as nonviolent and mellow as they get. He was fleeing when shot. No one was threatened or in danger from this tiny pup. This was the act of a very angry man who has spent the last eight years harassing my family.
He has….
*pointed a gun at me and seven of my children at my own front door.
*he has driven head on at my van trying to run me and my children off the road.
*he has laid in the ditch in the middle of winter shining a red laser light through my dining room window at our heads while my husband was out-of-town.
*he has stood in the middle of the road photographing me and my children through our living room window.
*we suspect he poisoned our dear cocker Molly who subsequently died.
*he has stopped his truck at the end of my drive way blocking my exit.
*he has used his truck to follow my kids (when they were about 11) on snow machines and then accused them of trying to run him over skiing.
*when my children play in their yard he stands in his yard screaming obscenities at them.
*my children can no longer ride their bikes down the road; when they do he stands in his driveway cussing at them.
*when I work in my garden he sits on his 4-wheeler at the end of my driveway watching me.
Everything he has done (aside from the gun incident in which he told the officers it was a ski pole and they believed him) is legal. Well, and poisoning our dog, but we couldn’t prove that. I’ve have been a prisoner at my own home since moving into it. I go in the house when he comes out. I can’t let my kids be normal kids. I don’t drive out if he is in sight. I haven’t talked about it because, well, I don’t talk about so many things that seem to plague my life.
The previous owners were also harassed, but didn’t disclose that he was a child/dog hater until after we purchased the home.
I had multiple dogs roaming in my yard this summer. Several tried to tear down the fence to get at my chickens and sheep. I caught these dogs and called their owners to retrieve them. Rusty is not a threat to anyone especially a large 47-year old man.
Shooting an animal that is not a threat is illegal. Proving he did it is impossible. But God knows.
I would say I pity the man, but he is not worthy of pity. Only a completely heartless ass would shoot a small dog as he ran away.
Please, say a little prayer for our sweet little guy. May he pull through this and come home. Elijah cannot handle another reason to be angry. His heart needs to heal.

*edited to add.... I really try to do my part to be a responsible pet owner as much as humanly possible, but we all know things happen. Dogs break a chain, the collar slips, the batteries in the electronic collar go dead... even a child slips our grasp at times and runs. Life happens and as humans we are expected to be a bit accepting. And for the humans that aren't, there are laws that cover what you can and cannot do when life happens. One of them is shooting a non-threating animal. If that were the case I could shoot every moose that munched on my garden and fill all our freezers, but I can't. And I can't shoot a dog because he bolted from his owner and ran through my flower bed. And my neighbor can't shoot my dog when he's running for home. But he did.


sandy said...

gayle, i hate that this happened, we can only offer condolences for rusty,,,we have had to put a few animals to sleep and it is a hard decision each time,,,but if rusty will just suffer more then it is something you must do,,,we lost three horses last year and i hated doing each one but sometimes it must be done,,the animals do not know why they are suffering and this could go on to several surgeries and infections,,love aunt sandy

FlowerLady said...

Dear Gayle ~ I thought we've had horrible neighbors, but yours takes the cake. He needs to be locked up, and needs psychiatric care.

I hope little Rusty makes it for the whole family, but most especially for Elijah.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

Lori Skoog said...

That makes me sick! Little Rusty will be in our thoughts and I sure hope he pulls through. I hope you called the police.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

My heart aches for you - what a tragedy. I don't know what the answer is, but you shouldn't have to live like that. This has escalated from harassment to possibly murder of an animal. This guy is a real threat. Can you file a police report so its at least on record?

Humble wife said...


I am so sorry. I understand about livestock as we have neighbor dogs that come over too. But like your Rusty they are small. Bill always says that the kids would be devastated if he shot their dogs, so we just holler at them to go home.

I pray all will be well, and huggles to you and your kids. This is hard I know, and wish all the best


~The Shoebox~ said...

Take pictures of him doing these things, document times and locations. The more evidence you have, the better chance you have of making a case that will stick.

RottenMom said...

I am bawling my eyes out the whole way through this post. This is really horrible and I am so very sorry that this happened to your poor Rusty. Please tell your boy that this Mama from Ohio is praying for his dog.

We had a very similar situation with a neighbor before we moved here. This man's behavior sounds a lot like hers. This was a young mom with 2 kids and she wrecked havoc on the entire neighborhood. She had been diagnosed with a Mental illness, so there was some understanding among us. She would stand in front of our home and call my 6 year old daughter and I names. It was a horrible situation and we felt like prisoners in our own home. I really feel for you.

I agree with what others have commented, I hope you contact the police. Next time, GOD forbid, it could be one of your kids.

Keep us posted. XO

Alexicographer said...

I'm so sorry. Rusty and Elijah and you are in my thoughts.

Your neighbor sounds like he needs psychiatric help and I'm sorry you're dealing with this. At least in my state, for one person to physically prevent another from doing something -- for example, you are standing in a room with one door and I stand in the doorway preventing you from leaving and refuse to move -- is assault. If your neighbor again physically prevents you from leaving your property, it may be worth calling the police, or a lawyer, or both.

Arizaphale said...

I had a friend with a looney neighbour like this and she ended up leaving the district. It got to the point where she couldn't go out in the yard. Awful. I am praying for the best for Rusty.