It is guaranteed that, if you are in a dangerous position with both an animal lover and an animal, you’re SOL if you’re expecting your life to come before the animal’s. I know, it’s crazy, but it’s true.
Many, many, many moons ago, when I was in my early twenties, I was asked by a young vet assistant with whom I worked to attend her 21st birthday party. I was hesitant because it was in the city of Benicia, which is near the city of Vallejo, California. Vallejo, for those of you not familiar, is a disgusting cess-pool of a city that would really serve us all if it would just detach from the continent and float away. Think I’m being harsh? Let me explain to you my four most poignant experiences with Vallejo:
- My car caught on fire on the freeway passing through Vallejo. It. Caught. On. Fucking. Fire. So I pulled to the left because I was in the fast lane and feared for my life if I tried to pull all the way across the highway during rush hour traffic because, again, my car was on fucking fire. I called emergency and the police officer who pulled over and rolled down his window, motioning ME to walk to HIS car, was smoking a cigarette. He ashed out the window before proceeding to yell at me for pulling over on the lefthand side. I explained that my car was on fucking fire, but he didn’t seem to care.
- I was in the Vallejo Denny’s, having dinner, and two masked, armed men ran in and shot the place up, pistol whipped a few employees and left with all of our purses and wallets, and the cash register drawer. The owner came in and proceeded to charge us all for our dinners.
- A pimp at a Vallejo gas station once offered to buy me from my ex. And I don’t know if I am more annoyed at the fact that he offered to buy me like I was a “thing” for sale, or the fact that he didn’t even bother to negotiate the proposed transaction with me. I have brains, I can make my own self-sale decisions. Plus, I think my marketing capabilities are probably far superior to some small-time Vallejo pimp.
- For the die-hard animal lovers, the most egregious of all: the non-profit “no kill” animal shelter in Vallejo, with whom my county run animal control shelter had a contract (and this is common with many “no kill” shelters), once brought my shelter 72 cats to kill. You see, they were “no kill,” which meant that THEY never killed animals. They, like many “no kill” shelters, just brought the animals to the municipal shelter to be killed. So they brought us 72, in one day. And all of us at the municipal animal shelter died a little inside that day.
So there are just a few examples as to why Vallejo, the rat-infested shit hole, needs to just float away.
And Benicia, the location of the party I attended, is Shit Hole adjacent.
I was hesitant to go to this party, but the young lass was turning 21 and really wanted me to go, so I agreed to drop by for a bit.
As I sat out on the balcony of the apartment where the party was taking place, I looked in to the living room and saw that some of the men at the party were sitting on the couch and had started playing a video game. I noticed that the one guy in the middle was especially huge. I wondered if he was younger than he looked because he was so big. As I was drifting off in a day dream about what kindergarten must be like for huge kids, I saw a man in all black appear out of nowhere and hit the big guy in the back of the head with the handle of a gun. That made me wonder if bigger guys can take a pistol whip better than a smaller guy. Then I thought, “Wait, what the fuck, did he just get pistol whipped?!?”
Then I saw a second man in black appear, also with a gun.
At this point, because I had literally just been in an armed robbery at the friggin’ Vallejo Denny’s not 3 months earlier, I knew immediately what was going on. And, since I was on the patio, I had the foresight to grab my purse and toss it over the side of the balcony into the bushes below. The friend I was with gave me a confused look because she had not yet noticed the gunmen. She got even more confused when I slid down onto my knees with my hands in the air. I sighed and waved her down, “Trust me,” I said, like some kind of robbery pro.
Not a minute later, the two gunmen came out to the patio and ordered us all to empty our bags and wallets and get face down on the ground (my friend and I, of course, looked like exemplary robbery victims because we were already there). I played along and reached into the pockets of my jeans and felt some change, which I pulled out and threw on the ground to try and make a show of playing along.
As they went back in to do whatever was next on their agenda, I noticed “Cookie,” the little white dog belonging to the homeowners, wandering around, completely oblivious to what was going on. She wandered around the living room, sniffing all the party-goers who were face down on the ground, delighted that we were all finally down on her level. Then I saw her wander over to one of the gunmen and sniff his pant leg.
“Fuck,” I thought to myself, “What if they shoot her to scare us all?”
So I did what any sane person would do in that situation, I started lightly tapping the ground with my hand and whispering, “Cookieee….Cookiiieeee……come here girl, come here.”
Everyone else on the ground of the patio with me turned their heads with looks of confusion that slowly faded into looks of, “Are you fucking kidding me? You’re calling the dog?”
But let’s face the facts: I had just met 99% of these people not an hour ago. Who was I going to be more upset about getting shot? Them or the dog?
The dog, OBVIOUSLY.
I didn’t want ANY one of them to be shot, but they weren’t blindly wandering around the scene of the crime like a tiny moving target.
Cookie finally came over to me, and I looped my index finger into her collar to keep her by me. I managed to reach some of the potato chips that had been on the patio table, knocked over in the ensuing chaos, and began giving her little bits of chips to coax her to stay close.
Luckily the two armed men got whatever they came for and left Cookie, and everyone else, mostly unharmed (with the exception of the poor guy who got pistol whipped). Turns out that the owner of the house, and Cookie, was a pot dealer and the guys had come to rip him off. I made a mental note to never again accept a party invite from an enthusiastic kennel attendant if it meant going anywhere ghetto-adjacent.
But non-animal people, you’re on notice: if you ever find yourself in a life-threatening position with an animal lover and an animal present, you’re SOL.