Wednesday, March 18

What the Duck? Irresponsible Dog Owners or Nature

what the duck, jax
I was driving through the Five Points area, trying to avoid hitting one of those colorful ducks when my rider told me the worst story ever about a duck. At least the worst I'd ever heard, not having been told an abundance of duck stories.

Earlier, I had asked about the lake in the center of the man's neighborhood to see if he knew whether it was man made, mostly because of the odd layout of the houses around it. He thought it was a real lake, and our conversation moved on, until he saw those ducks. Kind of a Catcher in the Rye moment. He explained that there were lots of ducks at the lake by his house, and the ducks reminded him of one duck in particular.

This duck, we'll call him Don Jr, had been raised by a local family. I assume it had been injured or abandoned, but that wasn't part of the story. The real owner of the duck was a little boy from the family. Eventually, the family must have realized that keeping a duck at the house was more than they'd bargained for in a suburban neighborhood, so they released the duck into the pond.

The man told me that the kid would show up with food or just to say hi, and the duck would come waddling out of the pond to greet the kid, kind of like a dog. I've had a lot of pets, and the only kind I've ever had that came running towards me was a dog, but I've never owned a duck. Obviously, this young boy loved his duck, and it seems like the duck loved him back.

The man told me that one day, two dogs that had gotten loose showed up at the pond. The dogs started chasing the ducks. Most of the ducks probably knew how to handle dogs by swimming or flying away, but Don Jr may not have learned how to avoid danger. In fact, Don Jr might even have liked dogs. The dogs, however, did not like Don Jr, and the duck was killed by the two unleashed canines.

The guy told me that he grabbed the dogs in order to try to stop the attack. While he was too late to help Don Jr, he was able to catch the parties responsible and throw them into his fenced-in yard. The dogs' owner showed up and wanted her dogs back, but the man told her he wanted to call the police first. However, before he even called the cops, the dogs had escaped from his yard, which makes me wonder if that's how they got away from home in the first place. The whole situation is sad and frustrating. I told the guy that I appreciated what he tried to do, but that I also assume it's not a police issue. The duck was nobody's official pet and the land is probably not owned by anyone in particular. Even if it happened on this man's property, it's still just a random duck, according to the law. But I'm no lawyer, so I could be somewhat wrong.

The man said he didn't know what he was going to tell the kid. He said the duck stumbled off to die, but he wasn't sure where it ended up because he was busy corralling the dogs. I told him he could just say he didn't know where the duck went. I know he wanted some kind of justice and to let everyone know about the unleashed dogs, but, as an outsider, I could see that it might be best to let sleeping dogs lie. Then again, I could see the desire to give the kid some closure and to at least censure the dog owner a little bit, since I am sure the two dogs will continue to terrorize local wildlife (and maybe outdoor cats) if nothing at all is done. I guess I'm glad it's not my duck, dogs, kid, or neighbors because the story is pretty ducked up.

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