I have three rescues - two dogs and a cat. You can see above that they are all best friends. One is a six year old retired racing male greyhound who was rescued, abused and then rescued again. The male cat is seven years old and showed up at our backdoor wanting to live with us when he was just a kitten. And then there is Lucy who I saved from being put to sleep. Lucy is an eight-year old pitbull and is just about the sweetest little girl I've ever known. Now to explain below what happened.
My old house has an entrance hall with a staircase going up to the second floor. At the bottom is a large window and Lucy loves to sit on the third step to watch shadows through its sheer curtain. Directly under the window outside is the oil tank fill pipe for deliveries. It took me a bit to connect the reason that I would come home sometimes to find the sheer completely in the floor or pushed to a side correlated to the oil bill stuck in the door or mailbox. Apparently Lucy did not like someone a foot from the window making loud noises while filling the oil tank. Once I even found a window pane cracked.
One recent day, I came home from work and noticed a cold draft in the hall and found a broken window pane with glass in the floor. I went across the road to the mailbox and sure enough found an oil delivery slip there. I decided enough is enough. I called my heating oil company to ask if the delivery person had made any notes about my dogs while at the house. They said that he had not reported anything. I had a bit of suspicion that he might be tapping on the window or something to encourage Lucy in acting up. I informed them that from here on out I would need a prior day's notice of a scheduled delivery or to please not come. They said it was not a problem at all.
All three of my dogs and cat are completely terrified of baby gates. Sometime or another, each has gotten too close to one and it has fell with a loud bang sending them running in terror. I figured if I stretch a gate across the bottom of the window and up the staircase that Lucy wouldn't come within ten feet of it.
I came home Friday to a voice message that the oil company needed to make a delivery either Saturday or Monday and for me to return their call. This was the first delivery since the broken window. I called the oil company back and said that either day was fine with me. I mentioned something about Lucy not liking the delivery guys being right under the window. The woman very seriously said she had something to ask me and I could tell that she had cupped her hand around her mouth and the speaker part of the phone. Very softly, she said "Does your dog not like black people? We have a new delivery guy that is black and has been to your house a couple of times. We were wondering if your dog was only doing damage during his visits?" My mouth dropped open. My prolong silence caused her to say she was sorry but needed to ask. I was flabbergasted. I quickly explained that Lucy could only see shadows through the sheers so she had no idea who it was and was only guarding her terriority. She quickly said that they would be here Monday (tomorrow) and hung up.
I am one of those that always kicks myself later because I should have said this or that. I just couldn't believe this happened and cannot get it out of mind. The kicker is that the owner and his son are both very progressive Democrats in town with both holding public offices. It's the reason that I do business with them! I am not sure what I should have said to her, although she knows that I was offended. I know some animals are prejudiced against albinos of their own species but how utterly ridiculous and offensive to think that dogs would be prejudiced against certain races of another species.
What would you have said to her? I know I should inform the oil company owners. I find this hard to forget and just let it go. I posted this to share how ignorant many are in this country and how much work there still is to be done.