Her name was Anna. She had soulful brown eyes and loved to run like the wind with my dog in tow. She came to my yard a lot. She wasn’t supposed to because the law said she should be within a fence or on a chain.
Anna was a Rottweiler. She was young and dumb. She loved to try to sit in my lap as I sat in my porch swing. Needless to say she didn’t fit but, oh, how she tried. She was sweet and guileless. She chased sticks and brought them back but failed to let go when you grabbed them. She loved treats — any treat — whether it was a cracker you were eating or a real doggy treat. It made her happy and excited.
One of her first visits to my yard found her grabbing my cat’s pillow and tearing it to shreds. The first time I saw her she was running and jumping with the pillow stuffings hanging from her mouth like clouds. That was when I named her Fluffy. I didn’t know where she was from, but to me she was Fluffy.
One morning when I awoke, I decided to take my breakfast to my front porch to enjoy the morning. The sight I found there was horrifying. A trail of blood drops ran across my porch and to my swing. Under my swing lay huge pools of blood. For some reason my first thought went to Fluffy. Had she had an accident, had someone hurt her? I immediately put my clothes on and began to walk my small neighborhood to see if I could find an animal in trouble.
The animal who had left the blood on my porch would need quick attention if there was any chance to save it. The leaves had fallen so fast and deep the night before that any trail that might have been left was now lost. I couldn’t find any animal to help so I went about my business, still feeling the weight of knowing an animal was in trouble.
Late into the morning three boys and their father came to my yard. They were looking for their dog; had I seen her? Her name was Anna, she was a Rottweiler, and she had not been home all morning. I began to tell them the story of my morning. They walked my yard and decided to go into the woods beside my house to see if she might have gone that way. As the dad crossed through my carport, he looked down into a big clump of bushes in the back and said quietly, “Here she is.”
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There, out of sight, hid in the bushes, lay Anna. When he examined her, he found she had been shot twice. That’s right, the dog who played with these boys, who tried to lovingly sit in my lap but wouldn’t fit into the swing, the dog who chased sticks and balls and my dog, was dead in my yard. My Saturday morning was spent watching three sad boys go home to get gloves and a wheelbarrow so they could retrieve the lifeless body of their pet from my yard.
I couldn’t help but think about her and what she went through that morning. She had tried to come to someone who she thought would help her. I see her so frightened and in such pain. I see her trying to get home to her family and knowing she couldn’t go any farther, stopping at my house in the hope she could find help.
I am so sorry Fluffy/Anna. I would give anything if I had been awake and on the porch when you came. I would have helped you. I would have tried anything to save you but I wasn’t there. I am so sorry. I’ll miss you.
I also try to imagine what kind of a person could do this. It has to be a person who has never known the unconditional love and trust of an animal. It has to be a person with a cold, hard heart. I feel such sorrow for Anna, but I think I feel even sorrier for the heartless villain who did this.
To be on this earth and not experience the joy and peace of caring for an animal is a very sad existence indeed. If you are a person who could look into the trusting eyes of a gorgeous creature and still fire bullets into its beautiful body, then I feel sorry for you. You are not a person I ever want to know. What could this dog have ever done that would warrant the punishment she received?
The only thing that makes me able to put this incident aside and go forward is the knowledge that we all answer for the lives we live. I do believe there are rewards and punishments waiting for us on the other side. I do believe the cruel, heartless people who live their lives punishing others, be it animal or human others, will know one day what it felt like to be the punished.
My final thought is this: Love your children and your animals. Take care of them and know where they are at all times. There are people in this world who are not trustworthy. I probably know the person who shot Anna and don’t realize it. That is what is so scary. Things are not always as they seem, so we have to keep those we love — either animal or human — under our wings. We have to love and protect them and let them experience the good things of this world through us because there are wolves in sheep’s clothing that will harm them.
I’ll miss you, Anna.
Pam Humphrey, Rossville
What do Americans think of marriage? The answer was pretty clear Nov. 2, with voters in several states deciding by huge margins to preserve in their state constitutions the age-old definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Eleven states in all had marriage-protection amendments on their ballots — and the measures passed in all of them. More than that, they were approved in most cases by supermajorities, as they were in a handful of other states in recent years, proof that Congress did not heed the will of its constituents in voting down the Federal Marriage Amendment this summer.
Sadly, though, the ballot box is no match for the judge’s gavel in modern-day America. Don’t be surprised if the next headline you read about this issue involves a state court ruling one of the amendments unconstitutional, usurping the power rightly delegated to the people. The sole sure-fire way of stripping judicial tyrants of their ability to do this is to amend the federal Constitution through the Marriage Protection Amendment.
Hopefully, this issue will come up again when the new Congress convenes next year and this time the House and Senate will heed the voice of the people.
Phil Ledbetter, Fort Oglethorpe
God and politics
In the past few days we heard lots about God being in the party. Well I have news for you: that couldn’t be for many reasons.
To name two, God doesn’t lie and the Bible teaches he can’t lie, so that would keep him out of politics. Maybe one of the best reasons is that God is not the author of confusion and the party is most confused people I know of. They have trouble even supporting their own candidates. I can assure you God fully supports his candidates.
To tell you the truth, I don’t know if there are many true party members today. Most say they vote for the lesser of two evils and you hear many times, “I don’t have any use for either candidate.” Did you ever think it may be wrong to vote either person?
So many times we don’t even know the person we vote for; we just think we do.
Cecil L. Bryant, LaFayette
I enjoyed both articles on the Chickamauga ghosts. I was born in Chickamauga Park in the Army hospital, part of Fort Oglethorpe. My brother and sister were born at my grandparents’ home that sits close to the maintenance building. It has since been torn down. My mother and her siblings lived in the Vineyard House where my grandfather, M.M. “Doc” Pettyjohn, worked for the park.
I have seen the riders in the fields at night all my life. We were never scared of them. They were like wisps of smoke, but you could make out the horses and rider. I am glad other people have gotten to experience them.
Hopefully all who have seen them will agree with me, that they appeared to be searching for something, probably a way home. One day they will rest in peace. Until then we should just admire them and leave them in peace.
Betty Churchwell Powell, Atlant