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Stitches for Snitches

Malcolm's Dad


This is the first time I've used a blog. Not sure what they are or how to do it, any feedback would be very helpful. I don't use Facebook, Twitter or much else besides CairnTalk and the store sites for shopping to see what is on sale. Since about 1998 chat rooms were my favorite especially the Senior Citizens Chat. We became a family. The members passed on. There are two of us left and we talk on the phone now. CairnTalk is my new online family.

So here goes.

I had to write this after reading the latest posts about Buffy's attack. The newspaper story Brad posted about the mail carrier brought "Stitches for Snitches" to mind. A good friend of mine is a retired school teacher from a poverty school. He bought books with his own money, some new some from second hand stores, because the school didn't have the money for a library. He is a dedicated compassionate man. We would talk about life in the school. One day a grammar school boy was at a school event wearing a hat that said "Stitches for Snitches." He asked the boy where he got that hat. He said his father gave it to him. Every week I hear about a young person getting shot and sometimes killed because of gang violence. Here is the latest incident. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-mom-boy-13-shot-dead-running-from-gang-members-quit-doing-this-20140929-story.html

That is 5 blocks from my house. Things like this happen because people will not report crime. Our last mayor complained about it. He said if people do not report crime the police can't do much about it. He forgot to mention that when people do report crime nothing is done to protect them. The mayor and police let "Stitches for Snitches" take precedence over police protection.

When I read the mail carrier story my first thought was "Stitches for Snitches." If the mail carrier reported someone like a supervisor doing something wrong the mail carrier would be punished. Seems to me first the gang kids started running the streets. Then the gang kids started running the schools. Now its like the adult gang kids are running our government institutions. Anyone remember the book Lord of the Flies? Its about what happens when adults aren't around to teach and supervise the kids. One good kid like Ralph isn't enough to counter the bad gang of kids led by Jack. There were no adults on the island with Ralph and Jack's gang. We do have adults around in our society but it seems they have abdicated their responsibility and now give their kids hats that say "Stitches for Snitches."

I think what is happening to hheldorfer is terrible. What happened to Buffy is terrible. That amazing little dog is taking it in stride. Unfortunately those pitbulls are going to seriously injure or kill someone or a dog. To me its because the adults will not take the responsibility a civilized society requires. And what happens is good kids and good people like hheldorfer and good dogs like Buffy suffer.

Ok I'm done. This is way off topic for a pet forum so if its not appropriate let me know and I'll delete it.

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"Way off topic for a pet forum" is a good use of the blog system. We sometimes want to share our thoughts with a community of friends while allowing the forum to remain true to its purpose (talk about Cairn Terriers).  


Well done creating the blog and posting your first post. Good points and thoughtfully presented. 

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Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts, Malcolm's Dad.  I think you have a better grasp of my situation than most people on the forum (no disrespect intended, folks) because you live in Chicago and know the issues being faced by both the city and suburbs.  Yes, Joliet is 40 miles south of you but our city has more than its share of gangs, drug dealers and crime.  Just one example:  There is a diner that DH and I frequent, not far from our house - not at all fancy but inexpensive and great food.  A year (or so) ago a man was shot to death while eating his breakfast at the diner with his family.  It was drug-related; the two men involved had an ongoing feud.  We still go to the diner because, let's face it, the same thing could have happened anywhere.


Although I live in a decent area of Joliet and have some very nice neighbors, the neighborhood suffered greatly when the economy took a giant crap a few years ago.  Many homes went into foreclosure and remained vacant for months.  Some homes were snatched up and converted to rental properties. Unfortunately, many renters don't have the same sense of community/responsibility as home owners, as evidenced by the owners of the dogs who attacked Buffy.  On the bright side, some homes were also purchased and improved, which is encouraging.  But it only takes a few irresponsible people to cause strife in a neighborhood, as you well know.


I would truly like to nail the owners of the dogs to the wall on this but I also don't want to overly-antagonize them.  I have to confess I am somewhat afraid.  The wife recently was arrested for domestic battery and I have both seen and heard stories of her less-than-ladylike behavior.  DH will be having a major surgery in less than a month - an 8-disk fusion of his cervical spine - and the last thing I need is a crazy woman screaming on my doorstep.


I had hoped the authorities would do something about the dogs but more people need to complain before any action will be taken.  Strangely, this has put me in an odd position:  Several neighbors who know about the attack on Buffy have encouraged me to pursue the case in court.  These neighbors also have had problems with the couple and their dogs but apparently have not reported it, probably out of fear or not wanting to rock the boat.  They figure that *I* have a solid case against them so, rather than reporting incidents themselves, they seem to be counting on me to solve their problem.  If I was 20 years younger and had time on my hands maybe I would handle this more aggressively; at 58 years old, working full time and facing my husband's surgery and long recovery, I can only do what I can do.  


Sorry to have gone on for so long.  I hope you don't mind me piggy-backing onto your blog.

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Malcolm'sdad you write so well. I didn't realize there was a blog section. Should pay more attention I guess. Much of what I wrote in the Buffy posts could/should have gone here. Thanks for guiding us this way. 

Lots of our stories are everyday cairn tales but now and then like here something happens that raises wider issues.

Lord of the Flies - a wonderful and  frightening book.

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i don't live in a dangerous urban neighborhood, but in rural and semi-rural vermont the first rule is don't get on the bad side of the neighbors, for a lot of practical reasons i won't bore you with (but let's say having armed friends is better than having armed enemies). the dynamics mirror what happens in some urban neighborhoods. i am also about the age of HH and i know what it is like to narrow in on your own pressing issues and let the world have its way a bit.


there is another issue here: the government authorities don't care about dogs, good or bad. they prefer to let dogs be beaten, starved, or neglected than do anything about it, and they prefer to let criminally undisciplined and potentially dangerous dogs do their thing than do anything about it. they don't care about what happened to buffy; we are all thankful to the skies that she is mending, but if she had been killed the authorities still wouldn't have cared. their strategy: when it gets bad enough that a human gets killed, we'll pay attention. and of course if the dogs ever charge a police officer the way they charged the mailman, they are dead, no questions asked. given the local situation that HH describes, the police probably consider themselves overburdened (they always do) and that they to have to make priorities, with buffy and HH and DH at the bottom. 


i have no advice other than make protection of buffy and ziggy and yourselves your first priority. give these people and their woeful dogs the widest berth. they are on a collision course with something, and it doesn't look like much can be done to steer them off. they will come out of it all much worse than you. concentrate on your family's health and peace and make as many physical and mental firewalls between them and you as you can. when their problems snowball to the point where you can make a contribution to a concerted effort to do something about them, join in. but don't fight them on your own. work to get over the emotional frustrations of not finding a way to make them pay now. because they should be punished for what they have done. but make sure you go toward health and safety and emotional peace and let them go toward the nasty stuff awaiting them. you and buffy have shown your stuff, and you should both be very proud of yourselves. you deserve a better life than one that would come from constantly trying and failing to get at these people on your own. 

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I am daily horrified with the violence in the paper and news. How sad that we have gotten to the place of being afraid to report dangerous people and situations. And I totally get that. I phoned by law on our neighbour because they constantly let their big wheaten terrier loose in our crescent and was tired of her going potty anywhere she felt like it. Plus she is very aggresive and I was afraid of taking Rosie for a walk. They aren't "bad" neighbours and no doubt they know it was me that called, but if it had been idiots I don't think I would have called, fearing the retaliation of perhaps throwing poisoned meat into our yard.

I hope that the dogs that attacked Buffy somehow meet an end to their lives. They will never be normal and always aggressive due to their obvious owners who are violent themselves. Sadly a child or another human will have to be seriously wounded or worse, killed, before there will be a collective out cry. It's to bad your neighbourhood can't band together and form a collective group that can take their complaints to higher authorities. It's not fair that the rest of the neighbours expect you to be the canary in the mine.

Thank you Malcoms dad for starting this thread. If people don't speak out, don't make a stand in whatever situation there is, change will never happen. So glad I belong to this forum. I wish we could have a convention one day and all get together.

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Malcolm's Dad


Thank you Brad and Hillscreek. I see blogs are like topic sections with the section being the name of the member. This is like the chat rooms where we would talk about various things. Thanks for providing this feature. I hope it doesn't add extra cost for the server. 


hheldorfer no problem, your post is great. Joliet is like Chicago. Not as many people so not as much crime. You are right crime happens anywhere. There is the Magnificent Mile. Some of the most expensive stores in the area and the highest priced condos. Should be safe. Lately early in the morning thieves smash windows and loot expensive jewelry. One thief drove a car into a window and made off with very expensive fur coats. And there are the kids who grab smartphones and run off with them. The residents never expected things like this to happen. They are aware of it now.


I understand your situation. You can only go so far. PK has excellent advice. Go for health, safety and emotional peace. Those people are a train heading for a wreck. You don't want to be there when they crash.


Wishing the best for DH's surgery.


Terrier lover I'm glad for this forum too.

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I wish you could move next door to us, Malcolm's Dad.  You would be a great neighbor and maybe Malcolm and Buffy could become friends.  I could see them as the Dynamic Duo of dogdom.

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