Some things are worth waiting for, and while the circumstances are not the best, the outcome––for Duncan and me and all the other dogs here at Raccoon Creek––has been worth the wait.
This morning I stood on my balcony, thirty-seven steps above the parking lot, and watched Pete and his wife pack the last of their belongings into a U-Haul, leash up Gil, take one last look around and then drive away from here forever. After a year of avoiding the little clearing among the buildings where the bunnies play, the place I dubbed The Lair after that night Pete stood idly by while his demon German Wire-Haired Pointer attacked Duncan, it is finally safe to venture back among the slowly budding Linden trees and low shrubs where the little birds hop and chirp.
There has been much talk of Pete and Gil among the residents here the past year. Despite Pete's initial assurance that Gil was friendly, the evidence was firmly against him. Nearly everyone I spoke with loathed the dog and had their own horrific encounters with them to share. Management had been made aware of them numerous times since my official report last July. Even Chelsea, owner of Hero's Pets, who lives in the building directly across from mine, who loves dogs and typically holds their companions responsible for their behavior, insisted there was something wrong with "that dog."
I'd heard a rumor a few weeks ago that they were moving but refused to believe it until I'd actually seen them depart. The circumstances of their departure, however, are quite sad. I'd noticed Pete's gray Ford Ranger sitting in the parking lot since January, often not moving for weeks at a time. I saw his wife walking Gil but for a long time Pete was nowhere to be found. The neighbor who told me they were leaving lives directly below them and confessed that Pete, no more than thirty years old, had suffered a stroke shortly after Christmas, and while he had survived and recovered, he was no longer able to drive. He'd been fortunate and was able to return to work but his wife had to drive him. Working on opposite sides of the city the daily commute had finally taken its toll and they'd decided to move closer to Pete's job to reduce the burden on her.
While I am sad to hear of Pete's health I cannot help but rejoice at their departure. I'd often stood outside in the early evenings watching them play off-leash with him and hoped they'd leave when their lease was up, I just didn't wish it to be under these circumstances.
I wish them well and hope they were able to get a nice big fenced-in yard where Gil can run, far away from other dogs which he is so obviously incapable of interacting with.
In the meantime, Duncan and I have a lot of new bunnies with whom to acquaint ourselves. And The Lair needs a new name for the monsters and wild things have finally taken their leave.