A year and a half ago, my family and I adopted a shelter dog--an Australian Cattle Dog we named Wally. He was sweet and gentle and so, so patient with our youngest, who was only 1 at the time. Not too soon after we got him, we had to go out of town and our neighbor agreed to dog sit for us. While we were gone, she took him for a walk, during which time he bit a jogger who passed by too close for Wally's comfort. Wally lunged and bit the guy in the right thigh, giving the jogger a puncture wound. It seemed for a while there that the guy would let the incident drop. We put Wally down shortly thereafter, which was hard on all of us. We thought we had done the right thing in getting a shelter dog, but apparently no good deed goes unpunished.
We received notice today that we, as well as our wonderful neighbor, are being officially sued. Our court date is set for March, while we're away. I don't want to hand this over to insurance--I'm just too mad at this guy who, like what is fast becoming the vast majority of the population, is looking for a fast buck. I don't want our rates to go up; I'd rather pay a lawyer. Oh... and his wife is suing as well--for loss of companionship while he was recovering (at home!!). He's back to jogging, by the way--no permanent harm done.
What upsets me almost as much as the suing itself is the fact that, although he filed in mid-September, we didn't receive notice until today--a week and a half before Christmas, a season during which we generally hope for the best from our friends, family, and, yes, even neighbors. I can handle the loss of money because my lawyer assures me it won't be much: the guy has a really weak case. But what I'm struggling with is the loss of belief in the goodness of people.
Why should I be so surprised? We don't talk anymore, we don't accept apologies, we don't turn the other cheek. We fight, we hold onto every perceived wrong we possibly can, and, let's not forget, we seek revenge.
I'm wallowing. I know. I needed a moment to do just that. But let me also just say now that I know Christmas isn't about finding the good in others, it's about finding the good in ourselves. So, in the spirit of Christmas, I won't counter sue. Will that suffice until I can honestly say, "God bless us, every one"?