The boys and I saw a dog maul a duck at the park this morning--not exactly "Sesame Street" material. The dog's owner (who was a real asshole) didn't seem too concerned; he just called his dog back over to him, muttered "It'll be fine" to the boys and me and walked away. I slowly approached the duck, who was alive but not moving, and saw that its legs were pretty much useless (I don't know if they were broken or what, but the duck was struggling, unsuccessfully, to stand up). Now, if you know me AT ALL, you know that even the mere HINT of animal suffering usually drives me to tears. However, since the boys were already a bit upset themselves, I had to stay relatively calm for them (as opposed to breaking into huge, gulping sobs while running after that guy and kicking him in the balls for not having his dog under control/on a leash--AND for just walking away without a care in the world).
Anyway, I brokenheartedly (no exaggeration; I absolutely hated to leave this duck all alone and hurt) headed for home, where I emailed a few different departments at the park. Shortly afterwards, I received an email from the park director, who assured me that a staff member would try to find the duck and bring him to the on-site petting zoo for treatment (the zoo wasn't yet open while we were there, or you KNOW that I would have fashioned a leg splint out of a stick and some weeds and brought the damn duck over there myself. As it was, I seriously considered loading the duck into my car and driving around until I found a vet, but then I didn't know if they'd expect me to pay for it; plus, I wasn't sure that the S's would be thrilled about their kids sharing the backseat with injured wildlife).
I may be a sarcastic, bitter and cynical smartass, but I'll be damned if I don't have a soft spot for animals (Anna, were you around when I kept a baby mouse found in the DMX office building as my "pet"?).