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Pandemic Journal

The Statue of a Doberman in My Front Yard is About My Beloved Pet’s Legacy and Not His Repeated Mauling of My Neighbor’s Grandmother

There are two facts that protestors in this otherwise quiet neighborhood choose to overlook: Firstly, when our family purchased our three bedroom/2.5 bath ranch in Siesta Acres, there was nothing in the HOA covenants to prevent us from breeding a series of increasingly unhinged and dangerous Dobermans. Secondly, the warning signs (“Walk Slowly and Do Not Turn Your Back on Our Dogs”) that we stapled to front doors on our street were not in jest.

We issued reasonable warnings about the consequences of checking one’s mail, going for a walk or climbing into a car without looking around first, but here we are. Besieged by a savage mob who mistake our love for our now-deceased pet with the memorialization of its habit of stalking and taking down – eventually for good – our neighbor’s 88 year-old Nana.

Yes, there is no doubt that Frank, our beloved dog, was responsible for the demise of Martha. She was old and didn’t put up much of a fight which tells us her time was running short, and though we paid our debt to society we still maintain that Frank was just doing what came naturally and was to his core a very, very good boy.

That’s why we erected a bronze statue of Frank in our front yard. The artist depicted him in his final moments, a powerful paw against Martha’s throat and a police officer drawing his service revolver. It was, to all of us who mourn Frank, a solemn reminder of his tragic end. We hoped that its placement, facing Martha’s grandson’s front door, would be a symbol of our shared grief.

I’ll admit I probably got that wrong.

Each morning the greatgrandkids left the house, sobbing most terribly. Serious sideeye and a restraining order told the rest of the tale.

But Frank’s memory deserves to live on and we refuse to remove his monument. Not even when all our neighbors have shunned us, the HOA has issued a notice of violations, and the local constabulary has said, “You’re on your own with this one, buddy.”

But if we have to stand alone, alone we will stand. Frank is part of our heritage, and easily-triggered survivors don’t get to write history. Unless the HOA makes good on its threat to fine us, Frank’s monument isn’t going anywhere.