Have you ever been stuck in a 'Should I do something or should I just mind my own business?' situation? I'm in one now and I need some feedback, bloggy friends.
A few weeks ago, during one of our mini-snowstorms, new people moved in behind us. The house had been empty for a while and the only way we knew anyone was moving in was because a little white dog was in the fenced-in yard. He's a tiny thing... a Bichon, I think (or a Toy Poodle mix). It was freezing that day and there were several inches of snow on the ground... the little guy was shivering and crying. There were no cars in the driveway for a long time, so after a couple of hours of keeping watch, I opened their back door and put him inside, with bowls of water and Sundance's food and an old towel to lie on. The house was empty (of people and furniture) and I figured the new people would be back eventually... I kept an eye out, though, and decided that if no one came back by dark, I'd go let him out to pee and then put him back in 'til morning. Someone did come home, however, so I breathed a sigh of relief... until a few days later....
He was left out for hours again and, though there was no snow on the ground, it was so cold. Little dogs like that aren't meant to be out in the cold for long, at least without sweaters (and even though I loathe clothes on dogs, I realize that sometimes it's necessary). I went to the door and asked the woman who answered to let him in. I said I was concerned because it was bitter cold and he was crying. She didn't look happy that I'd stuck my nose in, but she brought him in and I didn't see him for a while.
A few days later, I found him in my driveway when I got home. I took him back to his house and gave him to the girl who answered the door. She seemed very appreciative. The next day, he was stuck between his fence and his neighbor's. I went to the door again and, though there were people inside and someone yelled something in Spanish (I couldn't understand it, but I'm pretty sure, based on her tone, it wasn't anything nice like, 'Hold on, I'll be right there!'), no one came to the door. It wasn't until I hollered up the yard to Ryan that they were ignoring me that the same girl from the day before came out and got him. A couple of days after that, I saw another neighbor taking him home, as he'd gotten out again and had traveled up through our yard and across the street.
Now they've got him tied in the yard. On a very short leash. A little while ago, I heard him crying like something was wrong. I went out to see and he was caught on something, stuck completely and unable to move. I was going to go to the door again but instead, I went in the yard and got him loose. He's been out there for hours again, and it's really cold today. He has no protection from the wind and chill and he's shivering and crying. It's going to be dark soon. I haven't been able to sit down all afternoon, worrying about him.
I hate worrying about other peoples' animals. But I can't help it. So, bloggy friends, what do I do? Do I say something to them again and earn the reputation of the nosy, buttinski neighbor? I don't want to call animal control... but I'm getting close. I've actually considered taking him and giving him to a friend who would take care of him properly. I know, I know, that's stealing and all wrong... I said I've considered it... I'm not quite there yet.
What would you do?