Christiaanse: Toledo-ville Grinch using canines to snatch Christmas joyWritten by Jenifer Christiaanse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanksgiving is but a memory. We claimed we were satisfied and gave thanks for all that we had while scouring the ads for things that we still wanted — at Black Friday prices. Not too many sat at home Thanksgiving evening reflecting on contentedness. Instead there was more strategy on how and when to attack the stores than strategy on how to defeat the opponents in those post-turkey football games. Once the stores blew the early whistle for the eager shoppers, the race was on! There was a brief pause from cramming the car with thingamajigs as Northwest Ohioans stopped to cheer Jim Tressel’s team on to a stunning victory.
Church choirs are preparing to sing of the Savior’s birth. Mall Santas are brushing off their beards, and the Salvation Army kettles are reminding us to be generous at this time of good news and good cheer. But there is a Grinch lurking not just between the covers of Seuss’s classic book. There is a Grinch waiting to snatch Christmas cheer from the dog lovers of Lucas County. In the classic story, Mr. Grinch contrives a devilish plan to cheat the Whos down in Who-ville from enjoying a bountiful Christmas. He straps a pair of antlers to his poor dog Max who is coerced into pulling a sled full of pilfered things from the homes of the residents of Who-ville. While the Whos lay a-snooze, Mr. Grinch attempts to snatch their joy. He is confronted by Cindy-Lou Who but convinces her that he isn’t really stealing their tree and toys; he is just taking them away so he can fix them.
The Toledo-ville Grinch is also using canines to snatch Christmas joy. On November 30th, I found in my mailbox a letter demanding me to pay $25.00 for each pooch on my property. And what do I get for this annual fleecing? Nada! Zip! And what does “Max” get for this steep tax? Does he get a checkup? No! Does he get a treat, a modicum of protection, or even a Christmas card? No! Poor “Max” just gets that jangling thing to wear on his collar. Even if “Max” is collected from the streets, they won’t call me to tell me he is alive and well. But “Max” gets the satisfaction of knowing that he is employing a few more people so they can scour the neighborhoods to make sure all the pooches have matching baubles. In short, Lucas County wants to strap reindeer antlers on to my little dog, crack the whip, and shout, “Bring us some more money!” It’s not enough that the Dog Warden’s coffers are overflowing with over $900,000 surplus. They need more, and they need it early.
The American Humane Society from Denver visited and for $5,800 made an assessment of the Lucas County pound facility and administration. And guess what? They need all that money and more because small dogs have cages that are too big and big dogs needed bigger condos! But, in the spirit of the season, be of good cheer! Morale is up at the dog pound despite the “cruel conditions.” I’d be slurping the egg nog and calling out “Ho Ho Ho” if I had nearly a million dollars with more on the way. All should sleep better knowing that the Doggie Spa employees are happy and the “Maxes” of Toledo are bringing home the barks and bucks.
I’m baffled why the tax letter came in late November as it isn’t due until January 31st. It appears that the Grinch wants to quash any plans that Lucas County residents may have to buy some doggie treats or doggie threads to stuff in doggie stockings. But perhaps it is because they think the imposing structure of theirs, which looks more like the former Dana Corporation Headquarters than the un-magnificent homes in which the majority of Lucas County residents live, needs to be demolished and updated. Most of us live in homes older than the Lucas County dog pound. It doesn’t move us that Doggie H.Q. is no longer doggie chic.
Sadly, our “Max” breathed his last about mid year. We weren’t offered a partial refund. Wouldn’t it be nice if the residents of Lucas County were given a break this year because times are tough and because the pound has a whopping surplus? Instead, they have employed some creative elves that have fabricated two reindog-like names for nonexistent canines in my house. They want us to fork over an additional $50.00 for Ardy and Elvis. (They came up with names but couldn’t come up with breeds). Now that’s what we need: civil servants who think outside of the box! Phantom reindogs to pull their packed sled.
If the powers that be want to think outside the box, perhaps they could offer a dog tax amnesty to any dogs adopted from their pound. That would encourage residents of Lucas County to consider adopting a dog or two, though I don’t think I would consider the names Ardy or Elvis. Perhaps a Rudolph or a Cupid. In the Seuss story, the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes when he wasn’t able to keep Christmas from coming. He whizzed with his load and brought back the gifts, and the food for the feast. It’s not too late to grow a heart and reduce or rescind the tax. We’d welcome it with glee — in the spirit of Christmas.
Here’s hoping there will be roast beast for the pooches and for the stockings of those in Toledo-ville.