Having spent all of yesterday outside playing with grandchildren and an aging but still agile chocolate lab, Sophie is strangely quiet today and not interested in her food. But she reminds me of the things I fear these days. I guess I have always had fears. Lord knows, anxiety has been a constant companion. But these days I fear two things and both have to do with the extreme cruelty some people can show to the most helpless among us—children and animals.
Sex traffickers: I’m going to become a helicopter grandmom, just as my grands are at the age to be developing independence. I read a truly frightening account of an incident at one of our malls where, from the report, I truly believe that mom saved her children from traffickers stalking them. An older man, a woman, and a young Hispanic man sat near their table in the food court and kept staring at the children. The mom’s intuition kicked in and escalated when the threesome left when she and her sister and the children did. They called for security to escort them out but no security personnel were available; finally she went to her car alone, planning to pick the others up at the loading zone. In the parking lot she saw the three people in a van, with the sliding door open. When she drove away, they sped off. I’d call that a narrow escape.
Jordan has told me of other incidents at other malls, even one in which kidnappers were apparently after an infant but the mom managed to escape with the baby. Apparently human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes, driven by Mexican cartels and national gangs. Main targets are teenage girls in their early teens—oh good, that fits two of my grands. But I worry about the younger ones and the boys too. I cannot bear the thought of them yanked from their safe and comfortable homes and subjected to things I don’t even want to think about.
Dog fighters: I’m active on Facebook posting pictures of lost and found dogs, but I hear too many stories about bait dogs. I used to think Sophiedoodle was safe because she’s only 30 lbs. but now I now that dog fight people will use small dogs and even cats as bait. That cruelty is beyond my comprehension. Facebook recovery stories only intensify my fear (maybe I should get off FB?). Now I hesitate to post pictures of found animals because men in dog fighting often send their innocent-looking girlfriends to claim animals. I do post lost dogs but I shudder when I hear of one stolen—who took it? Did it really just escape to explore? I understand dog fighters send people out to snatch dogs out of back yards; they leave the gate open so the owner will think the dog escaped.
My Sophie spends her days inside, which she prefers. When I let her out I watch her like a hawk. I have two locked gates. Unfortunately, she loves all people, and if she gets a chance to escape she runs like the wind. She doesn’t know my fear; all she knows is love.
Call me paranoid but these things truly frighten me. What is wrong with some people?