I have been in real estate for over 20 years and virtually all of that time I have specialized in REO, foreclosures and distressed sales for banks and individuals. I have been in untold THOUSANDS of properties ranging from the most modest of mobile homes to the most lavish multi-million dollar mansions, and they all share several common denominators. One is that you NEVER KNOW what you are going to come upon when you walk on that property and you ESPECIALLY never know what you will find when you walk INTO that property. Those of us who have done REOs for a while could write a book on the things we have seen!
Some surprising things you might find in these properties are:
* personal/family portraits and photographs/photo albums
* expensive clothing in perfect condition, hanging in closets or folded in drawers
* personal letters/diaries/journals/keepsakes
* money (rare coins, etc..)>>If you find this, don't keep it. As sure as you do, someone will sue for it.
* children's toys/crayons/unused coloring books/school text books/school pictures/report cards
So why do people leave things like this behind? (And believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg...I will speak to the issue of "what" and "why" in a later article) Well, the answer is complicated and multi-layered, but one 'quick' answer is this...folks who are losing their home are typically in a state of chaos in their life. Often their marriage is struggling (or failing or failed), they have kids and careers to juggle, and on top of all that life is relentlessly throwing at them, they are losing their home. It is tough. Very tough. So, sometimes what you see in that home is a fairly accurate representation of the state of their lives. Chaotic. Scattered. Desperate. That's the short answer.
Now, that said...on to my topic. I just described the mentality of the "Jones'" who tragically lost their home to foreclosure (or for WHATEVER reason--loss is loss). I get it. I do. There IS NO "BUT" HERE...I REALLY DO GET IT. Here's what I DO NOT get...I DO NOT get:
1) how you managed to go off and leave your dog, the one who loves you and would die for you (the one your child is asking about)
2) how, IF you just forgot him, you didn't remember in a day or so, and GO BACK for him
3) how, IF you were not going to go back for him WHY you didn't GIVE him away, set him free or take him to a shelter
4) how, IF you never remembered him, or did, and did nothing, HOW THE HELL YOU LIVE WITH THAT!!!
Now...I get that things happen. Things which are out of folks' control. To which I reply: "You managed to get yourself and all your family members out of that house, didn't you? And when I came on scene a month later, I didn't find YOU laying dead on the bathroom floor, having died an agonizing death from dehydration, now did I?...trapped in a 24 x 60 metal box in the heat of summer...yeah, I bet that was quite an experience. Or maybe this one...I didn't find YOU in the back yard chained to an anchor in the ground with your chain all wrapped around the anchor to the point that you couldn't reach your dog house nearby to get in the shade...remember? Yep, full sun--all day. It was mid-august, and you had no water for...??? You were laying down when I arrived and I thought you were dead, But wait...that wasn't YOU...I got lost in the fantasy there for a moment...because YOU...left...HIM. And I don't CARE why. There is NO EXCUSE. PERIOD. Don't tell me there isn't a way to get an animal to freedom, even if it's just setting him free to roam. If you don't want him anymore, fine. But your repulsive willingness to simply look the other way should NOT be an auto-matic death sentence for him. Grow some responsibility and open the door, unlatch the chain, do SOMETHING...don't just walk away...he's not a journal...or a pair of jeans...or even a rare set of valuable coins...he is something much more than that...he is a living, breathing, feeling animal who doesn't understand where you went, who watches the door with every sound, sure that you will be back at any moment. And he has the right to believe that. YOU ARE THE REASON HE BELIEVES THAT! And shame on you for letting him down."
People have choices. They have resources...EVEN IN THE TOUGHEST OF TIMES!!!
Animals do not have choices once they become domesticated (which they did not ask for, by the way). They rely on people to care for them. They trust people because they HAVE NO CHOICE. And it angers me to come upon animals who have been left behind to die, inside houses, trapped with no options. And it never gets easier...and...quite frankly, I hope it never does...because the day it becomes okay with me is the day I will have lost a sacred part of myself...a part I cannot really define...but a part I don't think I can afford to lose.
So yeah...no excuses.
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