So after several weeks of angst and grassroots outrage, the Annie saga has come to a close in an uncomfortable manner — torn up, emotionally rent and fully not tied nicely with a pretty bow as I had originally hoped.
Annie’s new owners returned her to her old owner on Monday evening, and as the photo above shows, a heartfelt bond has been repaired.
Surely one family is bitter and sad about how a simple trip to adopt a stray dog has turned out, but an image like this should offer some cheer.
Bob Cuddy, who sparked the controversy with his original column, is also bitter and sad, chagrined at having participated in the process and the melee that ensued.
Dave Congalton, who took the proverbial ball and ran with it, may have at one point been bitter and sad but now is mostly happy and content with just a bit of bitterness and sadness, but that’s only because he believes Bob called him a terrorist.
Me? I’m okay. Neither here nor there, I guess.
I’m happy Annie is back with Chuck Hoage.
I’m not happy that to make it happen, a family had to be intimidated to the point they feared for their safety.
I’m happy so many people were energized and inspired to participate.
I’m not happy a few of them proved to be the kind of knuckleheads whose license to use a keyboard should be revoked.
I’m happy the county stepped in and tried to correct a previous mistake by trying to reunite Chuck and Annie.
I’m not happy they screwed up further and made it worse by inadvertently releasing the adopter’s name to the frothing masses.
I’m am happy someone (Congalton) led a crusade to keep the case alive.
I’m not happy he elevated the crusade from radio show to Facebook group to public rally to personal phone call.
As polite as he may have been, at some point a media and Internet phenomenon hits too close to home, and voicemails on the family phone are that point.
There can be no denying the tinge of threat in both his e-mail to the county and his message to the adopters, even if he didn’t intend it that way.
Terrorism may be too strong of a word. Intimidation certainly isn’t.
In the end, I never did get my Hallmark Channel ending, the one that should have made most everyone feel good.
And in the end, while I appreciate Bob’s effort to refocus attention on larger issues, this wasn’t just about a dog.
It was about a man first, one who made a mistake, certainly learned from it and hoped to reverse it.
It was about a family that, for whatever reason, started out in a noble act and then went astray, eventually making an honorable decision, but probably because they were compelled by fear rather than charity.
And it was about a radio personality who went from community soundboard to something akin to self-appointed hostage negotiator.
In the end, many people with good intentions acted less responsibly than they should have.
We got the result we wanted, but the road is now littered with the carcasses of those good intentions.
What do you think? Share your thoughts here.
Tribune photo by Joe Johnston
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