“Large dog attacks small dog, and fatality results.”
Reading those words is hard. Writing them is even harder. But witnessing it is perhaps one of the most brutal visual nightmares one can experience. Thankfully, I did not witness the act, but I was privy to part of it, and so were millions of other unsuspecting television viewers of Teen Mom 2 on MTV.
Having grown up in the days of hair bands and glam rockers showcasing their latest videos on this channel, it has been quite a culture shock for me to see “reality” shows such as Teen Mom 2 being broadcast on a music channel.
Though I do not watch a lot of television, I have select shows I cannot miss. One of my guilty pleasures has become Teen Mom 2. The series focuses on four young girls who became pregnant during their teen years and the struggles that ensue during pregnancy and while raising a baby. I find the show to be very realistic, raw, and ripe with emotional turmoil that (I hope) affects the psyche of young girls tuning in. Use birth control or this will happen to you, seems to be the undercurrents of the show.
One of the four featured cast members is a South Dakota native, Chelsea Houska. Since giving birth to adorable daughter Aubree, Houska’s life has been fraught with emotional challenges. She quit high school when she was pregnant, her on again/off again relationship with the baby’s father has been played out, and she struggles with what is best for her daughter (and herself) as the cameras roll.
On the day Houska is scheduled to take her final GED practice test, she is running late. Her small dogs, Frankie and Pixie, need to pee, so she lets the dogs outside, both off leash, to do their business. As she does, Houska walks around chatting on her cell phone, baby Aubree on her hip. Her frustration level climbs, as she is in a hurry, trying to gather her dogs back into the house, but they refuse to come back. She manages to get Pixie into her truck and shuts the door behind him.
Frankie is not so lucky. The little French Bulldog is seen traipsing around different yards, Houska following, chatting on the phone, and upset that she cannot get Frankie back into the house. She’s in a hurry, after all!
The dog disappears and within a matter of seconds, the worst happens. Houska gasps and the camera cuts away. After the commercial break, we learn the dog was being attacked by a neighbor’s larger dog. Houska is visibly upset and calls police, who tell her there is not much they can do. A distraught Houska breaks down and calls her supportive father.
“Every time I go to my test, something happens,” Chelsea weeps to her father.” Her dad, in turn, agrees with the bigger dog’s owner that if his daughter had Frankie on a leash, none of this would have happened. He also points out that Aubree could have been the one who was murdered.
I am livid.
Beyond the anger I feel for this girl’s lack of thought at not leashing her dogs to take them outside as she rushed to take her GED, I am livid for other reasons.
Why did the camera people not intervene? I always wonder these things when cameras roll and totally disturbing things happen. Who was filming it? And was it set up? I wonder to myself. This was no setup: A dog was mauled.
I wanted reality, and I got it, and now I have no idea what to do with it. We all make mistakes, right? We all do something we wished we did not do, right? This is so disturbing.
Why is a girl who is struggling to make ends meet while attempting to get her GED (she later passed) and raise an infant daughter even wanting to have dogs in the first place?
In December, Houska tweeted, “I’m gonna be single for life. That moment when you listen to ‘love songs’ and nobody pops into your mind.”
Tweet what you want, ramble about the misgivings and unfortunate life of emptiness you feel, but watch your dog, for crying out loud. I want to curse, I want to scream, I want to be the person behind the camera who stops rolling and picks up the helpless dog.
I am livid, and a little dog is dead because of a hurried teen mom. She made one mistake, and I give her credit for owning it and attempting to better her life.
I am chided now and again to stop referring to my dog as my kid. Maybe if more folks viewed their dogs as they do their kids, horrific incidents like this would not happen. And camera crews would drop the equipment and help a frantic young girl find her lost dog. If that were Aubree running loose toward the big dog, would they have stopped rolling then? I shake my head and wonder.
What do you think? At this point, I am livid and at a loss for further words. Lights, camera, … now someone take action. Please.