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“You think you had a bad day? Listen to this…”

by Prince Of Petworth June 15, 2017 at 12:30 pm 18 Comments

“Dear PoPville,

You think you had a bad day? Listen to this… On 6/14 I was woken up by my alarm clock, which is odd, because usually my dog wakes me up 30 min before that goes off. I get out of bed to discover my dog is on the floor, shaking and having trouble breathing. I rush her to the vet. The vet says she’s stable and breathing, but they want to hold her for the day.

I go home, shower, get ready for work (for the last month, on top of my job responsibilities, I’ve been filling in for my co-worker who has been out, so I’ve been crazy busy). I’m running late at this point, but I’m still shaken up because of my dog, so I don’t really care (and I knew my boss would understand). I go to the garage in the basement of my building to get my bike, only to discover it is not there. Some asshole broke into my apartment complex, made his way to the garage, and stole my bike. It’s a 2011 Schwinn Merge hybrid bike (photo above.)

I walk to work. My girlfriend calls me. We’re supposed to go on vacation Saturday and have a friend watch our dog and stay in our apartment for a week. She says if our dog is very sick, we should cancel the trip. I agree. I look into it, no cancellation policy (which I figured). That doesn’t really sink in because my dog is on my mind. I call the vet for an update; she isn’t sure if my dog can get released and might need to stay the night in the emergency animal hospital.

I can hardly do my work, because I love that dog so much, so the stack continues to grow. I’m not even thinking about the bike at this moment. After work, I would normally ride my bike to go to my gym class, but can’t do that. Anyway, I want to check on my dog. I go to the vet. Thankfully, my dog is released and looks in rough shape, but is in good spirits. I’m incredibly relieved, but the consequences of not having my bike, which I’ve been pushing back all day, start to flow in. But I still can’t think about that because I have a message from my building manager and she wants to speak with me. At night I work a second job as a freelance video editor, and have at least 5 videos to make each week. My goal each night is to get to bed before 2AM. I’m behind schedule, and now that the building manager wants to call the police, I’m looking at a 4AM night. We call the police, file a report.

They ask me how much it’s worth. No idea. My bike can’t have a high retail value used. And mine was VERY used. Don’t get me wrong, I regularly kept it in good shape (washed it, oiled the chain, and tuned it up every few months). But, for example, the easy release for adjusting the seat snapped off last year, and I just replaced it with old gopro parts to it, and wrapped the bar of the seat with tape so it stopped sliding down. When I bought it a few years ago, I bought it on sale, and it was originally priced for $500. Also, I road it 6 days out of the week for the past 3 years (except winter), so it’s had some play time. As of writing this, I’m still not sure if the gf and I are taking the vacation. As I walked to work today, I realized that I can’t get from work, to home, and back to work in an hour by walking. So, I’m not getting paid for the extra time it takes me to walk home and back. Normally that wouldn’t bother me, but the vet bill was about $1,500. It looks like I’m losing the vacation money, paying a vet bill, and taking on more freelance work in order to pay all of that off, so sleep is out of my future. I can’t even look at buying a cheap bike at the moment, because I can’t even afford that. My only hope is finding my bike out there somewhere. If anyone sees my bike, please let me know. I can’t afford another one. Here’s a description of the asshole who took my bike: Thin, black male. Has dreadlocks and a lot of grey hair. He’s around 50 years old.

And the bike description one more time: 2011 Schwinn Merge hybrid bike.”

  • NH Ave Hiker

    Sorry to hear all this OP. Life can be rough sometimes.

    Best wishes for your dog!

  • ParkViewRez

    There is a guy who hangs out in Park View who meets that vaguish description. I only mention it because he seems to always be riding a different bike…

  • Pleasanter

    Sometimes when it rains, it pours. So sorry to hear about this. Perhaps you could reach out to friends or a neighborhood listserv for a bike to borrow for now.

  • CatieCat

    Ugh, sucks. Had a bike stolen a few years ago in Shaw, and it sucks! Scoured craigslist for a few months, but never spotted it.

    Some advice to perhaps other readers (probably too late for OP–and I’m truly sorry for you): Get dog insurance. i know it sounds ridiculous, and its a relativity new thing, but the piece of mind is priceless. Now there are some things it wont cover, and the deductible can be high ($250-$500, depending on which plan you choose), but I’ve decided it’s worth it. Now of course, nothing has ever happened to my dog, and probably won’t since i went with insurance, but for $28/month, it’s nice knowing I wont be out of pocket $1000+ if something happens.

    Also, i did a lot of research when deciding and some studies have shown you end up paying the same either way over the life of the dog. But if you don’t have a ton of emergency savings, it may be a good idea for some people out there. I have healthy paws, fyi, but there are tons of companies.

    • CapitalDame

      +1 that or set aside the money you would put towards insurance into a special savings account for the dog. That way, if you don’t use it and your dog passes away, you can use it for something else. My dog insurance is $55 a month and I kind of wish I had done that. My dog is high maintenance and we have not even come close to getting money back on the policy.

    • Anon Spock

      To add to insurance, get carecredit. It’s a medical only credit card that works for humans and pets. Insurance reimburses you, and most vets (esp. emergency, surgery ones) offer a minimum 6 months no interest if paid in full by that time. The 2 together should help to lessen the blow.
      For getting to work, I’d investigate buses. Maybe 1 nearby will get you there or pretty close. Sorry you’re dealing with all this OP.

  • Brightwood Babe

    *hug* I’m sorry you’re having a bad day. I had a streak like that this spring too. Do what you can and take care of yourself right now.
    Fingers crossed for your bike. A craigslist search may help. (A friend ACTUALLY got theirs back recently through one!)

  • flieswithhoney

    Sending positive thoughts your way. Assuming you paid for your trip with a credit card, have you checked to see if you have trip insurance? Also, you could check out the DC Used Bike Marketplace FB page for a used bike. I’ve seen people give away bikes on there before in response to someone in a tough situation. Phoenix Bikes in Shirlington also sells used bikes that were fixed up by kids under the direction of mechanics.

  • Mo, A Good Samaritan

    I may have a bike you can have. I NEVER ride it. 2 flat tires from lack of use but it (was) a good one. Can PoP let us private message?

  • anon

    ugh that sucks. you and the gf NEED the vacation though. please go!

  • Local Natives

    Hey neighbor! I have a spare bike that I’m not using right now, would be happy to lend it if it’s the right size for you (it’s a 54 cm single speed). Not the fanciest bike in the world, but it served me well for the last couple of years. PoP, can you connect us?

  • d

    Sucks but at least your dog appears ok. I’ve had to cancel a major trip due to the sudden illness and sadly death of a pet. Everything else seems pretty minor at that point.

  • Julia

    I just had my bike stolen out of the bike room at Camden NoMa. Which Camden is this?! I filed a report too and it was an $800 bike! It disappeared the one week I wasn’t riding due to crappy weather and I’m dumbfounded since it’s a controlled access room in a controlled access garage. I blamed a busted door but the building won’t take responsibility even though I complained multiple times.

  • mk

    Very sorry to hear about this bad luck streak. One of our dogs had an incident recently that sounds similar to what your dog experienced. The emergency vet wasn’t able to diagnose anything. Did you find out what happened with your dog? I would be interested to know. Hope you find your bike!

  • InEckington

    I have an old mountain bike I’ve been looking to give away… it’s not as much fun as your Schwinn I’m sure and has been living outside in the elements for a while, but OP, it’s yours if you want it!

  • Glad your dog is OK – what did the vet say was wrong?

  • anon

    I’m glad the dog is okay. Can you bikeshare instead of getting a bike? It’s pretty reasonably priced.

  • Kanoots

    Going out of town until June 28th tomorrow morning. If you want to borrow an old Schwinn in Petworth I’m happy to help out!

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