Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Upset About Puppies Thrown in the Road by Chi-Ping

What’s the matter with Blondie? Doesn’t that big yellow bitch know we’re supposed to be on guard? They could come from any direction; we must be alert. I run up and down this driveway with my tail high, so the world will know Chi-Ping is on duty, while Blondie lays on the porch under mom’s chair, yeah, I called her mom. The puppies have her distracted, always doing something bad.
Earlier Blondie was all full of canine in charge attitude, when we chased mongoose out of our territory. The second those smelly creatures slithered through the palm trees on the top of the hill we ran to meet them before they got to the banana tree grove. Make no mistake, we don’t want to catch them, it’s not worth the fight, but we want them out of smelling distance, plus it’s always fun to herd mongoose. Stormy taught me how; he was a Border Collie Sato, who taught the ropes of being an island dog to all the dogs that were dumped on the hill. Blondie and I think of him sometimes when we’re out chasing or catching.
As we headed back to the house, the white pickup truck that killed Stormy came barreling down the road. Blondie still charged from the chase, charged after this enemy. Blondie went so fast that she got in front of the truck nipping at the tires. Blondie, that’s how they get you, but she doesn’t care. She hates the truck that killed Stormy. With all the running, we’re hungry.
Mom has the puppies in the yard doing the two p’s, pooping and peeing. I wish I’d learned that was I was a pup. It’s so hard to remember. As soon as mom sees us, she smiles. We got right in for the breakfast of two important protector dogs.
I haven’t forgotten to finish telling you about my time in New Orleans. It’s just that with these puppies getting my food I’ve been upset, so I’m guarding the road in case any more critters try to find their way to my door.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

New Sato on the Hill

Early morning with the sun just licking the valley summits, coffee beckons. Four dogs trotting down the street have upset a pit bull chained to a vacant house down the road. He’s jumping and barking, destroying the peace. Conversation with my creator concludes. I toddle into the house for my first cup, followed by the new edition to the “Satos on the Hill Gang.”
A couple of evenings ago, at least I think it was a couple of evenings ago. Life blurs, since Kirt’s hospitalization. The “yipe” I’ve come to recognize over the years as severely injured dog, most probably hit by a car sounded close, sounded like a puppy. Every house had people coming through doors. Que pasa? A bare foot Geri, the first to arrive, yelled at Blondie. His anger with her was clear, but I didn’t understand anything beyond that. He poked in some leaves on the side of the road with a little stick. It looked like the leaves came alive. I couldn’t see what, and then I saw yiping intensely, a black puppy hanging from Geri’s hand by the tail. Lifeless rear legs splay wide. The yiping stopped and Geri walked off, stopping only to shake his finger at Blondie, who was standing in the road watching him. What just happened?
By the time I got down my driveway, everybody was gone. As a precaution I put Blondie and Chi-Ping in the house. I thought the puppy died while Geri was examining it. In fact I almost didn’t go all the way down to the road because I assumed that to be the case. The ruble in the leaf litter screamed, “Yipe” in my face as I bent over for a close look. I hiked back up the drive to fetch a towel.
What the hell; where did everybody go? When I got back to the puppy, the nearest neighbor stepped on her porch to say something about Blondie being a bad dog, as I picked the female puppy up and examined her. It’s probably a good thing that my Spanish isn’t better at this moment. If Blondie isbad, it’s nip and run, not one to just go in for the kill, attack a puppy, no. She was a good mommy. This is a baby, anything pre-puberty would get a pass from Blondie. I certainly didn’t care to discuss why she hadn’t done more than point a finger at another dog to help this little creature.
Kirt sat in his wheel chair waiting anxiously for me to place the pup in his lap. His wise old hands scanned the pup gingerly, while I emptied the wicker basket at the end of the bed. The pup closed her eyes, raised her head as if in ecstasy as he stroked her chin and neck. It struck me as odd to see her small smile. This would be her moment of happiness in a short life.
Geri very nicely came to the door to tell me about Blondie being a bad dog. And, oh, by the way there’s another puppy hiding under a van parked on the other side of the road. I smirked to myself thinking of a recent conversation in which my Aunt Margaret told me not to worry things couldn’t possibly get any worse. She laughed when I replied, “Easy for you to say, you’re dying.”  God, we’ve had some frank conversations.
Show me where this other puppy is, so we can save it. Step up, Dude, we’re going to rescue a puppy, before it gets killed. Geri poked his head under the van. In gestures he told me it was under the back tire at, of course, the end without access. In Spanish I ask him to bring some water for the pup. He lives just across the street. I head on back up the hill for kibble. Walking these hills, one day my behind will be perky. Hah!
It’s a good thing I brought a bowl of water with me. The pup lapped it up. We negotiated with a kibble at time to come to just under the bumper. A few more trips down the drive to acclimate the puppy to coming when I squeaked before delivering some food, had him crying in conflict. I’m afraid, cry. I want food, cry. I stepped back to a distance that resolved the conflict for him. Little whip of a tail beat fast and low. Food glorious, food, his teeth crunched loudly. A white slash down his chest made him easy to see under the van.
Early morning I went down the hill first trip; he didn’t make a sound when I squeaked and placed food under the tire. Once back at my house I saw the little bugger exit the garage and scoot under the bumper to the meal. He was alive!
Geri sat in his yard watching as I coaxed the puppy near. After a few more trips the puppy was all, but ready to jump in my arms to take him home, except for being so afraid of me. I’m not one to push things too quickly. I hate cleaning up mistakes, so I went up to the house for breakfast. A bit later I heard, “Good morning,” which is the extent of Geri’s English. His smiling face peered in through the window telling me he caught the puppy, my hero. Before leaving he told me the puppy’s name was to be “Negrito.” And pretty much to take good care of the puppy. Thank you very much.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Satos in the Big Easy by Chi-Ping

That cranky cat from Illinois mewed in a tiny helpless way, when she said, “Do you want some leche?” As if he knows what leche is and I don’t. I’m a Puerto Rican dog, I know what leche is and I want some. Give it to me! The old bugger cat hopped from a chair to run across the counter to lap up the leche. She told him how precious she thinks he is.
My English is not too good but, when I hopped on the table yesterday she made me understand not to do that again in no uncertain terms. After only two weeks in New Orleans I could tell life was going to be very different from our little road on the hill overlooking the lake. For one thing I have a big bed, but I ‘m forced to share it with Blondie, the two humans and that bossy cat, who has to have his head on her shoulder.

Blondie and I ruled the road in Guatajataca, running to investigate any disturbance. We chased people, other dogs, cats and even some cars we don’t like. Here she takes us out on “walks,” which means we drag her ass where we want to go. She likes to be drug often, so every couple of hours we take her out on the twenty foot lines that retract when we come back to see how she’s doing. Blondie likes her a lot; me, I have my doubts.
Smoki, the cat, likes to perch in the window howling and complaining to the street cats about how he has such a hard life and doesn’t like what they feed him. Here near City Park in New Orleans cats roam the streets like dogs do where I come from. Smoki grew up in a kennel. He says he’s never seen some many cats in all his lives. He now knows there is a cat heaven in which cats run the streets listening to jazz music. Blondie and I just want to chase some, sink a tooth into one just because we do that when we’re excited. Smoki should only know he’s living under the same roof as a cat killer. Maybe that’s why he sleeps on her shoulder or in the high window in the kitchen. No matter, Blondie and I planned to get rid of him before long.
All the dogs in New Orleans pull people. I mean here we are near City Park wanting to run, sniffing everything before tuning in to the finer smells in life like garbage with a woman tied to the other end. She’s slow. She’s praying with her mind on God and nature. I try to tell her to forget dreaming about life and nature; get out there, live, sniff, laugh and be happy. Let’s forget about the leash. You won’t forget where we live.
I never knew what I was missing in Puerto Rico. This city has more cats than you can count; catch the kitty is one of my favorite games. The tantalizing scent wafting up out of the storm drain puts my sense on high alert. It’s even more interesting than watching squirrels run in the trees. Catching one, that’d be a four treat day. We should get squirrels in Puerto Rico; wouldn’t that be fun? I’ve never seen a storm drain like this; how do I get down there? What kinds of creatures live in storm drains? 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Time As a Street Dog by Chi-Ping

Blondie, Stormy and I ate leftovers, but there was never enough. We scoured the neighborhood for whatever we could find.  Stormy taught Blondie the art of ratting. She hunted with confidence when we met. As a natural, my skills were impressive from the beginning, given my family heritage, ahem Rat Terrier here! Life was wild and exciting, until Stormy got killed.

Blondie said when the Americans come back; they would feed us every day. We sleep on their porch most nights. Blondie believed they were good people even if she didn't see them for months at a time. What good are people, if one day they’re here and the next they’re not? I only met them the day they took me to the vets for fixing. I wasn't impressed.
Blondie and I tagged along with Geri, while he picked bananas. Next thing I knew Blondie tore down the hillside barking, “They’re here. They’re here.” She squealed and wiggled all over the place. I don’t know why I got excited. It’s catchy. These folks keep a dog fed, but who the hell can understand them. They speak English; something must be wrong with them. Every morning she plays a good morning game with Blondie, who gets silly and wiggly. It’s fun, but when I got silly, I bit her hand, she didn't like it. What did she expect? We were playing.
Full bellies, brushing and petting, treats Blondie and I were two happy street dogs. I don’t need to be in anybody’s house. A piece of cardboard to curl up on suits me just fine. We hang with people, when they’re doing something interesting, and they’re being nice. I’ll sleep on your porch or under the stars. It makes no difference to me.
The day the Animal Control Officers, Adri Galler and Alma Febus came to visit changed everything. Adri took the two collies living in the street with us to the Shelter Amigos de Los Animales. They talked to the lady who has many small hairy dogs. People growl, too; did you know that? Adri and Alma talked to all the neighbors. They didn't want us. They didn't want us.  Alma and Adri asked Tricia what she wanted to do. Should they take us to the shelter? These ladies seem nice enough, but I didn't want to go. This is home. What is a shelter anyway?
Tricia said Blondie will be her dog. She loves her. Kirt told her that I would be no extra trouble and take me, so we went to the PetVet, Dr. Gwen, who fixed us. I didn't get sick like last time. A few days later Smoki, the cat and I were on a plane!
To be continued. Chi-Ping  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Life's A Bitch by Chi-Ping

For those who don’t know or remember my story; I’m a small, savvy “Sata” in black and tan, my name is Chi-Ping.
After a long time of living in a bedroom pooping and peeing on paper, I went for a ride in my person’s SUV. Previous rides ended with a visit to the vet’s office, so I’m not too crazy about rides, but ecstatic enough to get out of that room and have some one-on-one time with my human; what’s a little stress? We’re riding in the country. It’s all good.
Next thing I know I’m on the side of a road watching the SUV go around the curve out of my sight with the only human ever to take care of me inside. Where --- hell was I? You can’t just leave a little dog like me out on the road like this! Who did this? Don’t you know how scared I am?

Time passed. I got to know the lady who lives in the house where I was dumped. She said things like, “Bendito,” which sounded sweet. I loved her immediately. Not being too overjoyed at living outside, I smiled and wagged my tail at her, please let me in. Certain that this was my forever human I waited patiently at her door, or gate, whichever I found myself on the opposite side of, until one day I was in the house. In the house dog, that’s me!
Tricia, the American Lady in the white and blue house up the driveway, took me for a ride to be “fixed.” I was sick as a dog, an expression, which comes from being fixed; I tell you! She put me in the arms of my forever human, who said, “Gracias a Dio,” smiled, and then carried me into the house. Oh, happy day! Sick as a dog, but I was an in the house dog.”
I followed her from room-to-room. I jumped in the bed wondering what it would be like to smell her, touching my nose to her skin, but she scolded me to get off her bed. Okay, I get it; my folded ears said, “Sorry.”  
 Soon I couldn’t bear to leave her side, but the kitchen definitely became my favorite room. It was then my most horrible experience of all stunned me terribly, when my forever love chased me outside with anger flashing in her eyes.
What the, hey, you’re the one who was supposed to lay down papers. Humans have three things to do: clean food and water and papers. Sound alarm, protection, clean up of all food on the floor are but the beginning of chores handled by Satos. And where would you be, if I don’t keep those mangy mutts moving down the road?  What about your rat problem; don’t you see what I do for you? How was I to know you wanted me to pee and poop outside? I do it on papers; what's wrong with you?
On the road again, but this time I like the Satos, Stormy, may he rest in peace, taught me the ropes. Big pushy Blondie started talking to me. We’re buddies now. Take it from me, when you’re on the street you want the big girl on your side. Smile. Who needs a human to love? I've yet to meet one I could trust. I wag my tail and I get by without getting too close. Blondie and I sleep on Tricia’s porch these nights. Everybody here feeds us, but she gives us water, too. Nobody bosses Chi-Ping, well, maybe Blondie. If my forever person would take me back, she could boss me.  I still wag my tail when I see her, just in case.
Time to go for a ride; I’ll finish my story tomorrow, Mothers’ Day.
Y'all have a good one, Chi-Ping. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cruelty Event Counseling?

Hello Puerto Rico,
In the news yesterday was the story of a school principal, who set an example of cruelty for her students. As I read the story my mind pictured the movie of the event.
 Glen Close, Cruela De Ville, as a grammar school principal tearing through a crowd of little children playing with a darling off white puppy. Cruela dowses the puppy with bleach in hopes of whitening the coat before skinning the puppy; splashed with bleach spray, the children jump back. The bleach fails to whiten the scared puppy’s coat. An angry Cruela beats the pitiful puppy with a school broom into a field where she leaves it to die. Cruela charges back to the school entry where children huddle with eyes glaring threat and challenge. “Dogs carry disease,” she growls as she closes the door to her office to be alone with the puppies in cages she only sees as coats. Don’t you just hate her? I mean Cruela.
It must be a dark comedy; what school principal would really douse a dog with bleach… and then, beat it with a broom?
A person, who could teach aggression against another living creature for just being there alive, must have what we in the Catholic Religion called intrinsic ignorance. I mean this woman flat ass did not have a clue she was doing wrong. That scares me for the future. This lesson must be untaught; don’t you think?
Like trauma counseling social workers and/or animal activists should go to the school. Bring some dogs or puppies to teach these kids that their first instincts were right. That animals are our cousins, our family of God’s creation to be treated as something made by God and therefore… Okay, I’m getting on a roll. You get the picture.
Give this woman an opportunity to grow a soul. If she confronts her behavior, she may learn empathy. Didn’t know, didn’t care, yes, but is she a Cruela De Ville?
Who will advocate for these children who need to tell how they feel? Who will assure them that they are right, this is not the way you treat animals?
When you want something done, ask a busy woman. Michelle Cintron, as President of FEPA, the organizer of animal activists/advocates, I am asking you to form a committee to approach the principal to advocate for the children and the animals.
Does anybody think this is a good idea or am I whistling Dixie?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Amigos de Los Animales Needs Help

Hola Amigos,
Every puppy/dog coming through the doors of Amigos de Los Animales gets the kind of care Mary would have loved to see baby Jesus get at the inn. A gentle hand, a full belly, a place to sleep, and all the medical attention required.
Adri’s days start at 5 am to let the dogs out. If she’s not working at her job as a musician, she gets into bed around ten. That’s reasonable enough, but then she’s up throughout the night on the computer, as she thinks about getting this dog to a good home here or in the states, or someplace else. She agonizes about how to help the tourist, who found a starving dog and wants to find someone to be responsible for it. I've seen Adri offer to pay for dogs’ care on days I know she had nothing in the fridge to eat herself.
On days when she should be buying groceries for herself, she comes home with liver, yogurt, Karo Syrup, goats’ milk to make puppy formula to feed the sickly puppies dropped off in the morning. She looks like she could bawl her eyes out, not for her self deprivation but for the puppies she’s afraid she can’t save. Adri is not like us. We give what we can spare. She gives all she has.
Adri stays focused on her message about the dogs. Adri is always about the animals. She says it’s not about the people it’s about the dogs. She gives me a stern look when I say it’s about the people too.
Adri is paying shelter bills out of her own pocket to the point that she doesn’t have her hard earned money to pay her personal bills. She’s not the type to tell you that. Adri’s loving care extends beyond the animals. She took me and my critters in when my husband, Kirt, was having his leg amputated. And she says it’s not about the people…
I saw the hard choices she’s made in favor of the dogs because I was there.  She delights in new kennels donated for the dogs while the home of Amigos de Los Animales, her home is beyond normal maintenance. She needs help. Big help, now.
I’ve lived in or around Chicago most of my adult life, Chicagoans are a cynical lot, we don’t admire much.  If you’ve read my blogs, you know I admire this woman enormously, which is why I support her shelter when I live in Quebradillas. Close to home she’s not for me, but I believe in her.
We are amigos de los animals because we love animals, we are the amigos. Please, give to Amigos de Los Animales because the animals and our amiga need help.
Muchas gracias,
Patricia Carr

Click on paypal


Not How to Welcome a Pit Bull

Oh, my God, no! I looked out the window as one of my neighbors poured a bucket of water over her fence on a black pit bull. Holy shit, can you imagine? You've been taken from your home.Your earth shook. You ended up dumped someplace strange on the side of a road. You're in shock. Your blood pressure sky rockets, you lie down, just as you begin to calm down and take a sip of from a water bowl, you’re dowsed with five gallons of water. The black dog stepped into the road to shake it off, when the older lady clapped her hands. 
This dog appears soft, but well fed. He has most probably been dropped off right where he laid. Dogs and cats most frequently remain at the drop off point for a long time, not knowing what to do and so terrified at being up ended like that. Imagine how that feels. And then some asshole pours water on you.
My hope was that when the pit calmed down, he would follow Blondie up the hill. He was so stressed he couldn't see straight when I went down with the water; the water in the bowl for the dog to drink that is.  Anyway, it seemed like a good idea to let the dog get his act together. Who knew?
I had the feeling she would buddy with him. He’s gone, not sure where. When I went to the store, I saw two black pits, so no way to know.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Tongue hanging out, slobbering, scarred out of his mind, a black pit bull tried to get small in the corner of a two foot patch of grass just off the road in front of my neighbor’s house. It hadn’t been there twenty minutes ago, when we went in the house to make breakfast. The “pittie” had the freshly dropped off what the hell just happened look.
My first concern was that perhaps it had been hit. I’m pretty sure that Kirt and I would have heard a dog get hit at the bottom of our driveway, but to make sure I went down with a bowl of water. The dog stood up, turned around to change position. Movement looked fine, so I delivered the water to the shade on my side of the road, while saying what a good dog we had here in my sweet tone. Directly across the road from the dog I splashed the water with my fingers. The dog moved it’s head like it was trying to focus to the sound. This creature could be blind, but I think it is just scarred, so I put the water a few feet in front in a little shade. Non comprehending blood shot eyes searched for a way to climb the wall. I quickly retreated.
Friday, when we came home from the hospital in San Juan where Kirt spent the last two months, a cute little wire hair Chihuahua acted like the resident street dog barking and running around the house with her tail tucked. This drop off tried to claim a spot here. Blondie and Chi-Ping were still at Adri’s, so I began making friends with the toy dog that hadn’t been here two weeks ago, when I last came home.
Saturday Blondie and Chi burst out of Adri’s van with glee. Woof-woof, we’re home. There went the Chihuahua down the drive with resident bitches in hot pursuit. Blondie allowed the interloper to hide in the garage at the end of the driveway and galloped up to inspect her house. Our neighbor put the small dog in my cat’s crate for Adri to transport to her shelter, Amigos de Los Animales.
Sara, the adorable beige and white wire Chihuahua will have a health exam, vaccinations and required treatment compliments of Amigos. The lucky girl met Adri Galler, rescuer extraordinaire. Adri’s eyes sparkle when she sees an adoptable dog, as she seems to envision the wonderful life she’ll be able to facilitate for a charismatic creature. Last week Adri rescued a smooth coat Chihuahua of similar color she named Suniva, who will enjoy playing with Sara. They’ll look so cute playing together. J
Thanks, Adri, for taking the cutie. Now, let me check out the new arrival.  

Protecting Resources

Like Storm Troopers, Blondie and Chi-Ping tore out of Adri’s van in search of the dog, whose scent gave her away the moment the girls pulled in the driveway after two months of being at Amigos de Los Animales Shelter in Pinones. Within seconds they were on her, stinging her with nips driving her to the garage at the bottom of the driveway before coming to my call, which sing halleluiah; they came.
A perpetually full bowl of food for over a year has changed Blondie in that she no longer stands over the bowl to protect it. Blondie still alerts when Chi approaches the bowl. If Blondie remains tense with eyes focusing on her, Chi-Ping knows of Blondie’s disapproval, which means walk away, and sneak back later to Chi-Chi. Today Blondie exhaled audibly, turned her head away, and laid down. Chi stopped, picked her head up, looked at Blondie, a tiny cock of her head, and then Chi-Ping strode to the dish knowing she had Blondie’s approval. It was the first time I’ve ever seen her give Chi-Ping anything more than covert approval, which always looked like eat, if you must, but I’m not going to like it.
The effect of being hungry stays with you for a long time. You never want to feel that again. It’s a motivator. Blondie protects her resources with gusto, so Adri rescuing the little Chihuahua trumps me working with Blondie to accept small creatures she can shag out of the neighborhood in a heartbeat. I have my hands full at the moment with my husband recovering from surgery.
I would say that she pushes out the smaller dogs, but Blondie never bothered with Chi-Ping when she tumbled on to the hill. Stormy, our first Sato, was a small Border Collie. She adored him. Figuring out what pushes the buttons, that’s the challenge. Hey-ho, dogs be with you.