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.