Thursday, January 9, 2014
A Day in the Life of a Dog Lover in Puerto Rico
Every trip to the store becomes an adventure, when stopping to feed and water dogs along the way. That’s what it’s like to be an animal lover in Puerto Rico.
A female pit bull, looking stunned stands alone in the parking lot where I found Lefty a few months ago, I mean Sandy, as his forever mom in Boston calls him. She’s a big beautiful grey and white with massive head. I swing into the parking lot, whistle for her, but she doesn’t budge. She has that just dropped off look about her. As she recovers a little food and water will help calm her down, so I open the kit with the kibble and water bowls.
Hi, Sweetheart, I know you’re scared, who could dump a babe like you. I prattle while pouring water in my last remaining Styrofoam bowl, a small pile of kibble on the ground next to it and I leave before she moves from the spot where she’s frozen from fear. She munches on the kibble after I pull out of the parking lot. Good, food and water helps a newly discarded dog calm down. Being abandoned can't be easy to face.
Just a bit down the road a dog I fed before chases my car. Oh, rats, I didn't see him, so I pull over. He catches up with wagging tail. Only some kibble for you today, pal. I look around for a cup or something to pour water in for him, but see nothing. I have to remember to refill my kit.
Later, a gaunt white and black spaniel mix comes up to my car while I wait for my friend in a parking lot. He chows down. The boy lives in the neighborhood, so he’s an experienced perro de calle or street dog. I find a cup, he’s thirsty. The dogs need water as much or more than they need the food, so it's time to buy some plastic bowls.
The trick for me is to help the dogs without getting emotional. Just do what I can and move on without worrying what will happen to them next, do what I can. It’s NOT enough, but it's something.