Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Puppy's Hood in Puerto Rico

Finding her place in the pack as it mobilizes, eight week old Darla avoids Chi-Ping who snapped at her earlier for giving play bows. Chi takes her crabby old lady role seriously enough to discourage pups from over stepping a Chi boundary.  Darla brings up the rear, giving Lucky a lick on the corner of the mouth as she walks past, towards Robert Redford to give him a corner mouth lick, and then she gets along Lucky’s right side to take her position. The crew tiptoes to the edge of the plateau to look over the side at our neighbor trimming his tree with a machete.
Blondie, the only dog not upset over this turn of events, stands nearby. The man trims his tree paying no notice to the dogs sizing him up only twenty feet away. Robert Redford decides it’s not worthy of his attention, returning to the porch. Lucky watches longer, but comes to the same conclusion. After they leave, Darla peeks over the edge to see what the fuss was about. The man returns her gaze, so pell-mell she catches the boys. Chi vanished a second after she saw it was the neighbor.
In the late afternoon the dogs hunt mostly lizards in the tall grass. With keen forward ears they zero in on prey. This time of day most rats are in their dens. I hope they’re not after the neighbor’s chickens. They got another one yesterday. Darla bounds straight up the side of the hill to come sliding down. Soon she’ll run the ridges like the boys.
A disturbance on the road commands attention, so one by one they leap the single step, running across the carport to investigate. Darla didn’t make it first try so she backed up a foot for a running start and on to join the guard dogs.
Learning canine behavior, the rules of the road for her world is important. A dog not knowing how to get along with other dogs is as dysfunctional a person not knowing how to get along with other people. Gees, maybe, that’s not a good choice, but you understand that having a good foundation in your own culture helps you understand the rules of somebody else’s road.  
Lucky teases Darla with a toy, shaking it in her face and then running around the house with her in hot pursuit, if a tad late. Everything is going well in her puppy life now; I hate to think of finding the forever home she needs. I can’t keep her, Robert Redford and Lucky need homes. This isn't good for them long term.

I pray for wonderful people to adopt these amazing animals. 

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