Friday, February 21, 2014
Heads of scrawny dogs pop up in the weeds along the road. They recognize the sound of my engine. Low held tails wag furiously, while waiting for the food bin lid to pop. Dogs with disease, cuts and injuries I can’t attend to, wolf down kibble while I pour the water. Few will chase the car. It breaks my heart to see them in the rear view mirror wanting more kindness than I can give.
The hardest days are those I see old friends coming to the car, when I have no more food. The look of disappointment when I drive on by haunts me until I go back with more, only to find them not there. Wondering their fate until I see them again burdens me more than you can imagine.
Darla, the puppy abandoned along the road in a bucket, plays happily in my driveway with black coat shimmering in the sun. Lucky and Robert Redford, now almost yearlings patrol the perimeter of their property with assurance they’ll defend this house from all comers. Healthy and well fed; their world would be doggie bliss if they just got more petting.
Blondie and Chi-Ping were adopted by me because neighbors wanted them gone, but now these same folk put out food and show me with pride where they put rugs for my dog’s comfort; go figure. I say, “Please don’t feed the dogs in the road; it pulls them away from my house and it’s dangerous.” They feed and even sometimes water just off the road. The dogs sometimes check there before eating their kibble. This place confounds me to say the least.
Darla had to be kept in the house, at six and seven weeks of age to keep her out of the street until she could process things like danger. Puppy road kill, a common cause of death happens to a fair percentage of young. She now looks both ways before stepping into the street.
Chi-Ping sleeps in my bed with Smoki, the cat. Blondie spends her time at the neighbor’s who said she wanted her gone. Love can be blind in more than one species.
Today I’m leaving; my rescues will stay at my friend’s shelter, even the cat. My heart is broken, my life shattered. In a week I’ll be home with my aunt, where I can be loved and cared for; it’s time for me. It has to be.