Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Little Dog's Journey Home by Chi-Ping

When I came to Sato Hill; or actually, the day I was unceremoniously dumped, I cried, curled in a corner waiting for my people to return for me.
Lost, mourning, I worried what they would do without me. Would they be scared in the night without me to alert them to danger? Would they miss the scent of my presence the way I missed theirs?
I gave myself credit for being a spectacular intruder alarm. From my tiny room I could hear a leaf fall. Strange sounds deserve an all out panic bark! Suppose something bad happens! My barks alerted them to danger!
From my very first night on the street the neighbors where I landed received the benefit of my alarm services. They rewarded me with leftovers.
Mourning my world lost, without a clue to go home, I brooded, but the neighborhood Satos/street dogs stuck their noses up my butt. Until you die, you’re just part of someone else’s show. I had to stand up to these Satos to show them I wouldn’t be cast as their victim or whipping girl. They nosed me around some, but then they liked me.
I thought about my family, my life in the room, how happy I’d be when they came in to see me. Outdoors is a big scary place; my mind felt turned inside out.
The two neighbor ladies fed me well, when Blondie and Stormy, who died, weren’t around, but never gave me water. Stormy showed me where to go for water and how to hunt mice to supplement sometimes meager leftovers. I came to the road a fat little animal. Stormy taught me about life in the neighborhood, but I stayed close to where I got dropped believing they loved me and would come back for me.
One day just when my tail was beginning to wag again, the woman up the hill threw a towel over me. I did my best to bite her, but the towel got in my way. The next thing I knew a man held me on his lap. In a warm, kind voice he said, “Good Girl, you’re going for a car ride.”
I wanted to tell about the fiasco my last car ride was, but instead I nestled down onto his big hands, staring at the woman who grabbed me.
After that everything blurred. Blondie said that they fixed me. Huh? Back on the street I prowled my neighborhood with Blondie; until one night Blondie and I were taken away from the island.
My introduction to a pet carrier, followed by a weigh in at the airport and I flew to New Orleans chewing my way through the fabric until she shoved something for motion sickness down my throat.
From then on we walked city streets tied to the woman. People, who knew there were so many, people with dogs tied like we were. Blondie barked and barked, but none told her why people were tied to us. Great packs of children played baseball or football across the street from where we lived. We could smell strange creatures living in sewers and squirrels chattered, mocking us from above.
didn't like being tied or behind a fence, so one day I snuck past dad, the man with the loving voice.  The woman, who grabbed me in the towel, called me; was she kidding?
Wandering where I pleased, I allowed her to follow a couple of feet behind me, like she could ever catch me, hah!
A lovely lady I hadn't seen before called me by my new name, “Good Girl!”
I ran to her, she scooped me into her arms. I felt safe again. She handed me over to mom, who put me on the leash to walk home.
A few months later we were back in the airport on our way home. People admired how well I walked on leash with my head held high and my erect tail slicing the air.
Men outside the Aguadilla Airport doors greeted me, “Boriqua dog, that’s a Boriqua dog. Welcome home Boriqua dog.”
An hour later we were back home on Sato Hill.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Trap, Neuter, Release: a Reasonable Choice in Animal Control

A recent seminar on shelters in Puerto Rico ended with a PETA video proclaiming euthanasia as a better alternative to no kill shelters and heaven forbid dogs running lose in the streets where they eat rats and mice and garbage and God knows what else. They’ll live without love, she wailed as if  it were unheard of to exist without human love.
Which one of these free ranging street dogs looks like it would volunteer to be killed because its life is so miserable? Don’t tell me you’re doing it for them.

For their benefit, let’s put them on short leashes and tie them to a dog house, so they’ll be safe. Quickly toss them food and water, so they’re cared for. Put them in a pen where they never touch another of their kind.
They have no right to live unfettered. Eating rats, the PETA lady shuttered, living without love. How aghast would she be to know that dogs having a choice will frequently leave nutritious kibble to hunt for fresh meat with no byproducts? It demonstrates just how badly they need to be euthanized for their benefit.
Bored, brain dead pooches behind fences, that’s what we want; let’s put them in shelters to keep them safe. Walk them from the garage to the balcony for a couple hours fresh air. Get angry with them for scratching on the door like they’re trying to get out of prison. They’re well fed; what more could they want?
On any given day in the history of Puerto Rico there have been free ranging dogs roaming the island. When not over burdened by street dogs, the people are fond of their canine neighbors, preferring to feed a “Sato” and starve a rat.
Dogs are a part of the ecosystem here similar to fox, coyote and raccoons in the states, but they’re not really wild.  We can keep them healthy, manage them a lot more cheaply and successfully than the shelter or slaughter methods currently employed.

Trap, neuter, and release for this group of fine looking animals; what do you say?