He was shivering when I got here; coiled up in a ball like a curly fry. Mixtures of white and brown and maybe a little black decorated his body. He was covered in snow and I wondered why he was there. He didn't seem mean or anything, just sad.
I settled into my desk chair and into the warmth inside and he crossed my mind again. I wondered if he was still here. I opened the back door and he lifted his head and caught me checking. Embarrassed, I shut the door quickly and returned to the computer. Only minutes later, he consumed my thoughts again. Why is he alone out there? In the cold. I wonder if he's hungry. Curiosity consumed me, and I went to check again. This time he met my stare with animosity and aggression.
“Shit” I thought. He is not happy. I wonder if he’ll come after me? Yet he didn’t move. Just snarled at me from the gazebo.
It's not uncommon to see dogs here. But typically not alone, sleeping in the gazebo. It's more likely to find a homeless man named Tommy in there- Tommy who smells of stale beer and kindness.
But today, there was a dog & he was scared.
The officer arrived, mace in hand, and slowly approached the gazebo; insisting that I stand back. The dog barked and growled and snared but he would not leave that gazebo. It baffled me, until I saw the faint worn red leash that was attached to the bench.
Sickened, I ran back inside.
Someone tied this dog to our gazebo and left it here all night long in subzero temps. Irate, I rummaged through my desk looking for snacks or anything even remotely edible. Minutes felt like seconds, as I was sure he would lunch at the Officer and get maced. I did not want that to happen.
Chip Nuts! I have Chip nuts! I remembered. I grabbed a bag as fast as I could. From about 3 feet away he growled as I tossed a handful in his direction. Most of them scattering on the frozen ground, he inhaled them. He hadn’t eaten in a while. Probably a long while.
I took a step closer as I tossed another handful and repeated this until I was in arms length. The Officer insisted I not put my hand out.
“You just hold your mace. I got this”.
I put a few in the palm of my hand, half wondering if that was the last time I’d see it unharmed, and half not caring either way. We made eye contact. I saw pain and rejection in his eyes. He saw the same in mine. He began to eat from my hand as he lowered his head in silent understanding.
Slowly, I made my way for his collar and untied the leash. His tail perked up and he began to wag and drool and play like a puppy. This once ferocious beast became my friend instantly.
A part of my heart ached as I lead him to the cop car. I knew the dog warden would be picking him up soon. I wondered his name and who brought him there and left him. I decided if I ever find out I will tie said person to the gazebo for at least 24 hours. And throw Chip Nuts- just out of his/her reach. I am angry with people and humanity today.
Should I take him? I considered. I have cats. What if he hates cats? Shit. I don’t know enough about him and I saw firsthand what he can be like when he’s agitated.
I can’t take him.
A part of my heart broke when he pulled away in the red truck. I wondered what would happen to him. I blocked out the reality of what would happen. I choked back tears.
He was abandon and alone, stuck in a gazebo, people passing him by, and not even stopping to see if he was ok. He was like me.
I decided I want to rescue a dog. I want to rescue something alone and abandoned. I want he or she to know someone does care and someone does understand.
I think I’ll rescue a dog.
|Of course you can....|