My friends, Barbara and Alvaro, who I wrote about earlier in this blog (A Journey of the Soul and Renaissance Man), have recently rescued an abandoned puppy. They already have two bulldogs and weren’t looking for another dog, but there she was one night in their snowy field. Her name is Cricket. And the truth is, their little girl bulldog, Tula, has an irreparable heart defect and wasn’t supposed to live for a year. She and her brother, Chocho, are 18 months now and Barbara and Alvaro have been concerned about what will happen to Chocho once Tula is gone. Then along came Cricket with the exact same markings as the bulldogs. What are the odds?
Cricket showed up at the same time Barbara was working to rescue some semi-feral puppies in the village. She took them, in whatever combination she could catch, down to the shelter. She’d been given guarantees they would get good homes. Just today, now that the puppies are gone, she took their semi-wild mama to be spade. The next step will be to find her a forever home. She’s been abandoned three times already.
This is something we all do in these villages. We know we can’t save all the animals in need, but we do what we can for those that are presented directly to us. I’m writing this post to ask the same of all of you. We can’t give every animal a home, but please do everything you can to help those that come to you. We’ve domesticated them so they need us. They can’t do it on their own.
Here’s the email Barbara sent to all their friends about their new family member:
Monday night, I went outside after dark to close up and heard puppy yelps coming from our back field. I called out several times, then figured our neighbors had given their son a puppy for Christmas. Later, I let Chocho out and, again, the yelps. Chocho barked and ran to our back fence. I followed with a flashlight. A little puppy came up to the fence on the other side. After several attempts, I got her where I could pick her up through the cattle gate and took her inside “for the night”. I figured I’d take her to the shelter in the morning.
She cried a lot from the bathroom, but not too loud. I didn’t put her with the dogs because they were overly interested in her and she’s tiny compared to them, even Tula. In the morning, Alvaro let her out of the bathroom and put a gate up to keep her separated, but she just pushed it out of her way and came into the kitchen.
She spent several hours with the dogs, and, though I was taking another stray puppy down to the shelter that morning, I called for an appointment with the local vet just to check that she didn’t have any infections or diseases that could harm Tula and Chocho. On the trip down, she sat in a box next to me, calm and collected. I was impressed by this, and, of course, I was also touched by her cute little face and her spunky nature against two huge bulldogs who were all over her. The vet cleared her of any diseases/infections, so I got her all her shots and took her home.
Her name is Cricket. Last night she didn’t cry, she HOWLED in that irritating, high-pitched, puppy yelp ALL NIGHT LONG! She was in the bathroom, so we slept through most of it, but, man, I was mad at her when I got up. I greeted Alvaro with the news that Cricket was going to the shelter this morning. But there she was again, with the one bright blue eye, the other deep brown, looking at me with some trepidation as if she had already picked up on my annoyance and intentions. Of course, I melted, especially when I saw how Chocho had taken to her and how he was being more gentle today. She was much more playful with both him and Tula, soooooo…
She weighs seven pounds eight ounces. Chocho weighs 63 lbs, Tula 44. I have long wondered how Chocho will react when Tula, with her weak heart, finally dies, and wondered if a companion wouldn’t make it easier for him. Also, he is so bored with us. I walk him every day (almost), and one of us usually plays one time a day with him, but he has enormous energy and it hurts me to see him just lying around looking bored.
I have also always felt that if an animal comes to me, it is a blessing, not to be refused. Cricket seems to answer all three concerns. Today, the three of them have been playing so beautifully together, and Chocho is getting lots of exercise (except for the whole morning when Cricket slept soundly to make up for last night’s concert, perhaps even to prepare for whatever she is planning for tonight!)
So, as much as I don’t want another year of puppydom, with house training and all those mistakes, the chewing (all of our chairs are chewed at the edges from Chocho and Tula’s first year), the energy I have to give to all of this, I guess she’s here to stay. She’s smart, cute, charming. What else could I want? It is absolutely NUTS for people our age to be doing this, but Alvaro and I have laughed so much since we got Chocho and Tula, and the whole house, even all chewed up, and us, our clothes covered in dog hair and sometimes dog drool, well we’re all aglow here. What can I tell you?
So folks, we can’t know what joy the universe has in store for us. It just may come in the form of an animal in need. The next time you see a dog or a cat in trouble, go a little bit out of your way. Whether or not you can provide a home, you can certainly give comfort. And, I promise, you will be “all aglow” too.
Love to you all,