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the stray

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It was probably the beginning of the year when I saw the stray dog. I remembered that it was cold. It was morning and I was leaving for work. The trash was out, but he didn't bother the trash. He was thin. He kept walking.

Some weeks later Gumby and I were returning late at night from a gocery shopping trip. It was cold, it had been raining but at this moment there was break in the rain. We saw that stray dog again. He was walking. We got the groceries in and proceeded to get food and water for the stray. We hoped we would see him. We looked down the street but he wasn't there. We left the food out for a little while but brought it back in since it had started to drizzle lightly. The next morning we looked again. Still no stray.

Months later (September?) I saw him again as I came home from morning mass (I was then and still am unemployed). I passed him up on the street on the way to the house; he was walking in the opposite direction. I parked the car in the driveway and got out to look down the street to see if he was there. No sight of him. As I walked in the house, I made a mental prayer to St. Francis and to St. Anthony that if they'd bring him to our yard, I'd take care of him. By that I meant that I'd call an organization to come pick him up so that he could be cared for.

It was trash day and I'd already put out the trash. Gumby reminded me that there were some wood debris from the previous week that I need to move closer to the trash so that it would get picked up. So I went back out to take care of that. Lo and behold, the stray was lying in the shade on the side of the house. Mentally I had pictured him on the front lawn when I did the prayer, not the side of the house. I would have never seen him had I not gone out to pick up the wood debris.

Gumby called the vet who advised us to call the county animal control. They come out the same day and they are a "no kill" shelter. We got two of the disposable leashes (to make one long leash) that we had from the numerous visits to the vet over the years. I tied him to the gas meter pipe on the side of the house, in the shade. We gave him a little food and water. He was extremely emaciated, had a severe case of mange, and other problems that made it difficult for me to determine that it was a male dog. A red nylong collar hung loosely around his neck. He didn't eat right away but when I checked on him later, all the food was gone.

I wasn't there when the county came to pick him up. They said whatever happens, it would be more humane than having the dog wander in the street and having to fend for himself.

Anyhow, that's my St. Francis/St. Anthony story.