Monday, December 17, 2007

Musings: Dogs, Carrots and Sticks

It felt so good to get out and walk briskly in the wind this morning after spending nearly all of yesterday at the computer, working. If I can make it through today, I won’t have any deadlines for a week, so that’s my carrot, and a sweet one it will be.

The stars were brilliant when I went out in the night, but by the time I rose, Venus alone was in a sky half-filled with clouds, and it slowly faded as the sun pushed its way up over the Sleeping Giant in a filmy haze of silver white. By then I had two dogs at my side: Koko, and a sweet female with brindle coloring that had either been dumped or got separated from the hunting pack.

I don’t normally pick up dogs I find near the end of the road, as it’s a hunting area and hunters do come back, but I saw her up there on Saturday, and she followed me willing today. Maybe it was because I told her if she made it back to my house, she’d have snacks. And with her ribs showing, it seemed that was all I needed to say.

Ran into my neighbor Andy, and his dogs, and we somehow kept all four canines from being hit by the cars that passed as we chatted about socializing kids in junior kindergarten. Since the stray isn’t too road savvy, and kept stopping to search for food along the road, Andy loaned me a leash to get us safely the rest of the way home.

I gave her a couple of bowls of food and a towel to lie on and she’s sleeping on the porch, right by the front door. I guess the next step is to call the death squad, I mean, the Humane Society, but I haven’t looked up the number yet. Yeah, maybe her owners will come looking, or someone will adopt her, but I worked with the shelter for a number of years and the number of animals that get euthanized would blow your mind. I don't fault the shelter. What else are they going to do with all the unwanted critters?

Not that I need another dog, and a large one, at that, although Koko would welcome a friend. When we go walking in the morning, two dogs always rush out to see us. I call the male Bear (Andy's name for it is Dufus) and the female Girl. At first I thought they wanted to see Koko, but now I realize they’re hungry for the petting and sweet words I provide.

A lot of dogs — and people, for that matter — are starved for attention, stimulation and affection, spending their lives in boxes or at the end of short chains, or confined in the narrow existence that constitute the human equivalent.

At least humans have the power to change their lives (I think), and break free of what restricts them. One person who did that, and who was mentioned in the comments section a few days back, is George Cooper. If you don’t know who he is, go to the library and check out “Land and Power.”

Anyway, after George came up in comments, I figured I’d check in and see how he’s doing, so I emailed and got a reply. He’s still in Cambodia, where he’s been doing land law for the past 9.5 years, but he's ready for a big break and headed back to Kauai and Oahu in April, with his Vietnamese girlfriend if she can get a visa. It’ll be great to see him again.

To follow up on another comment that was posted, I heard from Bree Ullman and yes, she is no longer editor of the Haleakala Times and its future as an alternative paper is in doubt. That’s all I’m presently at liberty to reveal, but if I can share more, I’ll add it.

Right now, though, I’ve got a carrot waiting, so it’s time to pull out that guava stick and make myself get back to work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope you'll consider adopting that dog. She will be most grateful for it. Plus Koko will have a playmate. Just some words from a person who lives among dogs.