June 14, 2002 ~ Just Another Stray
He was still sitting there on the porch, hours later--a small, black and white dog, scared of everything that moved, his ribs showing. I knelt down and spoke to him in a soft voice, holding out my hand. He slowly came over to sniff at me, shaking from the effort of standing.
After a few minutes of petting and reassuring, I checked his collar. No tags. As I was taking my hand away, however, I felt something on the side of the collar, a different texture than the rest, crinkly plastic. It was a note, wrapped around the collar with tape. "I need a home and food," it said. I sighed.
Another abandoned pet. This happens more times than I can count at the college. People leave pets that they no longer want here, shirking responsibility, leaving a small creature's fate in the hands of strangers. These animals are usually ravenous and distrustful after a few days, skittish, as the little fellow on the porch was.
I brought him some water, and he drank greedily. I went back inside and started making phone calls to local animal rescue organizations.
Later that evening, after work, nobody had called back. I sat on the porch next to him, wondering what to do. Morgan and I couldn't take him home; our landlord has a strict "no pets" rule. Right then, my future supervisor walked by and asked about the little dog. We explained the situation. After a moment, "I can take him. At least for the night." I'm going to like working with her. I promised to call the animal rescue organizations, and he went home with her.
This morning, she came into my office and it turns out that she is going to keep him for the summer. She's named him already. He's a real sweetheart, once he gets over his fear. I gave her some phone numbers and what information I had gathered from the local agencies for if she ends up giving him away once the colder weather comes.
It looks like this one will be lucky.
I really respect people like Lorraine who work at animal shelters and take up the responsibility that others so casually shrug off. People like Lorraine, who have to do hard, heartbreaking things because other people give up on a responsibility that they shouldn't have taken on in the first place.