Starving Dogs

by Mark Wynn

I was walking my dogs close to the canal when I looked down the length of the canal. I could see a dog sitting in about a foot of water, unable to climb up the inclined wall of the canal. That wasn't the first time I'd seen a dog fall in and not be able to climb out. So I walked down to where it was sitting in the water and when I got closer it started barking.

It was a golden lab and looked like an intelligent dog. It wasn't acting aggressive just scared barking. As I got closer I saw a creature in such a sad condition. It was as malnourished as any animal could've been. Skin and bones really and to make it worse, very pregnant. It's tits were distended with different amounts of milk in them and it's belly was more bloated looking than pregnant. I got as close as I could and tried to calm it but I couldn't, It just kept barking.

I had grabbed some dogs by the scruffs and dragged them out of the canal before but this dog was panicky and wasn't going to let me touch it. So after a minute I had to leave this pitiful creature sitting in the canal shivering. I walked away and looking back I saw the dog sitting with its head hanging down just waiting on death. It looked so sad and disgusting I thought death would have been preferable. I walked on with my two dogs when I saw a piece of wood that would work for a ladder, so I carried it back and stuck it in the canal close to the dog. I kept patting the ladder and trying to get the lab to climb but it was just barking and shivering. So I took my leash and waved it in front of the dogs nose to see if it would bite at it but it acknowledge it by sniffing at it which clued me in that it wouldn't attack me.

So I climbed down in the canal on this wooden piece and the dog calmed down a little and quit barking and it looked a little more willing to let me touch it. I sat there talking to it and finally got it to sniff my hand, so I petted it a little bit. I could see a change come over the dog now and it realized I was trying to help.

So I eventually grabbed it and gave it enough help to walk up the inclined wood. It was sick. This dog, that looked like a good golden lab was in such a sad condition. It was out of the water now and me being so sympathetic to it I went home and got a handful of dog food.

When I came back it just started barking again and wouldn't let me near it. I threw the food on the ground hoping it would find it and left. That kind of thing would've kept me up at night as a kid but now with enough experience in reality I see that as just another truth to living in this world. There are people as sad as that dog living in the world and I have seen them but it's still tough to walk away when you see that it's a perfectly normal creature, whether dog or man, but for the circumstances that have reduced them to this condition.

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