The Dog in the Manger


Today I found a dog in a trash bin at a city construction site.


How did the dog get in there?


The dog looked at me with expectant eyes? Begging me to take her out of the trash bin.


She was happy to be out of the cold-wet-weather.


Happy to be back on the truck and back to the shelter.

She will be sad to lose her freedom.

But she’ll be safe, cared for and fed.


Now my job is to make sure that it’s just not for 72 hours (as promised) but to track her progress through the system and to a rescue or a foster or in the adoption kennels.

We have promised to fight for these dogs; Each and every one of them. My work just gets tripled with every dog I bring in- but that’s the goal. Our work is never over till each and every one of them that can be saved is saved.

The Baby ‘Coons


“The policy is clear on Raecoons.” My supervisor’s voice is firm.

“But he’s just a baby.” I hold my phone to the shivering three-week-old mammal clinging to the concrete with his sharp little paws. “Can you hear him wailing?”

Cheeeeeeeeerpppp, Cheeerp, Cheeerp.

“Inder, they carry the Rabies virus.”

“Rabies? He’s just calling out to his mommy? She’s got to be around here somewhere. She’ll be back looking for him tonight. Surely.”


“How come you’re so darn sure about everything?”

“—because I know animals.”

“–that’s what you said about the Diesel engines too, Mr. Engineer.” His voice has a hint of irritation in it.

I lower my voice. “Those wails are for his mommy. Trust me on this one.”

“Okay, so what are you proposing?”

I lay my hand flat. “Let me call the home-owner and ask him to let the Raccoon stay in his yard for 2 more nights. If his mommy doesn’t get him, I’ll pick him up.”

“Okay. Just make sure the home-owner feels satisfied with it. Remember that we work for the city government and the citizens are our–”

“—customers. Yes I will. Thank you.” I flip my city-phone shut.

How can I forget the most important lesson I’ve learnt working for the government in the US. You guys treat your citizens as your customers whereas in my country government workers treat the citizens like vermin.

Fifteen minutes later I return to the yard. The home-owner is kind enough to let the raccoon baby live and give the mother a chance to take her baby and nurse it. He tells me that there were three babies and the mother took one away last night.

Now my task is to find the second baby raccoon. I crawl on the ground with the grass tickling my ear inches from the ground. I strain to hear it. Finally I hear a weak squeal from behind a board. A weak, feeble baby ‘coon is trembling like a reed, calling out.

I reunite the brother and the sister and they stop squealing right away, indulging in a wrestling match. Their squeals get louder as I walk back to my truck. But these are excited squeals of play.


Today three adults saw combined passion in their hearts to allow 2 babies to live and my faith in my journey from an engineer to an animal control officer is restored.


Just a little.





“Opossums in a Trap?” I tap the screen of the laptop in my truck.

“Yes two of them.” The voice over the phone crackles.

“O.K I’ll be there.” I assign the case to myself on the screen. Great, My second day on the job and I am dealing with Marsupials. Wasn’t this job all about Canines and Felines? Why am I saving opossums?

I press the button on my two-way radio. “10-4, Heading to trap #321.” I stare into the overcast Texas sky and quickly read my training manual regarding trapped wildlife. If wildlife gets trapped in our live traps set out for feral cats, they need to be released if they are healthy. If injured and bleeding, they must be euthanized in a humane manner as per Texas Health & Safety procedure 166.45-51.

Eight minutes later I pull into the maintenance building of the University and ask the complainant, “Two opossums in one trap? How?”

“This you have to see.” The Hispanic worker smiles.Snip20150425_3

I take a deep breath and prepare for the ghastly sight. Who cares for these ugly animals? I’m wasting time saving them instead some dogs or other cute…

Whoa. The sight in front of my eyes stops me in my tracks. A baby Opossum is wailing and whining inside the trap and its mother is outside trying in vain to reach her baby through the wire cage. A deep gash oozes blood from her nose as she desperately tries to reach her young

She stops when she notices me and then starts again, unafraid of me. In fact, in her world I don’t exist and my uniform isn’t valid, nor is my pole threatening.


I put her in a transfer cage with her baby and take her to a local vet. We dress up her wound and suture it. My job calls for taking her to the shelter and declaring her injured. However if I do so she’ll be put down and her baby won’t survive without its mama.

Snip20150425_4 So I break a rule on my second day at my job to save two lives I didn’t care for 2 hours ago and I re-learn the lesson of a mothers love for her child.


Tonight I’ll just call my mom and listen to her voice—just because…Snip20150425_7

A New Sheriff in Town


Que Sera Sera…


“When my foster Mommy, Sarah picked me up from the euthanasia list at the pound, I was fifteen minutes away from the pink stuff.” I settle in for the bedtime story Daphne, the Great Dane has been begging for. “In effect my life already is a blessing- and Sarah is my angel.”

“She’s my angel too.” Daphne perks up at the mention of Sarah’s name.

“And mine.” Pickles chimes in.

“Not mine- I’m her master.” Diesel licks his giant paw with his massive spatula like tongue.

“Unnhh hunnnh.” I take a swipe at Diesel.

“She picks up my poop, guys. That proves it.” Diesel’s bed creaks under his 165 Lb. weight.

I must say he does poop out mountains. “Anyways, moving on. Nobody wanted an emaciated black puppy with severe mange. But she saw something in me that NOBODY else could.”

“Yep, that’s my Sarah.” Daphne says. “She sees with her heart.”

Pickles interjects. “But what sort of a name is Wyatt? What the heck is Wyatt?”


Whatever will be will be…


Yes, she named me after an American hero, Wyatt Earp. I run my tongue over my sharp puppy teeth. “Although every day is a gift for me, I often wonder what I will be when I grow up.”

“Your name must indicate to Sarah what you might become.” Daphne says.

“Will I be handsome, Daph?” I lay my head on her paw.

“Absolutely, little brother.” Daphne licks my head.

“Will I be brave, Diesel?”

Diesel yawns. “Wyatt was a very flawed character. The sort that storywriters love. He was a sheriff—

Pow pow. I imagine myself as Wyatt the sheriff, badge and all- Sweeeeet.

“–He was a miner and a boxing referee–” Diesel adds.

Gentledogs, lets get ready to rummmmble.

“–He was a pimp and a brothel owner–” Diesel says.

A what?? “A pimp- OK. Maybe I can pimp you, Pickles. Wyatt the pimp-doggy; bling-bling.

“Hey, I’m a boy.” Pickles blinks rapidly.

Diesel turns over and closes his eyes. “But he was mostly a great cowboy who killed three outlaws at the gunfight at OK Corral.”



I asked my mamma, what would I be? Here’s what she said to me…


Diesel and Daphne are lying on their backs with their legs in the air; the typical Great Dane, sleeping pose. Pickles is snoring through his snaggle teeth.

Sarah stares into some papers sprawled on the table. The incandescent light reflects off her brown hair. It takes me two well-directed jumps to land into her lap.

She runs her soft warm hand over my now full head of hair and kisses me between the eyes. “The long hours and these bills are killing me, Wyatt. Rescue work isn’t easy- but just looking at you makes it all worth it.”

“Mommy, thank you for naming me Wyatt. I will be the bestest Wyatt ever. I will watch over you and Daphne and Diesel when they becomes old.”

“Shhhhh. No barking Wyatt.” Sarah rubs my ear and speaks in more gibberish. “How am I going to live without you when you get adopted? My heart is sick from breaking over and over.”

Words are such a beautiful things if understood. “Did you hear what I said, Mommy; The best Wyatt ever. Ever, ever, ever times infinity.”

Sarah sighs. “…But break it must. Because you deserve a forever home. Someone out there will see what I see in you. The fun and frolic, the unfathomable amount of love you offer. The mischievous and lovable puppy that is just so thankful to be alive. Someone will take you and break my heart- and surprisingly I pray for that day to come everyday.”