FRIDA- Bella

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As I peel off my socks and groan the long day out, I run my finger over the mouse wheel.  My Facebook page races upwards and I pick up my re-heated sandwich from the Tupperware and take a big bite into the bland meal.

A piece of tomato escapes my mouth as I catch the image of a puppy, reposted from a page that sells goods. Puppy for sale. Will let it go for 100$. Several people have commented on ‘how sick they are with such posts’ and ‘how can FB allow people to post dogs in an item sale’. Some want to ‘kill the person selling it’, but most just say ‘how sad it makes them’.

Some parts of the rescue workers body function involuntarily. The brain gets put in the Tupperware along-with the awful sandwich and the heart kicks into over-drive. Ugggh. The long day is going to extend into a long night. I’ll need the nutrition. I stuff more of the sandwich in my face and crack my knuckles.

Its go time.

My desktop, laptop and cellphone are conducting Facebook searches, Craigslist scanning and I’m trying to rally a team to save the Coffee brown pit-bull puppy with a white butterfly patch on her chest. The freshly printed picture of the hazel eyed puppy is pasted over the portrait of my own beloved dog speed. Her eyes stare into mine asking me one simple question; will you save me?

Within half an hour my mind is saturated and my heart is overwhelmed by the number of ‘free puppy’ postings on Craigslist. All of these sweet pit bulls are headed to the dog-fighting rings that scour the underbelly of the American landscape. Why am I losing sleep over this one puppy out of all of these? I clasp a fistful of my hair and stare at my reflection in the TV screen. Because, she became mine when I looked into her eyes and saw a soul. Yes, there are countless others but today, right now- this puppy represents hope for all the other ones those will die this day. Her rescue will signify victory of good over evil. God, give me the courage to save her. The dog fighting rings are dangerous. I’m just one person. I touch the picture of Guru Gobind Singh – our tenth guru who gave his Sikh’s the famous line

“ Chirion te mein baaz tadaun,

Sawa laakh se ek ladaun,

tabhe Gobind Singh naam kahaun”.

(I will make birds fight hawks and win, one of my Sikhs will win against 125,000 of the enemy. Only then will I call myself Gobind Singh).

                By morning I’ve tracked down the puppy and his owner. Now it’s a matter of pin-pointing the house and stealing the puppy. Yes steal it. My money will not go to the dog-fighters. By instinct, I offer a hoodlum fifty bucks, give him the picture and show him the house. He leaps across the fence and I drive around the corner and sit and …wait.

My mouth is running dry and my car’s engine has been idling for twenty minutes when I he turns the corner scruffing the weak tan puppy and ducking across the street. I throw open the car-door and he dives in.

“Go Go Go.”

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I ran every stop sign in the wretched neighborhood, stopping at a local Walgreens and let the man out. He counts the money and gives me a homie handshake. “Aiiight, Lemme know if you want sumthin’ else, bro.” He adjusts hi crotch, “Pretty dog tho’. What you be naming her?”

Her pink nose has been on my mind all day. She’s as pretty as the first stroke of paint on a blank canvas.  “I’ll name her Frida Kahlo; after my friend Tina’s favorite painter.”

“Daaawg, who dat’ be?” He splays his arms.

“Thx Man.” I look straight ahead and gun it, driving till the yards are manicured and then finally I breathe. The puppy is sitting on the back seat and cowering. “Come here little, girl. You’re safe now.” Tears stream my face when I touch Frida for the first time.

She’s surprised by a kind touch and stands behind me on the car seat. She tentatively licks my ear and backs away. On her next lick I pet her head. She plants herself in my lap while we’re zipping on the freeway. She’s enthralled by everything; the steering wheel, the music, the air-conditioning vent letting out a stream of wonderful cold air.

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For the first time in my life I take a selfie, while driving with a dog in my lap. I don’t want to be unsafe anymore because now Frida’s life depends upon mine. The past is behind me and it’s certainly behind her.

In three minutes she’s snoring. After two baths and some food, we head to my newly found friends Jill and Dori from Dori’s cat rescue. They rescue cats but just like me they couldn’t close their eyes to this puppy. My hard work for the night is over and theirs has just begun.

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Within 24 hours she is transported to a foster and is even adopted. I know how hard these women have worked to save this one pretty dog. But I also know that in a matter of 24 hours Frida has touched the lives of all of us …and she’s just getting started. Frida has forever united me and Jill and Dori and Oktober into a cohesive team.

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Tonight the evil will be out in full-force again, money will exchange greasy palms and dogs will die. Tonight several rescue workers will be disheartened and overwhelmed. But our team will sleep peacefully- Just like Frida will.

Tomorrow I’ll be disillusioned by a fresh dose of cruelty. But tonight I sleep- with new hope.

The audacity of Hope.

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To Kill a Mocking Lizard

Lizard and dog

To kill a Mocking Lizard

 

           Speed took his new role of Protector and Sentinel of the family a little too seriously. His job was ensuring that everyone was home at night, safe and sound. He kept patrolling the yard.
         In his deranged mind, his job included protecting his precious castle. Strange looking enemies, especially those evil, creepy- looking lizards needed to be warded off.

         How dare that lizard sit on my wall, contemplating his next move? He could be plotting taking over my castle, kidnapping everyone and stealing my food.
Must catch lizard…must kill lizard… must destroy lizard…don’t let it live…kill ..ravage…annihilate…Hey what’s that? Another one? So they have an army?
OK creepy long tailed fellows … deal with the one, the only; the truculent short tailed Colonel Speed; the one-dog army.

      He charged at the lizards full steam, head-butting the wall in an effort of dislodging them. The lizards just sat there on the thirteen inch thick brick wall, amused by this lunatic.

      Head hurts…don’t care… ice ‘em, rub ‘em out, waste ‘em …let ‘em sleep with the fishes…everyone’s life…in danger…must protect…I’m the undisputed mafioso…all hail Don Speedoni…you never go against the family…feeling woozy… sooooo light headed…sinking ..sinking…pfffffft.

       His charade didn’t affect the lizard rebellion. One of them may have left the scene of its own volition. Speed must’ve taken this as a definitive victory, to be duplicated with every head-butt. Disoriented, he desisted from learning his lesson.
       “Why do you do it, Speedy, you can’t hurt those lizards,” I asked him.

         Same reason I do most of what I do– because I like to. Its a dog’s life, man. If you can’t eat it or screw it– Piss on it.

 

No Country for Old Dobermen

Dobe-Dog park1

Dobe-Old
We geriatric dogs at the dog park are a motley crew. We sit under the shade by the water buckets and watch life go by. Although I’m out of breath easily, I’m still more active than this sorry bunch of slackers. I exercise more than the rest of them combined.
We gas about our halcyon days. The tall tales of our achievements run as wild as our demented imaginations. I doubt if anyone really listens. Some of us have lost our hearing. We just bark our heads off like grumpy old dogs.
I point at the four-year-old females frolicking in the water, “Look at those totta babes? Wouldn’t you agree guys. Kya maal hai?”
“Ai Mami! Look at those curves, Vato,” says Chuy the Chihuahua. “Ay carumba, so many dangerous curves and me without brakes.”
“Sweet az. Ain’t she, mate,” says Dundee, the Australian Shepherd. ”Fair dinkum–wicked Sheilas.”
“–None of them would give you decrepit old farts a second look,” I say. “I should know. In my golden years I’ve been with numerous females. The stories of my virility spanned several municipal zones.”
They mutter and roll their eyes. Some try remembering what on earth they’re doing here. I continue, “Had they invented Viagra for dogs, y’all would’ve seen me in full flow.”
I know in my heart that I have to be content with throwing verbal bouncers when the real thing clearly refuses to rise.
“You guys are terrible, Der Kokolores. I’ve always been faithful to my Ethel,” says Sage, the Bulldog, trying to shield his man-dog-boobies which are clearly bigger than Ethel’s.
“Fanabala. You hen-pecked old timer,” says Bruno Leathernuts, the Italian Greyhound.
A toothless fighting match ensues. “Geez man,” I think, “Too many freaks, not enough circuses.”
We’re watching the young ‘uns at play when we are hit by the noxious smell of rotting pickled eggs. It is King Toot himself, up to his old tricks. “Cletus, enough of your silent deadly ones. Lay off on the fried road-kill your mom feeds you,” I say. “You’re the reason these flies are swarming around us.”
“Don’t y’all skeeters and chiggers be sayin’ nuttin’ bout’ muh mamma. She dern near purfect,” he states. I’ve seen his mom and dad. Between Cletus and them, they have five good teeth. Also I have no idea why they painted the number eight on his side and call him Dale Jr.
“The youth of today I terr you,” sighs Uski Li, the chow chow. “They have no respect for the erders. They no hap me, when I in pain. The whore young dogs speak in degrading barks and they have no varues.”
“It’s the blud-fiah music day be listenin’ to,” says Ziggy, the Basenji, making the shaka sign with his paw. “What in the name of likky likky ganja is Beiber fever? Is it anything like valley fever?”
“I just can’t deal with the pain in my hips,” says Alfie the Weimaraner. “Hey Speedy. What was the name of that Ayurvedic medicine Inder got for you? Hook a brother up with that good stuff.”
I hear Alfie list his ailments. He seems to have taken too many thermometers up his butt.
It is almost four of o’ clock. It is time for all the old timers to be taken home and fed their early supper. We bid each other adieu hoping to stay alive for our next weekly meeting.