Saturday, September 10, 2005

Not without my dog

On my drive home from work, I pass a freeway sign lit up like Las Vegas with the blinking message, "I-10 CLOSED AT NEW ORLEANS / HWY 12 CLOSED AT SLIDELL"

I look at that sign and drive on to Target where I buy bags and bags of dog food to bring to the SPCA. I can't get the images of the dogs out of my head. The pet segments on CNN, FOX, the Today Show, World News Tonight, they shred my heart. The CNN reporter says, you can hear dogs barking for miles. I hear her saying it over and over. My stomach lurches to my throat.

At the SPCA, the inventory of food, water, dog beds, bowls, etc., was amazing in size. The stacks of dog food were piled taller than me and even though no one has ever called me tall, for a stack of dog food, it's damn tall. I watched a man with a sweat-soaked shirt and a wooden cross dangling from his neck as he stacked the pallets that would be lifted into the trucks. For the moment, I felt him in my heart. He was part of a team filling the huge rigs waiting to bring food and water to outlying shelters and hungry pets who have no idea what has happened to them. Then I came home and fed Cheyenne. I told her that she was a lucky dog. She looked at me with her head cocked to the side as if to say, when is she going to learn that I cannot understand her words, I just want to be fed.

I understand the ones who won't leave without their dogs. I don't think it's that they won't, I think it's that they can't. I would be that person. I hope against hope that all the pets get reconnected with their families. It's impossible, childish to want. Nonetheless, I do.


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