Written by Brenda Fiehn of Texas
Holy Week is a big deal down here in Mexico, the equivalent to the U.S.’s spring break. Schools are out for two weeks, and our city of Garza García is almost deserted.
I went to a convenience store drive thru, and while I waited for the clerk to hand me my merchandise, I glimpsed a doggy bed behind the gate of a house across the street I knew to be uninhabited. In my heart, I knew what this meant. I parked my car next to the house and approached the gate. Sure enough, a maltipoo was exploring the yard, and there was a food and water dish near his bed. I left, but he never left my mind that day.
So I went back the next day. The food was almost gone and there were leaves inside the water dish. The bed was now toppled over a small water drain.
Still No One Home
The dog was shy at first, but did approach me eventually and let me pet him. I tried ringing the bell and went around the house, but no luck. So I left again, but knew I’d be back.
The third day there was an awful windstorm which toppled some big trees. I could just imagine the poor thing, frightened and alone. The wind also brought the temperature down to about 55°. I grabbed one of my dog’s sweaters and headed to the house.
The dog was hiding; there was no food on his dish and no water. I crossed the street and bought some bottled water and dog food. I found a large branch which helped me bring the dishes closer to the gate, where I filled them. I was there for a while, waiting for the small dog to come to me. He finally did, and after a few minutes petting him, I was able to place the sweater on him through the gate openings. He had a collar with a phone number and a street address. I went by the address and rang the bell, but no one answered. I called the number with the same results.
On the fourth day, I went back yet again, and after placing water in the bowl, I decided I was going to try to take him home with me while waiting for his owners to come back and give me an explanation. I might even find him a new home if they proved to be the monsters they seemed to be. I went all around the abandoned house, looking for a way in. The house was old, and as I tried the front door, I realized I may be able to kick the door in. I weighed my options, fully aware that I was about to trespass, but unable to walk away from the scared, shivering little dog left alone to die of thirst and starvation. So I kicked the door in.
Inside the House
There was a large bag of dog food next to the door leading to the yard, which had obviously been used only the first day. There was no sign of anything else; the house was indeed deserted. I went outside and after placing food and water in the dishes, called out to the dog. It took a while for me to find him. He was hiding out in the back, terrified and shivering. He would not come to me without the “safety” of a gate between us. So I was there for a while, simply sitting there, and he came and lay down next to me. But if I made a move to get his collar, he would run away. So I left without him, but went back three more days until I left for my own vacation.
I left a trusted family friend in charge of looking after him, which he did every day for the next week.
When I came back, the dog was gone, but I still had the owner’s phone number and address. I tried the number but there was no answer, so I drove by the address. To my delight, I saw the little white dog sleeping in the garage, and he was okay. I rang the bell and a servant came out (having help is customary for the middle and upper classes in Mexico). She said that her employers were not home, and she did not know when they would return. I asked about the dog and she said she didn’t know why he was left all alone.
I Finally Got A Hold of the Family
A week later, I finally contacted the owners. I very coldly asked her why the dog was left alone to die of thirst and/or starve. She told me a gardner was supposed to go feed and water him every day, and she didn’t know what had happened, since he ws MIA. I informed her that, had I not seen him, the family would have come back to a dead dog, having died cold, frightened and alone. I offered to care for him next time they left town, free of charge, and begged her never to trust that employee again. She asked about the sweater and I told her it had been me.
This is not a happy story for me, as I never fully trusted the owners, but at least I know that I helped save a lillte white dog’s life and offered him a little comfort when he was alone, cold and scared. That has to be enough for now.
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