Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Never move. Ever. Never. Seriously, it's not worth it. It's too difficult. Too stressful.

I need a pill.

Two nights ago (or was it three?), as I was driving home from my second painting session of the day, thinking about all that remains to be done, about money, about the rattling can sound emerging from the engine when I depressed the clutch and taking the car to the shop, and about finances again.

It was two or three o'clock, and as I passed through the industrial area around the Gowanus Canal, I spotted a stray dog sniffing around some trash. I knew he was a stray because he was a little unkempt, but mostly because he gave me a long, searching, pleading look. He looked lost, scared, and hungry.

I thought about what to do. I couldn't bring it back to my apartment. Neither my wife nor cats would appreciate it. (She would understand, but the cats would not.) I couldn't bring it to the new apartment. My cell phone was dead, so I headed home not too far away to call 311 and find out if there was a 24-hour stray intake center somewhere in the city. I did, and there wasn't.

So, I really had to face it. I hopped back in the ailing car and headed over to where I last saw the dog. I drove around and couldn't find it at first. It wasn't too long before I found him less than a block away from the original spot. He gave me that same look. I parked the car and got out, not knowing what I would do with this dog until I could turn him over at 8:00 AM, but I couldn't face the thought of him being alone and maybe being hit by a car. He didn't approach me; in fact, looked away at the nearest trash. I whistled and got his attention, but when I took a step toward him, he took a step away, clearly afraid of me. I wasn't all that close: maybe 15 feet. I bent over and offered him my hand. He stared, wary, unsure what to make of this. I held it, and he decided I was not a good risk, turning and trotting away, across the street. I got back in the car and followed as as he headed into an alley lined by warehouses.

I lost him shortly as he hid among some parked tractor trailers. I drove slowly by, spotted a huge rat, never got back out of the car, accepted that I wouldn't be able to catch him, and was relieved to be absolved.


La Misma said...

Gee. You are so kind-hearted. Or is it kindhearted? How many people would chase after a stray in the middle of the night when they're tired and stressed? It makes my spontaneous giving of 85 cents to a street beggar look positively trivial.

I am nothing. Please spit upon me.

beckett said...

Spitting on you would definitely detract from my kindheartedness.

I definitely wantedto ignore it, but somone told me recently of how they had taken in a stray and seeked its owner for days, so I felt compelled by their example.

vacuous said...

This reminds me of a stray dog I ran across several years back. It was a small grey dog with curly fur. When I encountered it, it was dragging its butt along the street. i thought it was injured, but I learned later that it probably had parasites (or some other disease?) that was making its butt itchy. In any event, I caled the pound, but they didn't come out until the next day when the dog was long gone. I saw the dog in the same vicinity about a year later. Apparently it was pretty good about surviving outdoors. (This was with a harsh winter to boot.)