A stray dog toddled alongside myself and my friend, Sinead. The poodle’s paws were mottled with mud. But it wasn’t the paws that caught our attention. The fur had been removed and the skin as pink as its tongue. I felt sorry for the dog not having very good owners from my glance. Sinead’s pupils dilated. She cooed as though the mutt was a baby, all prim and proper. She gasped as she saw the marks. “Oh no! Look!”, she exclaimed. I thought it best to acknowledge her discovery. “Aw. Poor thing”.
I had all intentions of heading home. But Sinead had other plans. “Can we take it to the vet?” she pleaded. I stared at this prancing pooch. My eyes looked towards its neck. It did look a bit sore. Sinead was determined not to leave him behind.
As she began the hunt, I stood at the side of the road. My job was to mind the bags. I watched her waddle towards the dog, astounded by her courage to care. I would have happily continued on without even passing the thought of taking this stray to the vet. But no, this wouldn’t do for Sinead. She had the balls to point this out without hesitation or fear of being judged. I was looking at a woman who we all want to be like, but don’t act on it. We see a stray dog, we see people struggle, but somewhere in our brains tells us “it’s not your business, don’t interfere”. And we do as we’re told.
Eventually, she captured the little lad. She hauled him up into her arms, carrying him like a baby, all the ways across town to the local vets. Meanwhile, I carried three bags. No gym could prepare either of us for the strain. As we sat in the waiting area, which consisted of a long bench, we observed animals come and go. Jack Russells, huskies, cross-breeds, we had them all. They took “baby cakes” to get photographed for the Facebook page as we had introduced him as a stray.
While Sinead eyed up more dogs, I sat questioning. What were we meant to do with a dog? I didn’t have any room for a dog and I doubted my father would willingly adopt a stray for the night. Sinead lived in the country. Although a great place for a trained dog, the fear he would run off is something one does not take on with ease. The vet handed back the thing and told us he was fine. Absolutely fine. I could have felt a variety of emotions at that moment, but adrenaline seemed to fuel me now. Only when we got outside did I laugh.
This one dog managed to charm my friend into a glorified carry about town. But it was also the courage to care that got us here in the first place. Care willingly, I tell you, but always be aware of the strays!