A dear friend took me and the dog to the free vet for village dogs. What an incredible service! Walking through its beautiful gate, visitors find themselves in an open puppy playground with battered dogs full of life and hope. A three-legged beagle mix greeted us with protective barks and gentle kisses. Several mutts followed curiously in our wake. Others suffering from mange or broken limbs or whatever else were herded into the back field, where they can run and tussle and play. I was immediately relieved, and brought our street dog to the table.
“Ah, he’s not so bad,” the vet said.
I looked at the fly-infested, limping, bleeding dog and responded, “You must see a lot of suffering.”
She examined his wounds, weighed him, gave him a shot for worms, played with his feet and teeth and unmentionables. Here are the conclusions:
- He’s six to nine months old.
- He’ll be a big dog, judging by the size of his paws. Some German Shepard mix.
- He has mange and needs to be washed with special soap.
- He needs follow up worm pills.
- He needs to eat more. A lot more. He’s malnourished—probably because of the worms.
- He limps because he’s weak; as soon as the mange and worms go, he’ll be better.
- He’s already attached to us.
“Now,” she said, “the first step to healing is a name. What are you calling him?”
We each blurted out three different words.
“And that, I fear, will be your problem.”
Ok, ok... Gop__ it is?