I Stole Your Dog Today
I stole your dog today. No, I didn't set a foot on your
property, but from the condition of your dog, I can
imagine what it looks like...the word 'junkyard'
comes to mind.
I found her along a road, with a heavy chain wrapped
around her neck, still attached to rotten boards from
her doghouse, with rusty six-penny nails protruding.
Not only did I know that most of the town had already
ignored her, judging by where I found her, but I knew
that if she had gotten into the woods the 'cross' that
she dragged behind her would have wrapped around a
tree until starvation or thirst killed her.
The local populace is usually deaf to the sound or blind
to the sight of an animal in need, unless they decide
to shoot one for trespassing.
That her ribs showed, that her ears were filthy, that
her overall condition was poor and that her coat and
eyes were dull, were good indications that you didn't
deserve her. But just to make sure, I checked with the
local authorities for a report of a missing (unlicensed)
dog matching her description and to see if you'd placed
a 'lost dog' advertisement in the local newspaper.
You hadn't, which I can only surmise means that you
do not miss her. That's rather convenient, because the
fact that she is not spayed, probably unvaccinated,
and possibly heartworm positive means that restoring
her health could cost me around a thousand dollars.
Perhaps it may be some small comfort to know that
she doesn't miss you. In fact, her very act of escape
made it clear that she'd had enough of your brand of
It took her about a day to realize that I'm not you,
that I won't hurt her, that despite our brief
acquaintanceship, I love her. It took two days for
her to realize that the other animals who live here
accept her and that one of the joys she has been
missing has been the companionship of other dogs.
It took three days for her to appreciate the ecstasy
of a home cooked meal and that a couch is meant to
be reclined on, and that she no longer has to sleep
outside - in fact, when the thunder starts, she'll get
a hug and her ears rubbed, and I'll make a fool of
myself with baby talk.
She has a beautiful name now. Already in the first week
she has come to look more like she should. Her eyes
sparkle and she has learned to wag her tail in
greeting. She has stopped flinching when I make a
sudden movement, because she knows now that I
won't beat her, in fact, she rarely leaves my side.
She's even become brave enough to bark at a cat
and today I watched from the window as she initiated
play with the other dogs.
No, it's clear she does not miss you or her former
life of neglect on a chain. Of all the things that have
become apparent from my brief relationship with
her - such as the forgiving nature of the dog, their
wonderful ability to heal and to trust, the fact that
love can work miracles - one of the most apparent
is what a fool you are. She was possibly the most
trusting, loyal and loving being in your life, and you
consigned her to a life of filth and loneliness until
she made the best choice she's ever made when
she broke free.
Perhaps her guardian angel helped her escape.
Lest anyone should mistake me for an angel, I will
admit that one day I hope to be as good as she;
I believe she forgave you within the first twenty-four
hours of her new life for the about four years of her
previous 'life,' while I still wrestle with the part of
me that hopes that one day you will burn in Hell.
It's not clear yet whether she'll remain here or whether
I'll find her a loving home where she can count on
more individual attention than I can give her, but
one thing is certain, this is one bit of stolen 'property'
who is never returning to you. So sue me, prosecute
me, plead with the courts that she is rightfully yours...
I'm convinced this is the best 'crime' I've ever committed.
Hardly anything has pleased me more than the day
I stole your dog. I need only look into her beautiful
brown eyes to know that she'd defend my decision
with her life. If we have one prayer, it is that you will
not replace her, and if we have one special day to
commemorate together, it is the day I stole your dog
and the day she stole my heart.
Copyright Jim Willis 2002