Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stray Dog, pt I

“If you do not do right, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it." Gen 4:7b
I found the dog just waiting outside my door one morning. I had stepped out to get the paper, and there he was. Haggard eyes peered longingly at me across his scarred snout. Ribs stood out boldly beneath his gray shagginess. His voice was a piteous growling moan, like that of a hoarse old beggar woman–pleading with me for charity.

“Git!” I snarled at him, eliciting an even more heart-rending whimper.

It worked. I caved in.

“Okay, fine. I’ll see what I can hunt up for you.”

At my return with some scraps of last week’s macaroni-and-cheese, the dog’s broken tail beat the air with gratitude, and his eyes seemed just a bit brighter. It felt really good to watch him inhale the rubbery pasta and drain the tupperware bowl of water I’d placed alongside.

I really shouldn’t be doing this! He’ll probably stick around, now, and I won’t be able to get rid of him! Somehow, though, it just felt good to play host to this pitiful creature. Really, really good.

Sure enough, when I got back, there he lay on the front porch steps, healthier and even uglier than before. A full belly had merely served to accent his bald patches of mange-afflicted skin. Further, the added carbs powered that matted, deformed paddle of a tail as it spanked either of his untidy flanks when he caught sight of me; an action which only enhanced his homeliness.

I ate the cheeseburger I’d picked up on the drive home, and he got the french fries. Sure, I’d wanted those fries, but the pleasure I received from watching him eat them was unbelievable!

The next morning, the groaning rug on my porch devoured two pieces of toast I’d accidently burned, plus a couple freezer-burned pork chops. Say, maybe this isn’t such a bad deal after all! ‘Saves me from throwing ‘em out! That night, however, it was half my steak, my baked potato and my roll that became his dinner. Knowing the dog would probably be hungry all but killed my appetite at the restaurant. Besides, watching him eat was joy itself!

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