Sunday, July 16, 2006

I may have saved a life

I may have saved a life yesterday. And, no, I'm not talking about my own, although I believe we each save our own lives many times over by making the right move, having the right attitute, blah blah blah.

It was hot here yesterday (and again today). We made some record temperatures, it reached 101F. That's just plain too hot for man, woman or beast. We northerners aren't used to temps like that, we don't know what to do, all the tricks for staying cool. Give us -30 and we can cope, but 101 is beyond most of us. The neighborhood was empty, no kids playing outside, no bicyclists or pedestrians, there were barely even any cars moving, it was just still, and hot. I thought maybe the families all went swimming, which sounded like a great idea except I had things to do. I hit the (very) few rummage sales, nobody was there. Even the thrift shops didn't have many people, nor any furniture that I liked.

Then I went to the grocery store and it was packed. The store has A/C! After buying a lot of groceries, and lingering in the coolness of the store, I went home and put it all away. I did a few things around the house, made lunch because son was going to work. Then after a soda--if it stays this hot I could pick up a soda-drinking habit quickly--I went to the nearby branch of the retail store where my son works. Well, he works in the one up near where we used to live in the country. The one I went to is in the new city.

The store was packed with shoppers. Again I lingered in the nice, refreshing A/C. Although I have two fans going at home, the upstairs of the house is very very warm. When I got back home, a dog was barking, the only sign of life. I did a few things around the house, sweltering all the while. The dog was still barking. It's a large, black, hairy, mongrel dog who lives two houses down. He looks like a weird mix of Newfoundland and maybe a Rottweiler and is rather a fearsome beast that guards his backyard. He is a good watchdog who barks at everything and everyone who walks by in the alleyway.

I went to a side window to see if I could see him in his back yard. And there he was, on a really short chain, in the hot sun. His barking sounded different and more hoarse now too. In fact he had stopped barking much and stood like a giant, resigned elephant or something, in the hot sun. I realized that the poor thing must have tangled himself somehow and was stuck out in the sun with no water. The neighborhood was empty, who knows how long he had been out like that.

I quickly filled a bucket with water and added two trays of icecubes to it. The dog was tied inside the neighbor's tall chainlink fence and I was praying that the fence wasn't locked, and/or I could somehow get over it if the gates were locked. If I couldn't reach him, Plan B was to call the police and have them send the animal control people to rescue him. But the fence was not locked. I went in and gave him the bucket of water. He feebly tapped his tail. His chain was so tangled and wound around that I had to unclip him to get it untangled. There was no fear of him running off or biting me, he had his head buried in the water, poor thing.

It took me awhile to get the chain untangled. And as he took in the cold water, the dog started to revive a little and get more color in his face. His tongue and doggy lips were very pale and unhealthy-looking when I first came. Actually he had shade, lots of water and a cool doghouse but couldn't reach any of his goodies because of the chain getting tangled. I had to reclip him, of course. But I made sure he couldn't get tangled up like that again.

Periodically I checked on him from my window. He first lay down in the shade like a dead dog. In fact I was afraid I'd killed him by giving him ice water when he was so overheated. But after a while he sat up and stayed in the shade by his water dish. The neighbors didn't come home until around 9:00 PM or so. I don't think the poor dog would have made it out in the sun that long.

Well, enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay cool!


Blogger Denny Shane said...

You will be rewarded for your kindness. Some people wouldn't have even given it a second thought and would go about their business! Good going!

9:50 AM  
Blogger BikerCandy said...

You are such a good person. Many others would have been intimidated by a large dog. As a serious dog lover myself I wish you lived next to me in case something ever happened to my puppies!

10:38 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Big Hugs to you! I'm a dog lover and yes indeed I believe u saved a precious life :)

12:19 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

I'm not a big fan of dogs, PB. And barking dogs drive me mental. I'm ashamed to admit that I might simply have cursed the animal instead of investigating, and with tragic results. Thank goodness you checked on him!

12:26 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

That made my heart pound...if you didn' should let those neighbors know what happened so they can prevent it from happening again. The dog deserves better...and it had the potential of being very bad for you too if the dog hadn't been so drained. Thank goodness you are a thinker and a do-er.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

PBS: lol from me! You saved that dog's life. God Bless You! That poor dog had no one. I'm so glad you are sensitive enough to have taken notice of his pleas. I would have told the owners. :)

7:47 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Bless you my dear. I think it says something about a person -- when they care for the beasties.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

The poor doggie :( He's lucky to have you as a neighbour :o) He'll remember you always, so if he ever gets off his chain, he'll never take a chunk out of you!! Lick you to death maybe!

2:46 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

oops, thought I'd already commented in here yesterday.

You're a good lady, that poor dog stuck in that position in the heat, makes me shudder to think what could happen if you weren't there to move him.

Good for you PBS. I can see you and your neighbours all seem to fit real well together!

4:50 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

YOu did good going out there and giving that dog life.
AHe would have died had it not been for you.
One day he might do you a good turn
Great job.

3:19 PM  
Blogger 2HB2 said...

Woohoo for you. Hope the neighbors know what you did for their dog. And if they don't at least you made a friend..

8:54 PM  
Blogger katie said...

Good work! I hate to see dogs tied out in the heat. It seems so mean, especially when they can get tangled up like that.

10:04 AM  

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