Uninvited Acts of Kindness

 There’s so much I have missed out on. Yet, I thought I was not missing anything at all!   Famous last words. Case in point. Heading to the short story, rescuing a dog in the last week, with a damage/broken leg, war-torn from neglect, not in my plans. Period. Over the course of the last week some major observations that really hit home.

Observation 1Initially, taking “Dane” our recovering patient outside to walk, I seemed to be angry all the time – from the looks. Yes Dane had visible ribs and so shrunken a stomach – he looked like a walking skeleton, understood. Add to that the fact that his leg was badly damaged and he could not walk – and his leg and limping also drew attention to him. However, you could definitely tell the looks of disgust from the looks of pity.  

Observation 2 When taking “Dane” to the vet, I thought the lady waiting in Spanish was remarking on Dane and his reasons for being at the vet. Turns out, thanks to the owner of Walking Dog, Andres, he informed me that the lady actually was saying she didn’t want Dane near her dog at all – there is the reasoning of being contagious of something, understood. Then there is the tone of voice that you don’t need to understand when you reflect on it, that certainly doesn’t refer to that reasoning. I need to learn much more about really understanding Spanish AND coming to terms with people’s views.

Observation 3Dane walking by himself, being carried downstairs fur fights every day, carried back up, he appreciate it, tai wagging etc.. However, when we went outside, he did his business, immediately turned around and wanted to be back inside. No tail wagging, it is obvious to see animals do indeed feel depression.

Observation 4Dane always has his tail wagging when introduced to Kinah, Amaya, and Wriggley, and Kinah, Amaya, and Wriggley are a little scared of Dane, it is like me as a 7 year old living in the country, nearest neighbor seems to be light years away. When I went to school I was always in trouble for talking too much (shocking) jumping all over the place (even less surprising) due to just BEING around kids my own age after being by myself for so long. Hence, Dane.

Observaton 5Noting observation 4 – with a former student and her family visiting in Mexico, we took all four dogs, together for a walk. MUCH anxiety. Dane is wagging his tail the whole time, and allows himself to be pulled back when he gets too close, and the “pack” allows him to be a part, as they are used to walking with other dogs as well – thanks to the friends walking the dogs and thanks to Kinah, Amaya, and Wriggly, Dane feels part of the pack and I think his tail will fall off from wagging.

Observation 6 During the DAY – daylight, with everyone around to see, and knowing how I feel about the stares, I decide to do it. We walk, and when I say we, I mean, WE WALK the furthest Dane has ever walked, as a pack, never hesitating once with the pack leading on and expecting him just to fit in. THIS time, people stare but they see a healing dog with three afghans, no one offers looks of disgust, Kinah, Amaya, Wriggle change everyone’s minds about who he is and if he fits in. Dane has never changed his mind about who he is and is determined to walk waster with three healthy legs than those with four healthy legs.

Observation 7 Despite a perfectly good bowl of water poured for Dane, he looks on to the bowl that Kinah, Amaya, and Wriggley are drinking from. He wants nothing but the same – you can almost hear, “I am part of the group- please treat me like everyone else.”

Observation 8 Kinah, Wriggley, Amaya, Dane, walking past what looks like a timid dog, he lashes out in anger and scares all of them with much aggression. Owner seems happy, almost satisfied. Kinah, Amaya, Wriggley, Dane, all seem to be exuding the statement, “Fine, go through life aggressive, scary, and you lose a great pack like us.”

Observation 9 – Walking Kinah, Amaya, Wriggley, challenging enough. Add a recovering emotional and physical Dane to the mix, it seems like WWF with Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. At a corner, attempting to use a doggie bag for Amaya, the pretzel twist is one, each dog taking their leash and intertwining them like Tetris. Add to the fact Wriggly, gets my grip loose from the grasp, manages just to hover at the edge of the street tempting and rubbing in the fact he is loose, (and he knows it) – and an oncoming car approaching, Wriggley ready to lurch away on any attempt to regain him back to the fold. An uninterested bystander across the street, seeing this whole scenario play out, hurries across the street, grabs Wriggley’s leash, holds him there and tells me to go ahead and finish cleaning and then hands me Wriggley’s leash, smiling. Perhaps one of the nicest things that wipes the anger and disgusted stares I received over the last few days with Dane, and proud that Dane continued to be his canine self, and let any and all stares bounce off of him as he overcame his own obstacles.  There is hope in the smallest, and largest, of observations.

I could be reading things into the above observations as well, but one thing I do know, you can sense the changes in feelings and attitudes in animals, if you allow yourself open to the time to just feel. As I look at the above observations, it is impossible for me to see the progression of change in the first observation to the last one, as well as realizing everything observed and felt, can be applied to what occurs among people among other people. Lessons to be learned there, is real time, that can’t be explained and put into words, but just known.

Looking back on a cool event, the American School lock in, I remember bring back nostalgic items such as the Atari, complete with a high score sheet for Kaboom,  Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 11.25.31 AMand classic like Kaboom, Pac Man, Frogger, and more, and realizing I never sat down with these particular students before, both a mixture of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, and this was being one of the most fun nights I could recall – it was the highlight of the year opposed to thinking that going into an all nighter would be a all nightmare, not even close. The sunrise that spread across Mexico was a perfect touch to a great great fun-filled night. Despite summer, I am finding being away from those that exude negativity and complaints, throwing myself into a mercy mission of rescue, and simply taking in experiences that were not planned for my summer? – I am in a healing process as well, and grateful for it.

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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