There is an elderly dog who lives on our street. By that, I mean he spends his days on the actual street – scrounges for food in the garbage, drinks water from the gutter and the curb, sleeps under the cars. He’s not a violent dog; if anything, he looks very thin and tired. And sad.

He wears a chain around his neck. The first time I saw him, I thought he had just lost his way and looked out for “Lost dog” signs with his description on it. Now, I think he belonged to a household that either neglected or abused him and he managed to escape. (I know, I know, I have a dramatically creative mind! It is my life’s work for which my brain has been programmed!) Also, the first times I saw him, he looked terrified of everything, which strengthens my abuse assumption.

He reminds me of my Doggie, but thinner, sadder, less healthy. Doggie never had weird reddish eyes (well, the skin around this stray dog’s eyes were terribly pinkish), and up until he was in his senior citizen years, he reminded me of a dog version of Chuck Norris. But otherwise, they were built the same – medium sized with long legs, white short coat, long nose. So when he’s near the house, I often stop and look at him, thinking my Doggie was reborn.

I guess because he looks like Doggie, and because he does look very sad, I have been trying to be nice to him – I used to leave food out for him when I see him, but he always looked scared of me and would run away. Yesterday, though, Mom saw him drinking dirty gutter water and put out both food and water for him. He drank the water, and tried to eat some of the food. Mom says it seems he’s not used to eating dog food, or at all anymore. Breaks my heart.

I would love to take him in, but my own two dogs are territorial and taking him in and trying to assimilate such an old dog into the pack would be a nightmare. Sammy doesn’t like other dogs at all, he only likes Hugo. He gave our other dogs such a terrible time, especially Tyler at the height of his illness. I would just be exposing old dog to constant harassment. I am wondering if calling a shelter is a good idea, but I need to know if that shelter will take care of him until he’s adopted or he dies naturally and won’t consider putting him down. Is there an agency that does that?

What I would do with a million bucks. 😦

So, I leave food and water out for him and pray that he doesn’t die of pneumonia or hunger. Maybe one day he won’t be scared of me anymore and will let me pet him.


My own happy dogs, Sammy and Hugo, after their morning walk today


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