Today I found a young man, that goes way beyond what is required, and he does it with such sensitivity and understanding, I believe he has changed my life, today.
He has a first name I have never heard before. Eldad. He handles crisis and danger like the total calm professional that he is. I’ve seen a lot of things in my life, some that will haunt me deeply till the day I die. But today I saw even more than I bargained for.
Of course, Eldad is the hero in this story. He rescues innocent, unwanted, abandoned, abused, neglected pets, from the streets of a savage city to places hours of driving away. Whenever he gets the call, he comes.
But beyond Eldad, today I witnessed the rescue of a battered and abused pit bull dog, almost beyond recognition for all his wounds and injuries, most obvious and savage, the ones to his precious face. In all my days on this Earth, I will never forget his eyes. They were so big, and shiny, so compelling, and so so scared. Even as the vet caressed him tenderly, as he sat on her table, your heart cried out for him, at least mine did. His face was so sad, a huge part of his nose was missing, his mouth was swollen and destroyed, he had lacerations and broken bones. But he only whimpered and cried out once, as they examined him, trying their best to know what to do.
This was a big heavy dog. They said he had been fighting for his life during a session that must have lasted for hours. Clearly he lost. He was thrown away like yesterday’s garbage. But he was still alive, still holding on, still an innocent and helpless animal.
I’m not a real intuitive, and I’m certainly no psychic. I left that business up to my predecessors. But I believe that some people are so lost themselves, they can’t be helped. I’ve read that when we pass, our spirit takes a journey, of reflection, and then we possibly await another chance. A chance to try again, to improve things, to get it right. But some people tell us that there are dark spirits right here on Earth, people that will not transcend into spirit. They have reached such a dark and indescribable place, that there is no coming back for them. The very thought of this sickens me and puts a big knot in my chest. It is why I don’t open any doors that can’t be shut. I have no time, nor any need of such battles.
My time is now, in real time, here on this amazing and beautiful planet. I too have fallen victim to the prejudice and misunderstanding that prevails whenever you mention pit bulls.
I made a terrible mistake I will always regret. I rescued a 5 week old puppy from a busy country road in the rain on a Christmas Eve night. He was almost incoherent, and stayed that way for almost an entire week. I don’t know how he ended up there. I know he was starving, covered in fleas, too young to see well. He was exhausted from this traumatic beginning. Of course, I had pets at home already.
The mistake wasn’t that I rescued Henri, it was that I didn’t know what it would take to raise him properly. You see, Henri turned out to be some unknown mix of a pit bull. He required intense socialization and training I was just not qualified nor able to give him. Love him, oh yes. I totally bonded with Henri in every way. But it didn’t stop him one day when he was two years old, from escaping through an accidently open gate, and he bit my neighbor lady on her calf as she was getting her mail. Henri bit her hard. It was a severe wound. I was at her side in a moment, and my roommate recovered Henri before any more damage could occur.
My neighbor will never forgive me. All I ever wanted was a nice neighbor that I could have coffee with, a friend, and to be a good neighbor back. But now that this has happened, and it’s been almost three years since, she has done everything in her power to run me off my land and my home. She’s called every Health Dept. in the county out here, and she’s sued me in court.
Yes, I had the dog, and I take full responsibility for what happened. I live this nightmare everyday, and this woman makes it clear, every single solitary day, how much she despises me. She hurts my heart, perhaps more than I think I deserve, but the real hurt lies in my final unchangeable mistake.
I let the County Animal lady come out the next morning and take my Henri. That whole night I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t face Henri. I couldn’t even look at him. He came inside and went to sleep on his ottoman, just like always, and my roommate told me that Henri wouldn’t eat, and wouldn’t move from that ottoman. When the County woman came at the crack of dawn that next morning, he carried Henri out to the truck and placed him in the cage, and she took him away. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t look, I think I was in emotional shock. And I’m usually a pretty tough cookie.
People and animals can get along just fine, but pets and their owners don’t always make that indelible connection, that undeniable bond that just happens sometimes. But when it does, you definitely know it. I understood Henri, insofar as we loved him at home. What made him attack the neighbor was my lack of understanding, my laziness, my complacencey. I was in complete denial about Henri and what he was capable of. Perhaps I deserve all the grief now.
Henri was killed at the shelter. Before he could live out his beautiful life, they took it from him. This poor guy never stood a chance. Even with the best of my love, care and attention, his fate must have been sealed.
Today I read where this rapper guy named Chris Brown has put up multiple pit bull puppies on a website for sale, and as much as ABC and the world tries to stop him, there will be people that will no doubt purchase these innocent creatures to fight, as they were so obviously bred for. His website is almost like a taunt to the world, that he can do this and get away with it. Like I said, I’m no spiritual intuitive, but this guy is one of the dark ones, the type I try so hard to avoid in my life.
So what did I do, I put this crime all over my facebook, I emailed him and really gave him the business. I told him he should be in prison for a long long time, that dog fighting is a Crime! And I’m not scared one bit and I’m not sorry. I would go to battle in an instant with this person, and any other that would exploit innocent little animals, for personal profit only. Maybe in his “culture,” if you could even call it that, this sort of activity is accepted. Maybe he thinks he’s really cool. It makes me madder than hell, it makes me cry real tears, and I commit to help people like Eldad out on the West Coast, and his Hope for Paws Organization, with every extra tiny cent I can scrape up after all mine are taken care of.
I don’t know who’s right here. People against pit bull dogs, people who think they should be banned in every state, or people like Tia Maria Torres, who has devoted her life to giving second chances, for this unfortunate breed of dog, and for grown men who make terrible mistakes, and end up in prison. I know for sure that breeding these dogs for whatever reason has to stop. We need to take care of the ones dying a slow death in the shelters, only to greet death head-on in a needle.
I’ll end this story with a couple of pictures, so you can see what I saw, and a final framed mental image of my memory of this precious innocent dog, the one I keep near and dear to my heart whenever I think of Henri and the amazing bright spirit that he was.
One day I looked out in the driveway to see where he was and what he was doing, and there he was, with a little ball in his mouth, throwing it high into the air, dancing around and prancing through the air, playing alone, being happy beyond reason, with bright shiny smiling eyes, mouth wide open, his tongue to the side, the most innocent creature I have ever known. Henri died for my failings, and I guess for an accident bound to happen eventually. Maybe you can tell me.
I don’t know why we humans fail at so many things, we cause so much pain and suffering, all over this world. But I for one, will pick myself up, hold up my head again, and walk bravely down my driveway while the neighbor does her worst, and I will fight to understand the problems, I will write however it comes out, because truth and naked emotion may be the only way we learn, the only way we can change.
I dedicate this post to the poor pit bull in the video that had his face so badly chewed up that no amount of vet skills could save him, and to my Henri. I only pray he can forgive me, my mistake.