Two White Dogs
Two white dogs appeared running loose in our retirement neighborhood a few days ago. According to our Facebook group, everyone was discussing them, but no one had approached them. The consensus was, they had most likely been dumped and found their way here.
When I took my dog out Saturday morning, my neighbor, Hope, warned me about them. Later I saw them wandering along the golf course. Much later I learned they’d taken up residence behind Hope’s house. One of them was howling periodically (that we could hear) and was upsetting the dog Hope was babysitting.
No one seemed to know what to do. The dogs didn’t seem unfriendly or aggressive, but they were scared and wary, barked and skittered away if anyone tried to approach.
We discovered the county’s animal control department would only pick them up if they were contained. How could we contain them if we couldn’t catch them?
There was lots of concern but zero solutions. Hope put out water for them as they had bedded down under some very leafy bushes at the back of her house. But it’s 95 degrees plus in the middle of July and 100 percent humidity. Probably another reason no one wanted to try to befriend these dogs.
Like most of my neighbors I felt terrible for them and their situation. They looked like white German Shepherds. My best guess is that the older one was perhaps used as a stud for a breeder. He was limping and was probably the one howling. Perhaps he’d outlived his usefulness or gotten sick and so he was dumped. The other one was younger, perhaps one of his pups, who looked healthy but might have been defective in some way I couldn’t see. He was very protective of the older dog.
Sunday morning, I thought I’d see if I could catch the older, slower dog, figuring if I did, the younger one would follow. I could contain them and get them off the street, into cooler air at least, and take care of them until I found a shelter or a rescue.
Armed with dog treats and bits of turkey and a couple of leashes, I gave it my best shot, but they weren’t having it.
I thought I’d watched enough episodes of Pitbulls and Parolees to understand how it was done. I quickly realized that those rescuers had things I lacked. Kennels and more than one person to corral the dogs. And lots of experience.
Still, I kept trying, figuring I could wear down and slow down the older dog and get close enough to leash it.
These two were not having it. In fact, they swam across one of the small lakes on the golf course to escape pursuit. I didn’t see that coming!
I didn’t give up, though. A neighbor and I followed them in his golf cart until they ended up on the deserted driving range. He left me there and told me I’d never catch them. I kept calling and approaching and tossing bites of food and dog treats.
The old dog might have given in. I got within a few feet of him, but the younger dog wasn’t having it. Beyond the driving range was a cattle gate, and farmland beyond that. That’s where the dogs headed. That’s where I gave up.
Two days later I’m still thinking about them and praying they find safe haven. Praying some kind soul can rescue them when I couldn’t.
Many of us know what it’s like to feel or be abandoned. To be set aside when the people who professed to love us no longer find us easy or acceptable.
Haven’t we all wandered, lost, at times? Wary of any hand that offers help because we can no longer trust.
Confusion about what happened weighs us down. What did we do wrong?
I wonder if God feels the same way I did as I kept offering rescue. Saying, “I can help you. I won’t hurt you. I’ll feed you.”
But we turn away from His outstretched hand, from all He offers us. We keep wandering, trying to find our own way to somewhere safe.
Unlike me, though, God never gives up.