Man’s Best Friend

Jorge Milanes

Havana dog.  Photo: Caridad
Havana dog. Photo: Caridad

Dogs are man’s best friend, as the old saying goes; but it seems dogs can’t say the same thing about man.

At eleven at night, it was raining outside, and the humidity was pretty high.  We could hear a dog’s howl, which by its intensity you could tell it needed help.

“The poor little fellow is cold and wet.  Imagine that,” my mother said out of concern.

The howl, increasingly louder, was first heard on one side of the house and then the other.  It seemed the dog was searching hopelessly for a way to get inside out of the bad weather.

“It must be hungry too,” my brother commented.

“It pains me to see those dogs in the streets after their owners abandon them once they figure they can’t feed them. They think that somebody on the street will pick them up,” my mother added.

“It wasn’t always like that,” my stepfather commented from their room.  “There used to be a ‘zoonosis center,’ I think that’s what it was called.  They had trucks that would go around picking up ownerless dogs that roamed the city’s streets.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen any of them though.”

“I don’t know why people who aren’t able to take care of pets even have them.  Other people mistreat them when the animals approach them searching for somebody to take them home. They run them off and after a few days the dogs are common strays wandering the city,” he said.

The telephone rang and my mother answered.  As I listened, she said, “We were just talking about the same thing, but we can’t give it a home.  Whenever we get a dog or someone gives one to us, it dies.  I don’t know what the problem is.  If you want to, since it’s raining and it’s over here, we can let it in and give it a little heat.  Then when it stops raining you can get it.

The conversation ended with, “Jorge, put on a jacket and let the dog in, Rosa wants it. We’ll take care of it until it stops raining. She’ll pick it up then.