HAVANA TIMES — My uncle has a dog on a leash in his back yard. Though I’ve often heard him bark, I have never once seen him wag his tail. The poor creature has a very hard life, at the mercy of the rain, the cold and his fleas.
A bit of metal paneling on the ground is the only home he knows. He stands on all four for long hours to avoid lying on the panel, which enhances the surrounding cold or heat, whatever the case may be.
Not long ago, my uncle had the idea of trimming off all his hair, in the hopes of getting rid of the fleas and ticks that torment him (instead of taking him to the vet, or using an anti-flea medication).
Now furless, the animal’s malnourished body and bloated belly (quite clearly swollen by parasites) are plain to see.
I feel powerless to help him. Unfortunately for the dog, my uncle and I had a falling out and haven’t talked for years. I’m not the only one in the family he doesn’t talk to, so I can’t even get a word of advice about how to treat animals to him.
“In another country, they would have showered him with fines,” says a man who walks by and sees the dog, referring to my uncle. “The problem is that we feel we own animals, we’ve always been taught to think that way,” I reply.
My uncle had another dog before this one. It was a strong, healthy animal when he got it and, years later (before he managed to escape and we never saw him again) he was scrawny, bruised and sickly.
I am tempted to unleash the dog and let him escape. Perhaps he will have better luck next time and find a better human.