Hunting Dogs

This morning I saw a dog walking outside the house while making a phone call by the window. That isn’t too unusual I suppose, as there are dogs on campus sometimes, but my reaction this morning was unusual. I went outside and found it very close to the backdoor, holding its rear leg up and staring into my eyes. She was old, hungry, scared, tired and injured. I don’t know when she was injured, but I don’t suppose I ever will. A few minutes after petting her, I was calling her owner and directing him to our house. He was a few miles north of campus and said he would be right over. Garrett pet her a little while I waited on the lawn for him to arrive. Reba, as he called her when he got out of the truck, hobbled over to him ready to jump in the large back cage of the truck. He apologized for the inconvenience, but it really was my pleasure. I love dogs, miss our dogs from home and haven’t petted a dog like that for quite a while. As she drank from the water bowl in the back of the truck and he drove away, I thought of what I had said to Garrett when we were sitting together. I don’t usually think to come out for a dog, even if it has a collar on, but maybe I should. Regardless of whether I know the owner, every animal deserves humane treatment including as painless a death as possible. To ignore my place in that treatment is decided indifference and I don’t believe that is acceptable. I hope I will respond in kind next time, whether I see a collar or not, to do what I can.