Mood: hug me
Topic: "I can hope, can't I?"(9)
Frodo slipped a leash around her neck and pulled it snug. He stepped back from the door and led her down the concrete walkway and out the door. He opened the outdoor run and released the leash as she bound into the sunlight. It was only then that Frodo noticed the ears, and her coat. He choked and stopped breathing.
Her ears had been snipped, probably by pinking shears. Her coat was almost turquoise, that which was left. Whatever had taken place was intended to make her angry and to fight. Her eyes were empty.
While others watched, the Hobbit fetched a gentle brush and, from her shoulder, he brushed back toward her tail. Immediately she turned to face Frodo, and he suddenly realized that he had placed himself in a truly vulnerable position. Her eyes however, told him that he had done something truly warm and special. If a dog has ever truly broken into tears, it took place at that moment. Frodo knows.
She wiggled under each and every stroke that rippled the muscles of that magnificent body. She stood on her hind legs and wrapped her front legs around the waist of the Hobbit, and she whimpered. For a few short moments they circled the run and she danced with the Hobbit. Frodo's friends watched and no one spoke, nor did any object at the extra time spent with one who needed the grace of her new if not only friend in all the world.
Frodo led her back to her cage, and he gently removed the leash from around her neck while rubbing his hands under her chin. Their eyes met, and she kissed his hand. Frodo pulled her to him and kissed her on the nose, and then he was gone.
Seven days later Frodo returned, and began, in turn, to walk each and every one under his charge. He had not been able to keep cage number 53, unnamed, off his mind. As he turned to that walkway, he saw her bouncing expectantly for whoever would come to take her out into the sunshine and a place to evacuate without messing up her cage. Frodo wondered if she, then he knew.
Their eyes met, and number 53 melted into the arms of her wonderful best friend with the magic brush. She followed him outside and again they danced in each others arms. Frodo swears that he heard Strauss playing "The Emperor's Waltz," and, soon, he noticed people watching, marveling at something so simply beautiful as a dog and a Hobbit. Again he returned her to her cage and kissed her good-bye.
Another week had passed, and Frodo knew that pit bulls have little chance of rescue, and there are too few facilities to stop the inevitable. Frodo turned the walkway and almost sprinted to cage 53 as he heard the joyful cry of his friend, with her coat growing back, her ears healing, and a roomful of amazed and amazing people who had been waiting to watch them dance in the sunshine. When he led her back, he noticed that a marketing package was attached to her cage by other volunteers, trying to help in the adoption process. They had named her "Smiley," and they remarked about how one so tortured had emerged as a butterfly from the cocoon of inhumanity. Frodo cried again, but this time with a little genuine hope.
When next he arrived cage 53 had an unknown inhabitant. Frodo looked quickly, then he noticed that there was no crowd about. No one offered solace to the Hobbit, assuring him that "Smiley" had found a home. Frodo asked no questions, he simply went on about his business, looking for someone else needing a brush, while he hummed an Austrian tune from long ago. All the while hoping that "Smiley" was in a gentle back yard, being loved by a golden family who needed a good dog.
Today, as everyday, 9000, that's right nine thousand, dogs are euthanized in America. Maybe, just maybe, on one day, it was only 8999. Small victories, perhaps.