When I was driving down an alleyway behind a small strip shopping center two weeks before Thanksgiving 1999 I saw a pit bull puppy sitting on a concrete stairs behind one of the stores.
The young reddish brown dog looked forlorn, so I stopped my van and approached him. He was pretty unresponsive to my attention. I thought to myself that he had been dumped and was waiting for his owner to return. He didn’t understand that his owner wasn’t coming back.
This was on Wednesday. Every day I drove the 20 miles up to the shopping center, in the barrio, and bought him some chicken livers at the nearby supermarket. I also brought him some water. The Latino store employees in the strip center would have seen him sitting there but they did nothing to help him.
By Saturday, when he was still in the same spot, waiting, I took him home. I figured he wasn’t too far away from being picked up by the dog catcher.
And thus began a 12 year long joyous adventure.
I know what great dogs these animals are. It pains me to post this story, but if there’s anything we can do to make sure that the dog murderer in this case serves time in jail, then let’s do it.
GREAT FALLS, SC.
A Great Falls man was arrested last week, almost a week after a chained dog choked to death trying to get to shade in his yard, according to a Great Falls Police Department report.
Keon Torrance Gladden, 23, has been charged with ill treatment of animals, jail records show.
Great Falls police responded to a report of animal cruelty at a Walnut Street house on July 10 at about 5:15 p.m., the report says. The complainant told officers he believed the dog was being mistreated and told police he had checked on the dog many times before, the report says.
He said found the dog dead in the yard just before 5 p.m., bloating and covered in flies and maggots, the report says.
The dog, a blue pit bull, was chained to a pole in the yard with a belt for a collar and very little shade, the report says. The temperatures for the day were in the mid to upper 90s, officers said.
The dog choked to death while trying to crawl to a nearby bush for shade, the report says. Officers said there were two bowls near the dog, but the food bowl was upside down and the water bowl was dry and dusty, the report says.
There was a dog house in the yard, but the dog’s chain was too short to reach it, the report says.
The complainant said he bought a harness for the dog, but the harness was lying in the yard broken, the report says.
My pit bull would tump his water bowl over to wet the ground during the hot Texas summer. Then he would lay on the wet spot to stay cool. This was in the shade, of course. Doggy air conditioning.
I would have to check on his water bowl constantly because it wouldn’t take him long to turn it over. He seemed to have trouble figuring out that if he turned the bowl over he might not have anything to drink for a while.
Anyway, dogs love air conditioning in the summer. All of them should have a spot inside where it’s cool. It’s the least we can do for them.
I wish every pit bull (and every other dog) could have a happy ending like this pit bull.