“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
These words are widely attributed to Ghandi, but whether he said them or not matters very little: I heartily agree with the idea. Only the basest society is cruel to animals.
About a year ago someone threw out 2 half-grown puppies in our yard. The dogs—one black and one blond--were terrified and starving. We couldn’t catch them, but we couldn’t let them starve either. We threw out table scraps and the next day I bought a 50lb. bag of dog food. Every night we left a pan of food out. The next morning it was empty. About 2 months later, the black dog decided to trust us. Not the little blond. He kept his distance.
“If we’re going to feed them, they need names,” Larry said. “The kids have already named the black one ‘Sox’ because of his white feet. Let’s call the other one Clyde.”
Clyde? What kind of name is that for a dog? As good as any I guess.
We kept talking about taking Sox in for shots and neutering, but we still couldn’t get our hands on Clyde.
About a week ago, I went out to put sheets on the line and saw Clyde lying in the grass out by the back garden. That’s not so unusual. He’d gotten brave enough to take treats out of our hands, but not to let us touch him. I put my sheets out and headed out back to check on the progress of the mustard greens. As I approached, Clyde got up and hopped off on three legs, holding up his left hind leg. I could see it was injured and assumed a car had hit him. We do live on Buck Head Raceway, after all. Again I tried to approach him, but had no luck as usual.
“Larry, you’ve got to put Clyde out of his misery or we’ve got to get him to the vet,” I told my husband.
“I can’t bear to shoot him if we can do anything else for him,” Larry replied.
The next day we called our veterinarian, explained the situation, and asked for some help. The tranquilizer they gave me was supposed to take an hour to work, so we allowed plenty of time to get him to his 1:30 appointment. We gave him a sedative-laced hotdog at 12 noon. It fazed him not one whit. We’d leave him alone for a half hour and go back out. He’d be stretched out on the grass, apparently out of it--until we approached, that is. Then he was up and off on three legs.
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