Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Before The Happy Ending : Part I

The below is a true account of my experience as an abandoned pet, of how I was reduced to a savage stray on the edge of death, and how the love of two human beings turned my fate around.

This is not here for the sake of being a sob story. Me, Duke the dog, do sob stories? I don't think so. But you have to know this - the world has to know this, if only so a few more abandoned strays have a voice. This is my story. This is where it began.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I don't know how long I'd been here. Bound to that bush by a tangled chain that was eating its way into my body. Sometimes I could smell the stink of rotting skin and a kind of hell that existed for me and me alone. I'd heard humans talk of heaven and hell. Animals don't believe in such a concept. I didn't either, but I was starting to.

Flashes of abusive kicks and punches ran through a doggy mind that tried to forget. We are not beasts that remember well. But some things are all too hard to let go of.

Perhaps they just needed something to be mad at. Something to use as a punching bag. Because of course dogs are trained not to fight their masters. Even a big fella like me is no match for a truly angry, irrational human being. And somehow all the madness endedup in me being not onlky abandoned but imprisoned in the cruelest of ways.

How long was it that I struggled and starved? From two days, to two weeks to...what, two years? Felt like forever. Cold, confused, going blind with frustration, and then finally despair. This was it. I was going to die beaten and bruised and wrapped in stinking maggots. Damned chain!! Why had I been put here?

What had I done to deserve this?

* * *

Daylight. Sweet smell of last night's rain. I wouldn't have bothered opening my eyes, except that something big was hovering over me - perhaps to kill me.

I wouldn't have minded, honestly.

Except pure instinct took over. I had to guard myself. No matter what.

Hmm - human, tall, a bit of beard. Smelt clean. Leave me alone, please, you don't know what it's like. Are you a bigger version of those kids who throw stones at anything furry that moves? Get the hell away.

Now he was prodding me - well, not quite. I didn't know what he was up to. But being chained up like a dangerous beast tends to make you behave like one. I leaped up and snapped at the hand.

Owww oww OWW. Chains pulling at me, biting deeper into the skin. Stupid, stupid! What the hell were you thinking of? But of course I wasn't thinking - at all. I was pissed; I was in pain; I would have tried to kill anything that touched me. Ahh, this is so far from the charming cad in the commercial and the pictures.

What was this? Water. Food, even. The tall human looked me in the eye with not a hint of disgust. A little fear, maybe. He wasn't stupid. But there was nothing in his manner that suggested he was going to beat the crap out of me. So I let him push the food and water till it was a few inches from my shivering snout.

I watched him warily till he began to back away. Once I was sure he wasn't going to try anything, I slowly prodded the food, licked it a little, then began to bite into it bit by bit. You have no idea how strange food feels in your mouth after you've been denied it so long. It felt so good, too, even though I dared not let myself enjoy it.

Perhaps tomorrow he would come back.

Or perhaps tomorrow I would die.

I didn't care. Finally the food and water was finished; I lay down, exhausted and not as starving as I had been, and went to sleep.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Big Film Debut

One glorious minute for me, one big leap for petkind. The commercial for SPCA Malaysia is up & running, so go watch ! And share it with your friends - and aunts, and grandparents, and anyone who is vaguely fond of animals. The rest of the work is mine; I'll do the charming, you just do the clicking.


p.s. Link here if you can't load the vid below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98-RO9Jee00

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Tale of Charlie, an Unneutered Dog

Recently I bumped into an old friend, Charlie from the streets. Boy did he look roughed up - such a difference from the sleek plump thing he used to be back when he had a roof over his head. Here's a funny thing about Charlie: he LOVES to hump legs. Any leg, male or female, doesn't matter. (I believe he once banged a prosthetic.) His owner was a retired high-flying type who would sometimes have these hoity-toity folks over for what humans call a soi-ree. Basically it's where pinched-nose, perfume-drenched humans (boy those perfumes! they're hell on a dog's nose) get together and nibble on ridiculously tiny bits of food while whispering and laughing like someone's choking them with a leash.

Pic courtesy of this darling genius-slash-blogger

Now Charlie would usually be let loose around the house, being the gentle giant that he is. But occasionally - when the mood struck - he would trot up nicely to a lady, give her his droopy adorable grin...then promptly leap onto her dainty leg and bang his crotch against it like there was no tomorrow.

I'm sorry if this is all a bit graphic for you. But you've most likely seen it with your own eyes, no?

Anyway, it was all very amusing at first. But then more and more guests started complaining – that having a dog’s privates rub up against your silk stockings is not funny, that the mutt’s fur got everywhere, that Charlie was sometimes moody and unpredictable. This was indeed true: increasingly often, Charlie’s docile demeanour would switch to an aggressive one. Especially when there were female dogs within a 5-mile radius. Unable to figure out what was wrong with him, one fine day Charlie’s owner finally took him to the pound and left him there. A brief muttered goodbye and it was all over.

Confused and upset, Charlie (being the spirited thing he is) refused to stay in that pound. One evening he managed to break out and escape. And that’s how his life as a stray began.

This is close to what Charlie looked like when I met him last...
Photo courtesy of Carlos E. Bohórquez Nassar

Sad, isn’t it? What’s even sadder is that this happens to dogs all over the country. And it would have been so easy to avoid if only Charlie’s owner had neutered him.

See, neutered dogs (or spayed, if you’re a bitch) are more stable and less likely to get into trouble due to their sexual urges. We’ll still be the lusty buggers we were, but not to the point where we howl madly at and attempt to rape anything vaguely female. Or make it a mission to increase the stray population on the streets.

According to my owners, it also prevents ‘uterine infections’ and ‘testicular cancer’. I have no idea what those are but they sound like a bloody lot of pain.

You wouldn’t want your pet to go through that sort of pain, would you?

Anyway, last I heard Charlie is still roaming the streets – now with a harem of mangy bitches at his tail, half of whom will probably give him sexually transmitted disease at some point. But at least he’s still alive….

Bless you, Charlie. You were always faithful. Too bad I can’t say the same about your owner.