Thursday, May 05, 2005

After giving the last weekend some thought, my brain has gone in a very different direction than one might expect. I think I'm gonna look into the big sister program or some other one on one mentoring program with the kids in the neighborhood, and take advantage of the summer by getting to know the kids around here.

There are no bad kids. That doesn't mean I'll take the padlocks off the gates.

Sometimes my neighborhood reminds me of being in africa. I get that feeling of not understanding the people and culture in which I find myself immersed. The people here are primarily native american, and sadly, many stereotypes appear to apply. These are not bad people, but they are people I don't understand and feel intimidated by. I visibly stand out so I feel vulnerable. All the while I see these kids running around like wild animals and my heart goes out to them.

I keep thinking about this cycle of poverty I keep hearing about, what it does to people, how it makes them act, how it keeps them stuck. I keep asking myself why a kid steals a dog. Every kid needs a dog because every kid needs a friend.

I feel bad that that kid doesn't have a dog of his own.

What was that Jesus said?? If a man takes your coat, don't ask for it back. Does that apply to dogs? Is there a reason for everything? I can't get these kids out of my head.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Some neighborhood punks tried to dognap Abu today. I was very upset.....very very very very upset.

My roommate had been home for about 10 minutes when I realized that Abu hadn't come inside with her, so I asked her, Abu didn't want to come in when you got home? To which she replied that Abu wasn't in the yard, wasn't she in the house? No, I say, she's not in the house, which is when investigate the gates to find out that both the front and back gates have been opened, and my dog is gone.

I leave the yard and start calling her. She doesn't come. A couple kids come along and say they caught a dog, and lead me to a yard where they say the put a stray dog. The dog is not Abu. We leave the yard and the boys continue to yammer about where the dog might be. I take the leader of the pack to my gate and show him the latch and the wire and explain to him that I know someone has opened the gate on purpose, because the dog cannot have opened the gate by herself. I tell him that if he can find my dog and bring her back, I will give him two dollars. Then I proceed into the back alley, and continue calling my dog.

In about a minute the boys come after me, saying my dog has been found, and they all want two dollars. I give the ringleader four dollars and tell him to distribute it, then gather them all and explain that I KNOW someone has opened both of my gates and if I find any of them letting my dog out, I will be extremely angry.

At this point an older boy lurking around on a bike confesses to opening the gate.

My roommate arrives. She had put the dog in the house before I got there, but she's missing her collar. The boys know where the collar is, and run off to get it. The collar comes back...... without her tags.

After the boys leave, my roommate tells me that the boys did not indeed find my dog. Rather, she had heard Abu barking at another dog in the back alley and went to get her and bring her home. We went next door to discuss it with our neighbour, who thought she saw Abu being led on a rope, but thought she must be mistaken.

I figure the kids decided to remove the tags in order to keep the dog, and in order to do so removed the collar. Little did they know that Abu, sans collar, is a formidable foe. I give her 10 seconds at the most to make good her escape and another 5 to leave her pursuers in the dust. Having lost the dog, it made the most sense to scam the owner for four bucks.

It's been a long time since I've been so upset, frightened, frustrated, enraged. All I could think was what if I've lost my puppy? What if she gets hit by a car or held captive and I never see her again? What if she winds up tied up and emaciated in someone's back yard and becomes mean and vicious? What is life without Abu? What would I do?

Oh my gosh I can't even go there...... tomorrow I'm picking up chains and locks. Those gates are staying closed.
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