Pit Bull Puppy – Sukey

25 Dec

dirt1

Christmas Eve day. I was sitting on the concrete driveway of our house, trying to get some sun, when I saw a stray puppy walking by. It didn’t take but a second or two to see it was either abandoned or lost. I picked it up – a two month old female pit bull. It was a pretty color, a mix of soft grays and browns. The puppy was friendly and obviously relieved at getting some affection.

I walked across the street to my cab driver neighbor and asked him if he knew whose puppy it was. He shook his head no and I said if anyone is looking for her, to send them my way.

I fed her some dry dog food with a couple of eggs cracked into it and she scrabbled in the bowl, making the food disappear. I noticed her belly was swollen, which was probably a result of eating all kinds of awful things by the side of the road. I was going to have to get some parasite medicine.

I watched as one flea after another poked its head up out of her fur and then burrowed back down to her skin. I got a bucket of warm water and a bar of flea soap and dipped her in and scrubbed her down. The soap is strong and all of the fleas high-tailed it to hide under the hollows where her legs met her body. I hit them with an extra dose and probably killed a hundred fleas by the time I was done.

The afternoon wore on. She slept with her head on my shoe and I named her Sukey.

I put Sukey on the porch when Sophy and I had to run an errand. By the time we got back it was dark and we learned Sukey had either been let out by one of the kids or she’d wandered off. I figured if she truly chose to wander off that was just the way things go sometimes. But if she was confused or nearby I wanted to give her a choice to come back.

I walked up the dark street. Fifty feet way I saw a man with a child perched on his shoulders. It looked like he was playing with his Chihuahua or similar small dog, which seemed to be scampering back and forth around the man’s legs.

I got closer and saw that the man was kicking dirt in Sukey’s face. When she’d try to run in the other direction he’d step in front of her and kick another mess of dirt in the puppy’s face.

I walked over and picked up Sukey. I was happy to have found her and I just stood there for a few seconds. I hadn’t said anything to the man, who I recognized as the ultra-religious truck driver from across the street.

I said, “This is my dog.”

He smiled and said something I didn’t catch – something that sounded like an attempt to smooth things over.

I walked away, wondering about people. Why a man would take joy in kicking dirt in a puppy’s face. Especially with his daughter perched on his shoulders.

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