The Lonely Dog

All week as I sat at my computer editing MYSTIC, I listened to a howling, whining dog from across the canal. From early morning until mid afternoon, this dog was determined to let the neighbors know of his loneliness.

The Cape has many empty houses. I worried that maybe he was abandoned and starving. A group of trees blocked my view of where I thought the howling was coming from. Refusing to close my window because soon our air conditioning will replace our fresh air, I began talking to the dog in between chapters. “I hear you. It’s okay.” He would quiet down.

Finally, I decided to act. I drove to the house where I thought he was and rang the doorbell. No answer and no barking. Strange. I gave up and continued with my errands.

Later that night, the howling started again. I made my family stop eating dinner and listen. Where was it coming from? I explained my concern. This dog could be in trouble. I asked my husband to drive around with me and search. After over twenty years together he knew better than to try to convince me the dog was okay. “Let’s go.”

We drove up and down streets, parking in empty lots, listening for his howls. I realized that with all the time I had spent writing I could identify all the dogs in our neighborhood not by their names but by their bark. My friend across the canal was silent.

The sun had set. We parked in the empty lot next to the original house where I first believed the dog lived. We found him! Chained up, with access to an open patio and a backyard. Big, beautiful, fat,Weimaraner. He greeted us with only a wag of his tail, as if he recognized my voice. His food dish was full and his water dish empty. A hose sat next to his dish. We filled it up. He was safe so we said goodbye.

This morning my Weimaraner friend is not calling out to me. Maybe his owners are home, maybe he is satisfied because his water dish is full, or maybe he just needed to know that someone was out there and someone heard his cries. It makes me wonder how many people feel the same.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    Mar 25, 2011 @ 13:46:29

    This was beautiful. Thank you for having such a wonderful heart.


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