Dear Stray Dog
Dear Stray Dog,
I can’t believe I saw you on my morning commute two days in a row, once in Beverly Hills and once in Hollywood. You’re a little hiker! I can’t even imagine how far you’ve walked. I know the cities are only five miles apart, but I doubt that you used a GPS to get there using the most efficient route. You must have walked all day yesterday and will walk all day today, and you walk pretty fast for a little dog.
Where is your family? Are you looking for them, Stray Dog? I’m sorry I didn’t stop by the side of the road to say hello and help you find them. I was running late for work.
You look like you haven’t been bathed in a long, long time. Your long fur is all matted and needs a good brushing. You’re probably completely covered in fleas. When was the last time you felt loved? Stray Dog, I promise if I see you again and you’re nice, I’ll take you to the vet and give you a nice bath, okay? But you have to promise to be nice to my Olive in return. She’s very nice also, and she’s good at sharing.
Dear Stray Dog, what is your name? If you were my dog, I’d call you Milo.
I think if I brought you home, my roommate would probably be upset. She’s a nice lady though, so maybe if you’re nice, we could work something out…?!
Where are you heading to with such fervor, Milo? You look like a man on a mission. I hope someone loving picks you up and takes care of you. I said a little prayer for you on the rest of the way to work. I prayed that you would be safe and stop walking against traffic in the middle of the road. I prayed that you would be de-flea’d and have a home soon.
Dear Milo, there are so many friends like you, so many friends that have forgotten what it feels like to be loved, so many little dogs that get left out on the street and make more little dogs that are left out on the street. I’m sorry we did this to you. I’m sorry I didn’t stop by the side of the road. Twice.
I’m sorry we took a whole bunch of majestic wolves who have the power to live in (nay, rule) the wilderness, and we made them smaller and smaller, shorter-faced and shorter-faced, more docile and more harmless, until we got little puppies like you. I’m sorry we then couldn’t own up to the responsibility, and that’s why you and your friends are on the street, in the shelters, sent to die, all because we’ve forgotten how to love you.
Oh Milo, I get angry when I think about what happened to my Olive. When I think about how we took a beautiful creature and kept messing with it until we got a flat-faced puggie whose face closely resembles that of a human baby (still a beautiful creature, but in a very different way). She can’t breathe so good, but mostly because she wasn’t really meant to breathe like this. She has a lot of skin issues, and she doesn’t see so good either, because her eyes were engineered to be too big for her tiny, little head. I can’t even use a collar on her because her eyeballs could fall out if I pull too hard. Look at what we did.
Milo, my Olive occasionally has to have surgery to take her teeth out because her mouth looks like yours, if I smooshed it in by a lot. My Olive can’t hear at all, all because some Chinese guy or lady decided that floppy ears are cuter and didn’t think about how easy they would be to get infected. You have floppy ears too, Milo, so you should watch out and Q-Tip frequently.
A lot of little puggies like my Olive get seizures or serious mouth/throat problems that makes it even harder and even impossible for them to breathe. Most of the ones that came from the shelter she’s from are blind or are missing one or both eyeballs (…so, also blind). We did this, Milo. We promised to love you when we created you, and we didn’t keep that promise.
Oh Milo, you and Olive would be such good friends. Abandoned at first, but loved once again. Maybe one day we can live in a world where all the dogs and cats have homes and loving families. Maybe we can live in a society where we don’t hear news about horrible men going to jail for raping and hanging dogs in trees. Because we promised we would love you in exchange for crippling your ability to survive autonomously.
In a way, Milo, I’m so thankful that we can play with you and hold you in our arms and love you and care for you, instead of fearing you or watching you from afar. But this was a selfish desire, and as much as I know you were created to love us back, you should understand that we were not thinking about your benefit when we did this. Milo, you trusted us, and we hurt you. And now there’s too many left of you to love.
So we pay an exorbitant amount of money for carefully bred newborn puppies.
Tell me about your favorite things, your health issues, and what you need, Milo, because if I see you again, I promise I’ll try to make things right for you, the best way a poor (in time and in finances) young woman who does not have her life together can.
Kimbo, the lady with the tiny wrist tattoo.
Note: The author is only precisely 78.4% sure that the two stray dogs are the same dog, and it remains unconfirmed that “Milo” is a male. Also, it was not the author’s intention to demonize those who have purchased their pups from breeders but would like to make it known that, from that point forward, should said dog owners abandon their responsibilities, she will not hesitate to mercilessly demonize them and whoop them in the face.