Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

I don’t know who you are, and I don’t know much about you. But I do know something very important:

Your faithful, loyal friend was waiting for you right beside the road where you left him. He wasn’t looking very good. His ribs were sticking out enough that you could see them at 45 mph as you passed. It was obvious he hadn’t eaten in a long time, and just as obvious that he hadn’t been brushed in months.

He stood there right on the shoulder, panting in the Florida heat, watching every car that approached. He was looking for you.

Other people stopped and tried to help. But he darted away, because there was just one person he wanted. Hungry, lonely, but loyal, he was sure you were going to come back. You always did before.

He stayed in the same place so you could find him. He wouldn’t let anyone else near because he didn’t want to fail you by being gone when you returned. He was drinking muddy pond water, and probably had worms.

And he wasn’t eating, because, you see, he never learned to hunt. He was used to food coming in a bowl from your hand. He didn’t have the skills you just assumed he’d have to take care of himself.

The cops tried to catch him. The animal control officer gave up, after several attempts, because he kept running into the woods. To hide, because he was a good dog and he was waiting for you.

The one thing I want to know about you is why you did this to him. There are so many places you could have called who would have taken him. Even a vet’s office will let you sign the dog over rather than allow this to happen.

Fortunately for your friend, lots of other people cared.  When I called animal control, they told me they’d been trying to capture him for weeks, that they’d had more than a hundred calls from concerned people.  They said he was wily and wouldn’t let anyone approach, but they’d sent for an officer who was famous for being able to catch dogs like these.

You’d probably like to hear the good news.  The man they’d called in had enticed your friend with hamburgers, earned his trust over a period of hours, and at last brought him to the shelter.

Thanks to good people, your friend is now sheltered, fed, and being cared for.  And more than half a dozen people already want to give him a new home.   You could have spared him all that, and I’ll never know why you didn’t. 

I may know nothing about you, but I learned something about a lot of other people: they cared, and they proved it with their concern for one rag-tag, loyal, abandoned dog.


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