Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Not a great start to Holy Week

On Sunday (Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week in Costa Rica and other places that celebrate such things), I took esposo up the mountain to work. Once you hit a certain point on the mountain, there is absolutely nothing up there until you reach the summit, at which point you find one small dairy farm and some buildings that appear not to have been used in the past 20 years. Over the summit, there isn't much of anything again until you get to the "town" of Bajos del Toro (and here I use the word "town" in its loosest sense; I've never seen any location so sparsely inhabitated yet still known by an official name). And when I say "nothing up there," I mean no houses or businesses or farms, just lots of forest. I'm giving you all of this information about the mountain so that you might understand how I felt when I saw not one, but two starving dogs up there in the middle of nowhere.

It seemed to me both had been dumped by their "owner." Honestly, I've never seen a dog so emaciated in my life as these two were/are. Since there's nothing up there, and neither esposo nor I had ever seen these dogs before, the only conclusion I could draw is that some hole figured even throwing them a scrap every now and again was too much to deal with and dumped them -- oh excuse me, I mean "lost" them, because, you know, that's what the Costa Ricans call it when they dump an animal instead of doing the right thing and taking it to one of the shelters. And this hole also dumped the dogs a few miles apart from each other, so that they would really have to go it on their own, and not even have each other's company. Ooh, if I could get my hands on this person you know what I'd do! Tie him up to a two-foot chain electrical cord and leave him in the sun with no shelter and no food or water for a week or two, see how he likes it!

I try to always carry some sample bags of dog food or just bag up some of my own and keep it in the car for such occasions (because they are many in Costa Rica), so on the way back I saw one of the dogs (a German shepherd-ish boy) and tried to give him some food. He was so terrified that he ran away as soon as he saw me. I haven't seen the other dog again yet. I am hoping and praying that someone took pity on him and at least gave him a bite to eat. I had planned on picking up either or both of the dogs and taking them to the shelter myself, even though it would cost me money (they have this dumb policy of charging people for bringing in dogs but not for adopting them -- my thoughts on that another time), it was the right thing to do. Of course, I couldn't get within 50 feet of the poor animal. I left some food on the ground for him, and the following day, esposo and I brought leftovers from his restaurant and also left them on the side of the road. I can't imagine what it would feel like to starve to death.

I look around at my relatively pampered (by comparison) dogs; Isabella lying next to my feet (as usual); Tiny and Roxy snuggled together taking a nap on their doggie bed; Numi and Cheska and Chloe on the porch in the sun with their footballs; Liz and Maddie and Bonnie pretending they're going to catch that squirrel/iguana/bird if only they could get close enough. Those dogs up on the mountain could be anyone's loving companions; instead they are out there with no one, nothing, having to fend for themselves. It makes me sick and breaks my heart at the same time. Sometimes I feel like this is a reason I'm here in Costa Rica; other times I feel like this is the reason I have to leave.


No comments:

Post a Comment