Not long ago, I told you about the dog, Ricky, that had been awarded a medal for his work in detecting mines during WWII. I had been reminded of that incident by my very good friends in the Netherlands, George and Truus. This time I would like another good friend, Elena, who lives in Lugansk, Ukraine, to tell you (more or less in her own words) a true story about another dog.
“The other day YanaII saw a dog lying on the road near her University. It had an injured1 paw after having been struck by a car. As she looked at the scene, she was shocked to see that everyone else was passing it by, even stepping on its half-unwound2 bandage3 as it lay on the road. Everybody saw it, but were indifferent to its condition – they could not be bothered to help it and just went walking along on their way. She called me and I went there right away4. We asked a taxi driver to take the dog to a veterinary clinic. When we got there, it appeared that the dog had been knocked down by a car earlier and some people taken it to this clinic where it had had an operation as its bone was shattered5. I don’t know what happened after that, but perhaps those people could not keep it and had abandoned6 it where Yana found it. The vet7 said that it was very emaciated8 and if we intended to keep it till it recovered, then we would need to feed it and change its bandages every day. He explained that if its injured paw was not treated properly, it could become gangrenous and it would die an agonising death.
“So, now he lives in our flat (out on the balcony when it is warm; indoors when it is cold.) It is difficult to take care of this sick dog. It takes all my time, I cannot do anything else. Today, very early in the morning, he whined9 and needed to get up to go outside. Then I had to give him a meal, to clean up after him and to move him to the balcony again.
“Later on, a girl who rescues10 and helps animals called me and asked about the dog, what they said in the clinic and what they did. I said that I do not know anything, I was like in shock because I was afraid to be there when they changed his bandage and when he cried. She told me to call them and to ask if his paw is broken or maybe they need to take out stitches. She said that the doctors in that clinic were bad (I heard this not once from other people too). She told me to call another clinic and to ask for one particular vet, but he was not there today (today is a holiday – Victory Day), but he will be there tomorrow. Today the vets in the first clinic told me about the situation, but maybe tomorrow we’ll go to the other clinic, to see what the doctor there will say. Yes, it takes time to take care of him and money to go with him by taxi and to pay in the clinic. But how could I leave him in such a condition? I must at least see that his open wound11 is covered with skin. I was afraid that I would not be able to change the bandages by myself, but they showed me how to do it. He does not want to come back home from outside.
“Today he made me angry, he lay down on the ground and would not go. I tell him, I pull him, I try to put him on his legs, but he digs himself into the ground and I could not do anything – then the rain started and it was cold. Finally I moved him and made him go. I also need to carry him up the stairs. I must be patient12 and to help this poor dog and later try to find him a home with kind people.
“I did not write you for so long because the dog which we adopted was taking so much time to care for! I’ve treated the dog’s paw by myself, though we were going to the vet’s clinic every day for the first ten days to change the bandages, but absolutely nothing changed with the wound in his paw, on the contrary, it continued to rot. They did not even have peroxideIII there. When we went to the other vet’s clinic, they were better than the previous one, but all the same, they did not give good advice about what I should do to the dog. They tormented13 him with different things and took much money. So for another four weeks, I was doing everything by myself like I decided to do. Now his paw has completely recovered, but sometimes he limps14 all the same and he does not have any pads15 on his paw. We went to the vet’s clinic one more time to remove the stitches and they asked me what I did for his recovery, and said that everything is perfect.
“I’ve found a new owner for the dog. One of the guys who installed my windows will take him as he lives in a house with a yard, not in a flat. He ordered a kennel16 to be built because he does not have time to do it himself with his job and they promised to him that it will be ready in a few days. We can hardly manage17 with the doggy already. He is very playful, jumps like crazy, chews everything and even tore his pillow. You can just imagine what it was like here and how much I have to clean always. When I do massagesIV, I have to put the dog on the balcony, but first, take everything from the balcony so that he would not chew it – then he does not want to be there alone and starts to cry. After work I have to take the dog from the balcony and to put all the other stuff back outside. I hardly can wait till that guy will take him.
“The dog will soon be taken by his new owner. I am very glad that he will have better life than if he would stay outside – he was homeless like many others. I very much hope that the young man will take good care of him and will feed on him properly.
“The new owner took our dog on the 22nd of June. For the first week we worried too much about him, if it will be good for the dog there, if they will treat him well, in what conditions he’ll live there. Yana cried because she was worried about the dog. After a week I called the guy. He said that everything was OK, that the dog did not miss us for the first few days, but probably he has started to miss us and he’ll bring him to visit us in a couple of days.
“He brought the doggy to us for the whole day, so I could not do anything that day. I just did one massage and we postponed18 all other matters in order to spend the day with our doggy. He has become even more crazy, it seems to me. He plays without stopping. What he does! He was so happy! But he drank three bowls of water and later had an accident on the balcony and I had to wash part of the carpet and to clean up after him. But I am so happy that his new owner and his relatives love the doggy, I can see it and I liked everything that he told about him, about his life there. This dog is very lucky dog. They called him Rich. So, it was such a good day and I became good and easy in my heart and in Yana’s too. The doggy travels in the car sometimes on the back seat, but sometimes on the front seat too. The guy said that once (when the doggy jumped from back seat on the first seat) he fastened him with the safety belt19 and when traffic cops saw them, they just smiled. He has a large space to walk there, he runs on a meadow, he trampled20 on their tomatoes, strawberries and flowers in their garden in the yard. He has even found a female doggy living somewhere there, resembling him in appearance and he seems to like her very much. He has a good dog-house – so the guy said.”
I think he is indeed a lucky dog to have been found by such compassionate21 people. I think he will be happy with his new life and his human friends will be pleased with the result of their good deed.
- by David Wright (UK)
I This is a common phrase in English to describe someone who performs an unselfish and generous act while other ignore the plight of someone in trouble. It comes from the story in the Bible where a person from one tribe helps a stranger in contrast with the people of his own tribe who ‘passed by on the other side’. II Elena’s daughter. III Hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, used as a disinfectant. IV Elena works from home as a masseuse.
1 injured – раненый 2 unwound – размотанный 3 bandage – бинт 4 right away – тотчас же 5 shattered – раздробленный 6 to abandon – оставлять 7 vet – (разг.) ветеринар 8 emaciated – истощённый 9 whine – скулить 10 to rescue – спасать 11 wound – рана 12 patient – терпеливый 13 to torment – мучить 14 to limp – хромать 15 pad – подушечка (на лапе) 16 kennel – собачья конура 17 to manage – справляться 18 to postpone – откладывать 19 safety belt – ремень безопасности 20 to trample – топтать 21 compassionate – сострадательный