If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
The dog had no name
The woman brought her dog to the Human Society to surrender it. While she was filling out the paperwork the dog lifted its leg and peed on a cart by the front desk. The woman jerked the dogs collar and continued to sign papers.
“He is aggressive.”
“We can’t place aggressive dogs.”
“He is not aggressive to people. Just to other dogs. I want to surrender him. He bit the neighbors dog.”
“We can’t place aggressive dogs. What do you want to do?”
I didn’t hear what the woman said. I could only hear the volunteer.
“Would you like to wait. We can give you back the dog’s collar?”
The dog was going to be killed. It was going to be dead in a few moments. I didn’t want its life to be forgotten. I placed my camera on top of my cat kennel, and took several photographs.
The woman who was surrendering her dog had her back to me.
She didn’t wait for her dogs collar. After she signed her name, she handed over the leash to a volunteer and walked out the front door. She looked straight ahead. She didn’t look back as her dog was walked to the back of the building. All the muscles on her face looked frozen. She did not smile or frown, no quivering of the chin, no slumped shoulders. I have seen the same expression on people’s face when they drop off their laundry at the dry-cleaner.
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
A volunteer took a red plastic tool box and the dog. The dog walked obediently beside the man. The dog did not pull backwards and yell, “No, no. I don’t want to die. I promise never to pee inside the house again. I promise never to be mean again. Please someone save me.” The dog had no idea where he was going.
A few minutes later the volunteer walked out alone holding the red tool box, the dogs red collar and blue leash.
I don’t know the dog’s name.
The dog had a name: Gretta
The woman taking the items out of my shopping cart and placing them on the conveyer belt had a tattoo on her forearm. There was a before and after date under the name. It looked like the tattoo was done recently, there were ridges on her skin.
“You must have loved them very much to get a tattoo.”
“Yes, I did. She died last week. ”
“I am so sorry. I thought about getting a tattoo when my father died.”
“This was my dog.”
The cashier rang up my 18 croissants, 5 pounds of beef sticks, six pounds of unsalted butter, 25 pounds of kitty litter, and a 40 pound bag of dog food. I paid cash and pushed my cart away.
I kept thinking about the two dogs I had met that day. The dog with no name and the dog whose name would never be forgotten.
I walked back to the woman with the tattoo on her arm and asked her if I could take a photograph of her arm for a story I was going to write.
I wrote the story today. I couldn’t get the image of the dog with no name out of my mind. I didn’t forget him.
If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.
Is there a dog in your life?
This is my dog. Her name is Martha.