It was a huge weekend around the compound – which used to be known as “headquarters” but which got changed after we took a vote and decided to move in a slightly different direction for the time being.

[Wow – but wasn’t that (not) a confusing way to say that headquarters is now called the compound?!]

Anyway – part one of the large events revolve around my young ward – choco-latte. On Saturday morning, I was walking over to his “Chocolate Shack” (the naming of which was entirely his idea – including the capital letters) with some tasty food and water. When I got over to his area . . . there was no him to be found – no note – no nothing . . . just me standing there with a pitcher of water and some ucky dog food – which (after a big sigh from me) was promptly given to Mister Socks.

For those of you not in the know – as far as this particular situation goes . . . here is a “brief” update (it is the email that I sent around to shelters).

I live next door to a family that – for some reason unbeknownst to
me – decided to get a dog a couple of years ago. His name is choco-
latte, he is two and a-half years old and he seems to be a mix
between a black lab and a pit bull (probably with other stuff mixed in).

He is a very sweet dog considering the terrible life that he has led
– which has consisted of being chained in the back yard during
whatever weather was happening with infrequent feedings and very rare
doses of attention. The dog was basically treated as a burden that
they didn’t want to deal with and numerous times when he had run away
they would say that they didn’t really even care if he ever came back.

On top of asking why they ever got the dog in the first place, I
would always point out to the neighbors that they needed to check in
on him more – give him food, fresh water and any kind of attention.
They just seemed to shrug it all off as not being any kind of
priority. More than likely – I should have taken some action
regarding the situation earlier – but I always imagined that some
switch would go off in my neighbors heads where all of a sudden they
would decide to take care of their pet – which didn’t seem like a
huge leap of faith at the time.

Three weeks ago, I returned from a four month stint in New York and
was horrified to find a starved and pitiful version of the dog that
used to be marginally healthy – if nothing else. His eyes were sunken
in and he just seemed like he was basically already dead – but hadn’t
figured it out yet. I asked the neighbors what was wrong with choco-
latte and they just said that he was sick. Evidently – he had escaped
his chain and run away at some point while I was gone (a not to
infrequent occurrence)- only to return badly beaten (their theory was
that he had been caged and made to fight . . . evidently people fight
dogs in my neighborhood).

I started feeding him double portions of food to try to bring him
back from the brink . . . he was coming along pretty well and then
last week they moved away and abandoned the dog.

I am not sure what kind of help you can give – I am moving back to
New York in three weeks (around April 5) – and need to figure out a
way to give this dog a better life.

None of the shelters that I called would take him in – so I ended up having to call Dekalb County Animal Control. After a couple of conversations with the nice people – where they assured me that they were really pushing for adoptions of animals . . . I decided to let them come and get him. I did see chocol-latte’s “owner” at one point – to alert her of what was going on – and all she did was shrug . . . the dog wasn’t even worth a word out of her mouth – just the slightest of shrugs.

I guess that I have to imagine that he went to a place that is similar to that scene in the Wizard of Oz – just before they meet the Wizard – and he (choco-latte) is walking around with bows in his freshly cleaned and clipped fur with bright eyes looking at the world with refreshed vim and vigor . . . ready to go to his new life – as a paw model who works in Beverly Hills in between dropping lots of dollars on kibble and laughing it up with the ladies.

The alternative makes me (even more) depressed.

I wish that I would have gotten to say goodbye . . . but now that he is a paw model – I’m sure that he doesn’t even know that I exist.

2 replies
  1. Kristina
    Kristina says:

    Aw, that would make me feel pretty down. You are awesome for trying to help the dog out, though. People who treat animals like that make me livid.

  2. mary k
    mary k says:

    what i have to believe to keep myself from sinking into the abyss, is that there has has has to be payback for this. goog for good and bad for bad. There just has to be. Though i’m not a fan of religion, per se.
    But after a good cry, i’ve realized (had to tell myself) that Choco-latte has more and better things coming to him than those ridiculous, soul-less, ignorant people.

    And people like you and others who help the helpless have a seat next to the doggie handmodels at a giant cosmic pool party.

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