12 minutes ago
We knew we'd have to let him go. we just didn't know how soon. cloudy was 6.5 when he died thursday. too young. but cancer doesn't care. his brother, snowy, was 5.5 when heart disease took him last year. together those two traveled the country. cloudy even made it to alaska. now they'll ride with us in spirit. ▫️ two weeks ago, we arrived at a remote trailhead and saw a dog in a car with the windows shut. it wasn't hot, but there was a blazing sun, and we didn't know how long he'd been inside. i tried the doors. all locked. i looked around for an owner. no luck. i saw his cozy bed and stuffed toys and water and knew he was loved. but he was still locked in a car. so i called the nps visitor center. when they couldn't assure me of a prompt response, i called the police. all the while i kept my eye on the pup. he seemed ok, but the windows were getting hot to the touch, so i googled signs of heat distress and looked up whether it'd be legal for me to break in. (yes. thanks, arizona.) i told the nps and the police that i'd break the window if they didn't hurry up. i said the same to everyone who walked by. "it's a subaru," one guy said. "at least they won't shoot you." ▫️ the dog continued to look alright, so i waited. an hour later, the owner came off the trail. then the nps and police pulled in. i asked the owner why he hadn't at least cracked a window. the last time he did that, he said, a bee stung the dog. i told him dying was worse. i told him that even though the dog was ok, he couldn't have known that when he left him. i kept my cool. the guy was shaken. he apologized. he seemed like a good person. then he thanked me, for caring, for staying. and after that he talked to the police, and they let him go, and when he pulled away i could see the relief in his eyes, the way he looked at his dog and was grateful. and i was pretty sure he'd think twice before ever doing that again. ▫️ the world right now is frightening. the hate and destruction can swallow you whole. so i try to settle in these moments, finding the good in a bad situation and recognizing what's right when so much is wrong. if you share your life with a furry one, give them a hug for me, ok?