“Think occasionally of all the suffering,
Of which you spare yourself the sight.”
I first heard about this homeless little canine from one of my neighbors who often walks his dog through a nearby park at night.
“I spotted a tiny black and white dog several nights ago very timidly peeking out from some evergreen bushes. But when I approached him, he raced away from me in fright. And now, for the past several nights, he’s been following after Misty and me as we walk through the park, but always at a great distance. I’m guessing that someone dumped this poor little guy in the park.”
“Thanks for telling me about him. I’ll head over there tonight, and I’ll see if I can catch him.” Little did I know that for the next several weeks, this abandoned little dog would lead me on quite a chase.
I started out by quietly sitting on a park bench every night, right after dark. And every night without fail, I would soon spot him forlornly pacing all around the park’s perimeter. It seemed to me that he was very sadly hoping, and waiting, and searching for someone to return here to retrieve him. I soon became convinced that someone had indeed dumped him here to fend for himself.
And now, I was determined to help him, still not realizing what a difficult task this would prove to be. I started following after him every night with some food and water in hand, and he started racing away from me every night with his tail firmly tucked between his legs, and a terrible distrust of me in his eyes. I guess I can’t blame him.
And every night now, after leading me all around our neighborhood, he would eventually return to his hiding place in the evergreen bushes. After several nights of nearly getting close enough to him to get a leash around his neck, I named him ‘Jumpin Jack Flash’ since he could literally scale six-foot tall fences to elude my grasp.
I eventually decided to stop chasing him all over town, and I started leaving food and water for him right next to the park bushes. He was now extremely grateful for my nightly offerings, but his broken little heart just would not allow him to put any trust in me.
After several more nights, I decided that the only way to save him was to trap him. I started placing his nightly meals into one of my cat traps, and now, he would very warily pace all around the trap, but he wouldn’t enter it. This went on for three painfully long nights, but after the third, his hunger and his thirst were now great enough for him to throw caution to the wind and finally enter it.
As I carried him home that night in the cat trap, he shook and shivered and very morosely stared into my eyes, wondering what his fate would be now.
And as I do with many of the terrified street orphans that I manage to corral these days, I set up a cozy little bed for him in my garage, and now I very patiently waited for his trust to return. Thankfully, after several days it finally did.
I entered the garage one morning with his meal and a small rubber dog toy. He very gratefully ate his breakfast, and then he began eying the tiny toy on the floor. Suddenly, he picked it up and very cautiously brought it to me, dropping it into my lap. I immediately tossed it to the far side of the garage, and now I joyously watched as little Jack raced after it, grabbed it, and raced back to me with it, wagging the happiest little tail that I had ever seen.
Today, our Jumpin Jack, the abandoned, frightened, starving little park dog, is once again a very happy little guy, and his favorite game is still ‘Fetch.’
©2011, Mr. Ed