Afonso, the young stray we took in a few months back, woke up this morning full of play and love. And with two testicles.
This afternoon, sans the testicles, he’s not quite as cheerful.
My wife and I felt badly that we had to take Afonso in to be fixed, but aside from loving the bejeebers out of our dogs, we want to act responsibly for them. His procedure went smoothly, and we were told he’d soon be his old playful self again.
In Brazil, like nearly everywhere else on this globe, there is an outright epidemic of stray dogs. And the situation doesn’t appear to be getting better any time soon. The procedure cost us roughly (US) $75. And while Brazilians love their dogs as much as any people on the planet, such an outlay of money for many Brazilians amounts to half of their monthly income.
My wife and I hope some day to find a way to help the stray dog epidemic here. Our hearts break with each sad, stray dog we see on the streets. But even in the U.S., stray dogs are a severe problem. In 2004 in Southern California, we rescued a young stray, and struggled to find it a home after being told at the pound that it was 99.9 percent certain she’d be put to death.
Luckily, having worked for the San Bernardino Sun in the past, I contacted their longtime columnist and sportswriter Paul Oberjuerge, who used the dog (which we took to just calling “Puppy”) in a column as an example of the animal control problems in the area. Made famous, “Puppy” found herself a home.
It was a fluke, of course. Because there are literally millions of Puppys and Afonsos out there right now, on the street, living miserable lives that will only be ended by miserable deaths.
Dogs did their part for humans long ago. It’s possible we wouldn’t even be here if not for their willingness to be our companions, and keep watch over us. For that, and for the outright joy of life that dogs bring us, we need to be eternally grateful.
Spay and neuter your pets. Please.