He Wasn’t Much of a Hunter

He closes the door of the red pick-up truck, re-positions his gun over his shoulder, and sets off into the woods.  Despite trying to ease his weight onto the twigs and leaves, toe first then heel, his footfalls snap and crackle and echo through the pre-dawn forest.

A doe lifts her head from foraging, her button-black nose twitching with scent-taking.  With noiseless ease, she lopes off, her white tail high.  A groundhog stands on the crest of his mound-home squinting into the distance, his forepaws tucked up to his heart, his teddy-bear ears angled forward.  He squeaks and retreats inside his burrow.  A flock of quibbling sparrows wheels off into the sky.  Only the cat remains.   She is motionless except for the white tip of her tail.

The hunter walks on, pausing from time to time, looking around, then moving on.  The cat follows, unnoticed, at a distance.

When the sun has climbed well above the horizon, the hunter sits down on a large, sunny rock.  He opens a thermos of steaming coffee, crinkles flat the wax paper covering his sandwich, and munches thoughtfully, his head angled to the side.  Sun-warmed and drowsy, his shoulders relax and he closes his eyes.

The cats comes closer, soundlessly.  She sits a few feet in front of him and looks up.  The hunter opens his eyes and startles, then feels foolish.  He mutters something about cats—he’s never liked cats.  He glares at the cat and looks into her gold eyes.  She holds his gaze evenly.  He sighs, then he breaks off a small piece of cheese from his sandwich and tosses it on the ground.  The cat eats it and looks up expectantly.  The man breaks off a larger piece and holds it out to her.  She gracefully leaps onto the rock, and with one paw on the hunter’s leg, she gingerly takes the cheese from his hand.  The hunter slides his broad palm down her back, then offers her the rest of his sandwich.

After a while, he gathers his things, slings the gun over his shoulder, and sets off.  The cat jumps down and follows.  Twice he looks back over his shoulder.  He opens the truck door and sweeps his arm wide in a welcoming gesture. The cat jumps in, settles herself on the passenger seat, and washes her face.

Two seasons have passed since I found my hunter.  He wasn’t much of a hunter, really—I could read that much in the way he moved.  It was plain to me that he wasn’t really interested in hunting as much as he was playing a role.  It was also plain to me that he thought he didn’t like cats.  Most people who give cats a chance find they like them after all.

These days I wait by the window for my hunter.  He comes in with a blast of cold air.  I jump down and wind my way around his legs.  He stoops to pet me and says a word or two.  Then we pass a companionable evening in silence.  His gun is in the attic, tucked away forever.

 

• • • Have you ever rescued an animal?  Please tell us about it: Untoldanimalstories@gmail.com

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Homeless Chihuahua Was Terrified Of Human Contact, But She Quickly Realized What She Was Missing

By Ashley Maisano – www.AnimalRescueSite.org

Hope For Paws received a call regarding a homeless Chihuahua who was alone on the streets and absolutely terrified.

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When rescuers arrived, they secured the area with fencing so the nervous Chihuahua wouldn’t be able to run away from them. One of the rescuers, Loreta Frankonyte, slowly went up to the dog to try and befriend her.

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She offered her some food, but she wouldn’t take it from her hand. She tossed it on the ground and she reluctantly gobbled it up. When she offered another piece of food, she finally took it from her hand.

She took a few more pieces, but when Loreta went to pet her, she snapped at her. She was still visibly afraid and didn’t understand yet that these people were there to help her.

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Eventually they slipped the snare around her neck and gently pulled her out. They thought it would be better if she didn’t feel cornered anymore. Once they got her out, they put the leash on and spent time with her to make her feel safe. They named this adorable pup ChiChi.

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She finally allowed them to pet her and began to trust them. They scanned her for a microchip, but unfortunately she didn’t have one. They brought her back to their clinic where they gave her a warm, much-needed bath to wash off all of the filth from living on the streets.

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She was still nervous at first, but after a while, her personality began to show. She was actually a very friendly and sweet dog. A week later, she went to live in a foster home with another one of Hope for Paws’ rescues named Washington. The two of them got along great and were the best of friends in no time.

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ChiChi is available for adoption. She is a very affectionate dog who loves to give kisses. She also gets along great with other dogs. If you’re interested in giving her a loving forever home, contact http://www.PawPrintsInTheSand.org.

ChiChi video

The Freckle on My Sister’s Snout

I am alone in my wanderings for a long time, but it hadn’t always been so.  I have vague memories–little scraps of images–from the past:  the tumble and tussle of warm fur, the shimmer of sun on my brother’s back, the freckle on my sister’s snout.  We grew up and dispersed, given away from a box in a grocery store parking lot to anyone who would take us.  We were held up and cooed over, and carried off under various people’s arms.

The person who took me changed his mind, tied me up in the back yard for months–with intermittent water and food–and then finally took me on a car ride and left me on the side of the road.  I’ve been fending for myself since then.  Sometimes I’m thirsty, sometimes I’m cold, often I am hungry.

This morning, a man saw me, stooped down and called to me.  I approached him warily and then darted away.  I have trouble trusting people.  I just spotted him again.  He is carrying a bowl that smells heavenly.

He sits quietly beside the bowl and I approach, then back away, then approach again.  With one last sideways glance at the man, I lean toward the bowl and begin to eat.  The man reaches out his hand and strokes my fur, first tentatively, then steadily.  His voice is kind.  When he slips a lead around my neck, he bends down to my level and says, “Come with me; we will find you a home” I go with him, to the first warmth and comfort I’ve known in a long time.

We Can Do More Than We Think We Can

What does it take of us to help an animal in need?  A bit of time, perhaps, and some inconvenience.  We’ve helped one animal to suffer less.  This small victory does not have a widespread impact, but it certainly changes the world for that one animal.DSC_0135 2

It’s easy to bypass an animal in distress, a lost dog, a stray cat, injured creature, a starving animal.  It’s easy to turn away and to assume that others will do something.  Most of us don’t do anything.  It requires giving of ourselves or our time in some small capacity, and we’re busy, busy, busy.  I believe that each time we turn away, some small portion of our humanity is eroded.

Years ago I made an agreement with myself: when I see an animal in need, I will do whatever I can to remedy the situation.  I’ve found that “whatever I can do” is generally more than I had originally thought.  This has led me to capture stray dogs and humanely trap stray cats and deliver them to the SPCA, to gently instruct children and others in kindness to animals, to intervene when I see human cruelty to animals, to become a vegetarian, to inconveniently arrive late at meetings when I’m rescuing an animal.  I sleep better at night for all this.

My dream is to have a widespread impact on humane treatment of animals.  If each of us engaged in some small gesture of kindness, of help toward animals, so much suffering could be reduced.  Will you join me?

raleigh

Armchair Animal Activism – part 3

You’re here to help animals. So are we.  Join the Humane Society of the US in their efforts.   http://www.humanesociety.org/  Click on any of the links below to make a difference.
  1. You make our work possible. Donate now to help animals who desperately need you.

     

    46 dogs rescued from cruelty and neglect in Arkansas this week. Animal lovers like you made this possible.

    Don’t be silenced. Speak out against dangerous “ag-gag” bills to help protect farm animals!

  2. Speak up for farm animals!

    Meet the love of your life through the Shelter Pet Project.

    You’re invited to a special screening of At the Fork, a new film taking an unbiased look at the lives of animals in our food system.

    Wayne Pacelle's The Humane Economy

    Are you an eBay user? Whether you’re shopping or selling, you can donate back to our lifesaving work for animals!

Drive change for animals!

ARMCHAIR ANIMAL ACTIVISM – Ask Sec. of State John Kerry in Intervene for Former Bomb-Sniffing Dogs in a US-Owned Facility

Company Accused of Massacring Dozens of Dogs Must be Shut Down