All Dogs Go to Heaven
Recently, something happened in my old neighborhood that made me think about how protective I can be over who I love. Two large dogs got away from their owner during a walk. They attacked and killed a smaller senior dog who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time on his walk. I wasn’t there, but I imagined everything happened so fast that neither owner had time to prevent anything from happening. It was just very sad. It made me think of a time when I unequivocally decided I would willingly be mauled to protect my dog, Edison.
When I used to walk him in my old neighborhood, I used to take him to a beautiful neighborhood across the street. Houses of different styles, shapes, and sizes, not cookie cutter style homes you see in a lot of developments nowadays. Two of the houses had ponds on the edges of their properties. Near one of the ponds, a family of Canadian geese claimed their squatter’s rights. Edison tried to bird dog the geese many times, but considering it was private property, I didn’t let him. This curbing of his natural instincts aside, we both loved this walk. It was just a beautiful old school neighborhood.
Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the natural views. One day, I took Edison for his usual morning walk. We meandered on our usual route when we saw a four-legged creature some 200 feet away. Sporting no collar that I could see, it had pointed ears, a bushy tail, and a sly, slithering gait. Clearly, not the run of the mill, neighborhood dog.
This was not the first time I had seen this creature. Two weeks before that, I saw him sneaking around near a different house, trying to blend in. My first guess was that it was a fox, but the second time I saw him I realized he was too big and too beige to be a fox. I looked at him. He looked at me, and we both went about our business. After further introspection, I realized this intrepid wanderer was a coyote.
My second encounter with Cruiser (the name I randomly assigned him) was a little more precarious because this time, I had Edison with me. The three of us looked at each other and stopped in our tracks. Edison is a sociable spirit. His inclination was to embark on a doggy meet and greet. My instinct was for the preservation of my dog and myself.
Without sudden movement that could be mistaken for aggression, I steered Edison away from his wild cousin. (Don’t all Indian parents do that?) He didn’t get it at first. With his usual, excited smile, his look said, “Why aren’t we going that way?” I talk to my dog like he’s human, so I said, “We are not going over there because he will fuck you up!” He still didn’t seem to get it, so I repeated, “You don’t understand! He will fuck you up!” I believe my dog read my nervous energy and had heard me say fuck enough times to know that he should go with Mommy on this one.
We continued in the opposite direction. Cruiser still stared at us. Edison didn’t have a care in the world but I thought to myself: Please God, don’t let this animal go after my dog. Visions of being in an emergency room because the coyote mauled me floated in my head. Not how I would want to spend a day. But I made the decision to stand my ground and keep this animal away from Edison. Emergency room or not. Coyote or Chihuahua, I’m not letting anything attack my dog. I turned around again and Cruiser went on his merry way.
I never saw him again after that. To this day, I don’t know what happened to Cruiser or what his business was in that neighborhood. I think he was casing it for something. I don’t know if he had a wife, kids or if he was on his own just looking for food. As long as he didn’t try to get Alpha on Edison or make him his next meal, I decided to be cool with him and not go ugly on the coyote.
Protecting Who We Love
As I recalled this amusing incident with Edison and how protective I am of him, I realized I am a protector of those I love. Whether it’s my mother, my nieces and nephews, friends, or my dog, I have a natural instinct to keep them safe from harm, emotional or physical. If I am inclined to love you, I am inclined to protect you. It goes hand in hand.
Not that I look for fights or any other sort of chaos, but I will be a warrior for someone I love. I will stand for you and beside you. At the same time, I will actively avoid destructive action, but if I have to, I will mess some shit up. That would be in a rare circumstance, though. At the end of the day, just like Cruiser, I want to be a happy traveler, going my own may.
Until next time… look behind and beyond the veil…
Sameena K. Mughal, Author, Freelance Writer