It’s been only a few days with Bridgette but it feels like forever. “How can I begin to describe what it feels like to be with her. Ahmmm, It’s been far from heaven and almost like hell. Not that I have experienced hell… but heaven? I think I have.”
Bridgette didn’t really like Polly. He could tell she didn’t like animals in general. She had a certain smell that told him that. That smell that also told him she was not the usual 60-something woman. She had also been through a lot.
She was raising three children from three different fathers all by herself and was taking care of her sick mother in that small house she’s been renting only for a few months. She’s been house-hopping since her teenage years when she dropped high school to pursue a career in music. That decision broke her parents hearts. They had hoped she would be the one to bring home a college diploma and maybe make their family’s life a little easier. What she brought home however, was a
Despite the inconsistencies in the way Bridgette dealt with Polly, he still gravitated towards her. It was like she had a magnetic wave that kept pulling Polly near her. Polly couldn’t understand it but it was like he didn’t have a choice. He still felt sad when she was away and would excitedly wait for her by the door for her arrival at night. Early morning on a weekday in Bridgette’s household was a bit chaotic. The floor area of the house was only 50 square feet with three adults - Bridgette, her mother, and her first born, Rachel - and four children - Bridgette’s Roxanne, 16 years old, and Ivan 13, and Rachel’s Willy, 10, and Winonah, 8. Every day, they would all compete as to who got to use the bathroom first. Bridgette always won. It was a feast watching them move. It was much like the people Polly used see in the streets weeks ago. It was as if they did not know one another. They were all in a hurry they were just passing each other by.
“Mother! Mother!” Roxanne calling out to her mother as she was standing in front of Pilita’s dog house. “What is it, Roxanne? I have lots to do!”Bridgette angrily replied as she hung her head out of the window to look at her. “Just come over, mother. I want you to see this.” Roxanne said still holding a plate of leftover food. “I don’t understand why you need to bother me.” Bridgette said as she walked towards Roxanne. “The dog is still here!” “Huh? Which dog?” “Remember your co-worker’s dog?! … Look!” Roxanne said pointing at Polly who was curled inside Pilita’s house still asleep. Bridgette let out a cackle. “I thought we have finally gotten rid of that dog!” “Should we put a chain on him also?” Roxanne asked. “Don’t bother. I don’t think he is going anywhere. Just feed them both in separate
It had been raining non-stop for days due to the monsoon. Bridgette’s laundry had been in and out of the house as she tried to catch even just a little bit of sunlight but she had been unsuccessful trying to get them to dry. She said their clothes all smelled like molds because they were not drying properly. Brigida had been praying for the rain to stop. She said the water had found all the holes on their roof it felt like it was raining inside the house, too. They had placed all sorts of things to catch the droplets - pots, dipper, pails, and laundry tubs. They could all be seen scattered all over the house. All the members of the family, except for Brigida, Willy and Winonah took turns emptying them, and they did it quite a lot in the last few days. And what about Pilita? She did not have a place to go. Her dog house had been wet for three days straight. She couldn’t get a decent sleep because everything was wet. Her fur was wet, too, she smelled like dog even more
Polly watched Pilita sink. Her eyes were still open and was looking at him. Polly could not stand watching her sink like that. With all his might, he gathered all the emotions that were running in his body - fear, worry, confusion, but also hope, determination that he could throw a lifeline to his sinking friend. For the first time, he screamed. One that can be heard all around. He screamed - “Pilita! Pilita!” over and over and over again until Roxanne noticed what was happening. “Mother, your co-worker’s dog kept on barking!” Roxanne told Bridgette. “It’s probably cold. He’ll be alright.” Bridgette reasoned. “Yeah, I know. But the bigger dog is not. I think it’s drowning.” “We can’t do anything about that, Roxanne. We have our own worries to attend to.” “How can you say that, Mother?… Look, it’s sinking!” Bridgette turned to look and caught only Pilita’s black snout.
Polly drifted farther and farther away from where Pilita was. He felt tired. He felt like he had consumed all his energy from all the barking that he had done as he watched Pilita sink helplessly into the dark flood water. But if there was any consolation it was that he knew Pilita got saved all because he barked. Polly was not really a barker. He thought it ran in their family. His mother and brothers never really barked for no reason. In his heart of hearts, when he was very young, he knew he wanted to try it. He was curious what his voice would sound like. One afternoon, in one of his strolls with his mom, Lily, and brothers, Basil, Bitok, and Wacky, they went on top of a not-so-high hill. Their mother suggested that they practice barking there. She said the wind would carry their voices all across the fields right at the foot of the hill and no one would know it was them. His mother and brothers barked and bayed effortlessly. Before long, it was as if they were s
For a while, Polly was content roaming around the block with Lupita. It served him well to be around her. She loved to sing and he loved to dance that they would often catch each other bobbing their heads to whatever song Lupita was singing. Polly opened his eyes one morning and said, “I need a bath.” “That’s a sentence I never thought I’d hear you say!” Lupita replied. “What do you mean?” “Well, I didn’t want to say anything but your fur is really muddy and ahhmmm, you… ahhhm… stink a little." “I kinda know that.” Polly said without a tiny little hint of hurt, which Lupita was afraid she’d see after saying that. “You did?” “Well, when you started floating a little farther from me, I kinda got the hint.” “Look, Polly, there’s a really shallow stream over there. Maybe you can take a dip and I can take a sip of the clear water!” “Sounds gr
Polly felt like his crate was being lifted again. He was sliding and bumping on all four sides of the box he was in. He was not concerned with getting bruised anymore, he was more concerned about what was about to happen to him in that room. It happened so fast. Before he knew it, he felt some kind of plastic on his body. They were gloves - rubber gloves. Then he heard - “Oh my! This one’s pretty serious. His stomach is big. He’s losing fur and there’s something wrong with his leg.” “Tell me something I don’t know.” were words forming in Polly’s head hearing the lady say that. Then again, without warning, warm water hit his body. “Oh, look at that! Not even a whimper.” the lady said. And even with the mask on her face, Polly could tell she was smiling. “What a good doggie you are, huh!” as she continued to pour warm water all over him. “Oh, but you are trembling. Are you scared, little doggie?… You don’t have to be scar
Weeks passed. The kennels that used to be full were one-by-one being vacated. Every day, Luis and his companions would usher the dogs to the mini dog park or the play area where all the visitors looking for a pet to adopt were entertained.For a while, Polly sat in his kennel watching the dogs around him be fetched. Some of them would return by end of the day but some never managed to come back.“Oh, Willy is so lucky he got adopted today.” Polly overheard a dog say.“I am not surprised. He really is a handsome black dog.” another said.“We’ll have our day. Good luck to us tomorrow.” “Yeah! Good luck!” That brief conversation answered the questions that had been in his mind all along and he wondered whether he would have the chance to be considered for adoption just like the others. Every day, he would hear Luis say he was not ready. His skin had impr