The Tale of Brownie
Brownie was a timid, stray dog in St. Vincent and the Grenadines who lived under a van. She used to come by the house for meals or water, but many of the bigger stray dogs became territorial, so she stopped visiting. As I would pass by her to do my laundry at a neighbor's, she hid under a van or ran under a nearby house. Whenever I passed Brownie while walking Isla, she would run off, fearful of being attacked by other strays that followed us on our daily walks.
I felt badly that Brownie was no longer eating at the house, so I made special trips to the van with rice, kibble and milk to make sure she ate. Usually, she would only eat at night if I stuck the dish under the van. I would sit guarding her as she quickly ate her food, paranoid that another dog would come or a human would hurt her. As I watched her eat, I thought to myself, this is compassion and it is hard to learn from a book or a class. It would be easy to overlook a timid dog, afraid of its own shadow and the world around it, especially on an Island full of strays. It would be easy to just ignore this dog’s plight and say that our world is based on survival of the fittest. I took the time to put a meal together, walk it up a hill and sit in the moonlight with this meek, stray dog.
I found my time with Brownie to be moments of enlightenment and Zen. Back in the states we are always in a rhythmic hurry and rarely take time to enjoy the simpler moments in life. I would sit on the road and talk to Brownie and occasionally she would let me pet her or give me a few licks. My time with Brownie was special and it made me realize how fortunate I was to have a voice to tell people I was hungry, to have a home and not sleep under a van, and how lucky I was to be able to buy food and not have to rely on a stranger to bring me a dish. As humans we take for granted how much dogs and other animals rely on our kindness and generosity.
Dogs like Brownie should not be left on the streets to survive on scraps, constantly in fear of being hit by vans, or euthanized because they don’t have a home. Overpopulation of animals can seem overwhelming. Simple acts of spaying and neutering your pets, adopting, and regular vet visits, can make a huge impact. It all starts with responsible pet ownership and making sure you take personal accountability for your animals. My heart breaks for every Brownie out there who is cold, hungry, alone, and longing for a home and caring owner. If you want to make a difference in an animal’s life, please help control the pet population by spaying and neutering your pet and adopting older dogs! If you see a stray dog, make a difference in its life, you will learn the true meaning of compassion.
Nick Social Media Strategist