Tuesday, March 20, 2012


He was a Haiti dog, full grown but really still a puppy at heart.  He always wanted to play.  In fact, all day yesterday we saw him running up and down the water with his momma.   In short, I'd say Scavenger was the definition of Happy-Go-Lucky.

We didn't love on him too much while he was around, but he knew he was accepted with the other dogs that live in the area.  They are all part of the same family, the same pack.  He lived outside the gates with the rest of them, and his common greeting was to either nip at your heels or jump on you, not well received by the mom's.   Certainly not received, and returned with flying rocks from the villagers.

But, early in the morning when we'd all get up and carry the chairs out to the back gate to watch the sun rise, he'd be there waiting for us, in a much more muted, toned down version of himself, because he was always cold and tired.  It was a perfect arrangement for kids and dog, because their blankets and petting were his favorite way to start the day,  and they liked him when he was all sweet and cuddly.

The last 3 trips on the motos, Scavenger actually came with us. This, if you haven't lived in Haiti, is simply NOT done.  NO dog follows a human being that way, let alone while they are driving 20mph on gravel.  Some of the Haitians even tried to pick him off because the sight of seeing a dog chasing a moto meant he must be rabid.  Still, even 3 miles down the road, he was still trotting along beside us with his tongue flapping in the wind, dry as a bone.  When we'd stop at the river to let him drink some water,  he'd choose instead to pounce on the local duck.  All puppy.  One of the dezòds.

Other mean dogs along the road would see him running alongside us, but by the time they stood up and raised the hair on their backs, he was already shooting by, in such a blur they knew they didn't stand a chance, so they'd just lay back down and whimper.  It always made me laugh, because with his black patch of hair over his eyes, he reminded me of the Lone Ranger.   Zwoosh!  "Who was that masked man!"

Well, he was never very careful on the road, and I'd seen him have a number of close calls with the traffic.  For that reason I always told the kids he wasn't all there, not wanting them to get too attached because I figured he was one to learn the hard way.  Really he wasn't stupid, it was just that he hadn't learned the ropes yet.
So I wasn't so surprised when this morning as the kids were all getting out their Bibles for devotions, our Haitian neighbors knocked on the door to let us know he'd been struck by a passing tap-tap.  He was lying dead on the road.   We're gonna miss his playfulness.  

I had a prayer I made up when I was a little kid, for every time I'd see a dead animal on the road.
"God, please make it so they didn't feel any pain. I pray it was quick and they didn't suffer and keep them safe and happy with you in Heaven."  I said that prayer so much I assigned it a special name,
Prayer 1.  Still to this day when I came out and saw him lying there, I heard myself say it out loud...

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