Friday, May 18, 2018

Man and Dog Under Bridge

While driving through a bridge underpass, I spotted a homeless man and his dog taking refuge from the blazing California sun in this fume-filled, gritty resting place. His complexion was grayed by a thin layer of dust, bony limbs crouching next to a bag of rags; most likely all he owned in this world.

Beside him stood his dog, tethered by a leash. This being was mid-size in stature; a mongrel but a pretty one that looked partially blonde lab and an unidentifiable breed that made him more delicate than the run of the mill lab.

The dog was having his dinner, calmly crunching on dry dog food pellets out of a shiny metal dog bowl. He looked as satisfied as any well-loved home pet eating his meal at 5:30 PM, the favored dinner hour of Americans. He looked like all dogs who are treated with care and consideration. not bothered by his unconventional place of dining. Yet, his owner was a homeless man who looked as if he had not eaten much in a number of months or years.

Sobs arose in my throat as I cut a sharp left onto the onramp of the 101 freeway, leaving behind two beings that would continue to live on in my imagination. The man had nothing in this world but his dog, who was eating with elegance, simplicity, and style. The compassion of that man and the kindly demeanor of the dog were more than I could bear.

How people live. How animals live. How we treat each other for better or for worse. An unfathomable riddle.

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