A parade blocked my way to work so I turned left and took the back road. As I did, a chubby black and white dog started toward me. I tensed and pedalled faster in case he wanted to bite me. Dogs do that all the time here.
But no. He wagged his tail to say good morning. I said hello, took the next right and a left by the playing fields. Again the patter of nails followed me. I slowed. He continued. I stopped. He came to me, tail wagging. I patted him and said, “Hi buddy. Nice to meet you”. Scarred, this old boy from the street was the sort I love. I patted his scraggly head, thanked him for changing my mood and happily headed toward the next intersection. I heard nails on the road again and looked back. He was still following me. I was elated.
If you have the privilege of getting old, you may notice a woman over 50 is invisible. Even the Mexican police don’t stop you. This little street dog basically said, “Hey, don’t be sad. You are special. I chose you”. He followed me to Tribal where Jose was cleaning. I stopped and looked behind me, waiting for him to catch up and know where I was. I happily told Jose the dog had followed me and ran past our cats.
I grabbed Beto’s plate, RIP, filled it with food I kept for just this occasion and ran out only to see my new friend running away. Macho the cat had attacked him. Devastated, I went after Spotty. I had already named him. He wouldn’t come back. I pledged to find him after my class.
Every dog bark, every dogfight that day was Spotty trying to get back to me. I took a circuitous route home in case I would bump into him. I wanted the feeling that someone needed and loved me so badly, besides my a 3 rescue cats, 4 rescue dogs and 2 rescue chickens that is. I obsessed on the scars on his body and the fear when the cat came at him. I decided he had been abused, based on what I am still not sure.
The next morning, I took the “spotty” route just in case. There he was: with a young Mayan man playing in the front yard, super happy. He had a home. He ran to me to say “Hi”, then quickly ran back. That was it. I had no one to save.
I looked over my shoulder as I continued. Spotty was not there. I would have stolen him given the chance. I wondered why. I have animals to care for. I have a busy life. People like me. Then it dawned on me. This was a lesson in letting go. I was learning non-attachment: taking the wonder of the moment and letting it be just that: a wonderful moment. Rather than saving Spotty, who saved my day until I let saving him become an obsession, I decided to save myself. I put my feet on the road on either side of my bike, inhaled deeply, looked to the blue sky and the pinky red flowers overhead and whispered to no one in particular, thanks.