The picture is of a dog with no name.
Outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, I entered a gas station and saw a dog, lying on the cement in between the pumps. My first reaction was “Oh my God! This poor dog has been hit!” However, at that point, she rolled over and looked at me, thumped her tail a couple of times, and went back to sleep.
In the “trading post” attached to the gas station, I asked the lady sweeping the floor about the dog. According to her, it showed up one day: limping, hungry, and very afraid of people.
At first, the folks at the station didn’t know what to do with the dog. They called the animal control officer, who tried to trap the her in a humane trap, but the dog was too smart and managed to avoid it. The owner of the gas station also tried to take her home, but she wouldn’t get in the car. All of them believe that she has puppies around the station somewhere and won’t leave them.
The dog with no name has a bad limp, as if her leg had been broken and then not set. She wags her tail when you talk to her, but if you approach to pet her, she cringes and ducks as if she’s afraid of a beating. The folks at the gas station think she was badly treated and abused, and eventually abandoned in the New Mexico desert when she was expecting puppies.
However, before you think this is a story about the worst in people, think again: this story is about about the best. We just need to turn the page.
You see, others, like myself, driving through from one place or another also asked about the dog. And each would leave food for the dog, stopping by to give her a kind word — from a distance so as to not frighten her. They, as with me, were the recipient of a gentle, loving look and the same soft thump of her tail. In her own way, and in her own time, she’s made the home she’s comfortable with.
It’s not a home as you or I think of it, but it is the home she wants. Since her first appearance, the dog with no name has gained weight and health. However, she’s also gained something far more important: thanks to the kindness of strangers, she’s gained the peace of a sunny afternoon and a nice nap on warm cement.