Even if someone could convince me that a god exists, they’d be further burdened with proving to me why he isn’t a complete fucker.
How’s that for a Christmas sentiment?
My husband and I took a trip out of town and spent Saturday and Sunday night in the camping cabins at Roper Lake. The cabins are spare, but heated, so we were comfortable in the cold with our hot cocoa and warm wine. We watched the moon come up and tried photographing it. I think we mislabeled Venus as Mars and further botched our meager astronomy, but we’re now resolved to actually learn some astronomy this year and maybe next year’s Squidmas will deliver a telescope to us. Satchmo, the most spoiled dog on the planet, played in the snow on Mt. Graham wonderfully oblivious to the fact that he was playing in frozen water (water being his nemesis.)
So why am I so bitter this Christmas morning? The town of Bylas, Arizona. If I were the Canine Goddess, the down of Bylas would be smoted. We had to drive through this dust pit to get to Roper Lake. It’s an ugly, poor desert town with only a rest area and market/gas station giving you any reason to stop. The view isn’t improved on closer inspection, but it would be if they would straighten the road so you could drive through it at top speed with your eyes closed. It was at this rest stop that I saw the dog.
This poor animal was the most pitiful thing I’d ever laid eyes on. As Satchmo was contendly peeing on every bush by the restrooms, I witnissed this sad dog walking sluggishly along the road. It’s head and tail were down. It plodded slowly, it’s body covered in dirt, it’s eyes without sparkle. It didn’t react when a truck breezed by it and stopped behind it, the truck’s occupants oblivious to the dog and heading toward the house along the road behind it. It broke my heart and I pointed him out to my husband who watched him while I used the restroom.
By the time I’d gotten out, the dog had crossed the road. Knowing my desire to rescue animals, usually when it was completely impractical to do so, my husband told me to just close my eyes and we’d pass him because there was nothing we could do. I, of course, couldn’t not look and as we pulled onto the road I saw him standing listlessly by the road.
“Oh, god, he’s standing next to a dead dog,” I cried and my husband pulled the car over.
We got out and I grabbed up a handfull of dog treats. We walked over to the dog but he wouldn’t respond to us, instead he walked away from us, over the railroad tracks. My husband checked out the dead dog, it looked to me like a young pit-bull six or seven months old. We watched the sad dog moving away from us. I couldn’t help but think that dog too was dead in a way. He was moving, but didn’t have any life. I left the cookies by the path he had taken, thinking it was one he traveled frequently when scavagening at the rest area and gas station.
Two days later, on our return through Bylas, we looked for but didn’t see the sad dog. The body of the dead dog was still there on the side of the road, opposite from the rest area and gas station. I have no sympathy for the impoverished residents of Bylas. I’m sure I lack the understanding of the hopelessness that comes with poverty. Or maybe I just lack the caring. While my heart will break for an animal in distress, it doesn’t for the humans. Humans have the ability to do something about their lives, whether or not they have the will. Everywhere in Bylas I saw people standing around doing nothing, yards filled with trash. The ignored canine corpse left rotting on the side of the road epitomizes the spirit of this town. The Canine Goddess would deliver this Chrismas morning a wrath of cleansing destruction to the blight that is Bylas.