Why does it bother me so much, the sad lonely puppy the next door neighbors have exiled to the back yard? She runs to the fence every time I go outside with my dogs, and cocks her head to listen when I speak.
Why do I stay awake at night, worrying about this dog whose name I don't even know? When thunderstorms roll in, why do I toss and turn, worrying if she has shelter, when her own owners don't seem to mind if she's drenched and shivering?
And in the heat of the day, why am I peering through the fence a dozen times, looking to make sure she has shade, water, and that she's not drowning in their swimming pool, when they don't seem to care if she lives or dies.
No toys, no human interaction, no love. All the things my own dogs take for granted and this dog, of some unknown mix of shepherd and collie perhaps, has none.
Though I have too many dogs of my own, I yearn to comfrot her. As if she's a lost child. I want to introduce her to the joys of fetch and tug of war. I wonder if she's wormed and vaccinated, and if heartworms are already burrowed in her heart.
In her neglect, I feel pain. This is not my dog yet... she is a lost soul, a puppy who will never have a chance. And I want to take her in, love her, and let her know the kind of happiness my own dogs take for granted.
There are a hundred - no a thousand, like her out there. Lost. Banished to a back yard - at night, when every sound must terrify a pup so young - and yet this one is so close, I can't help but weep.
Poor puppy. I'm sorry. I will try to help you any small way I can.