A Christmas Gift

One Monday morning just before Christmas Anna drives to the university.The road is busy with stressful, inattentive and impatient drivers. The air is vibrant with rich tensions. Suddenly out of  the trail of her eyes Anna notices something on the side of the road, something live. She slows down the car, tries to move into the left lane and stops at the shoulder of the road. Anna opens the car door slowly and walks back a few feet. As she spots the place, she walks closer.“ O, you poor thing!’ A little whisper escapes her slightly parted lips. Anna crouches down  on the pavement.He lays there on the hot concrete with mud and blood on his face and several deep cuts on his body. There are traces of fresh tears just below his eyelids. He blinks his almond-shaped eyes with sadness,lifts his head a little from the ground. His eyes are agonized and face reflects extreme grief. He sighs and closes his eyelids. He is wounded, can not move. Whose dog is this? Or who left him on the road ? Why?? She cupps her hand around her mouth. This so inhumane!! A cold hard wind seems to blow through her. It must be the dog fight! Anna’s eyes are wet and lips are sealed. She strokes the brown fur of the young pit-bull very gently. She removes her silk light blue shawl and covers the dog. She wants to assure him that she understands her pain and she is going to help her, protect her. Anna leans over, lifts the dog with both her hands, brings him close to her body and walks to her car.  She lays the dog  gently on the floor of the car. The dog trembles either because of cold, or from fear, or he is anxious. Or it may be  because of the cruelty of certain humans who likes to raise the pit-bulls and later engage them in dog fight for their own pleasure. Shame on them!There is no extra sheet or blanket in the car, so Anna takes out her jacket and covers him. She drives to the veterinary instead of going to her important client meeting.

Late afternoon in the same week. Anna sits on a rocking chair in her bedroom and rocks back and forth. Sadness flickers across her face;her forehead is shaded with a heavy cloud. Her lips are sealed into a thin line and her carefully tended eyebrows draw together. She feels restless.This is the tenth times in this year she has found the dogs, cats, horses who are harshly treated, and  abandoned. There are stories of abuse in the zoos, in circus, on the elephants poaching for ivory both in the news and magazines. In one news on some laboratories it says how they use the poor helpless animals for experiments in different harsh conditions and then abandon them. Anna wipes her tears. She can not take these any more. She has to do something to help. A sudden brilliant idea flashes on her head. Anna stops rocking, gets to her feet. She searches for the property paper about the plot of land. She pulls out the paper from the file, adjusts her eyeglass on the nose and flips the pages. The area is one hour north-east to the city, has few hills, has a small lake, forested and almost ten acres.That sounds great. Anna settles herself on the beige sofa in the living room. She leans more to the soft pillow, rests her chin in her hand and  lingers to think. She draws in a few breath and finally decides. Though exhausted, manages a small smile. Anna’s final decision is to make that plot of land a sanctuary for the abandon and rescue animals. She pulls out a white Moleskin notebook from the Espresso finish side table  and starts writing the important steps for starting the sanctuary: Check the zoning, register as a non-profit, making brochures to present the organization’s value, mission, program for the members and visitors,  create a website with contact information, new face book page, print newsletters, add in the local newspaper and TV, radio stations.Wow! this is so overwhelming! I am  determined that I can do it and nature will support me and for sure, that my friends in the wordpress will support me. A smile breaks through her gravity.

Christmas morning. The sky is clear blue, full of sunlight and hope. The rescued pit bull stretches out on his belly , nose pressed against the crack of her bedroom door. As Anna opens the door,his tail begins to swish and a small growls of excitement escapes from the corner of his mouth. Anna laughs delightedly and bends down kiss the dog. Today is the big day to announce her plan to her family.



” Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures”.  – His Holiness The Dalai Lama




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