It was around 7 AM when the voice of my caregiver, Fatemeh, woke me up. I looked up; she was waiting for a response from me.

It had been a difficult night. Pain followed me like a shadow. I had tossed and turned all night long and could not find a comfortable position. Nothing seemed to help, even painkillers….

It wasn’t until close to the morning that I finally fell asleep.  Then I heard Fatemeh calling to me: “Madam, Madam.” A bit irritated, I opened my eyes hoping for a good reason for this rude awakening.

She continued: “I was going to go out, I saw a basket in front of the house. It was covered with a cloth. I looked closer; something was wiggling in the basket. First I thought it was a baby, but when I removed the cloth, there it was: a skinny, dirty, and scared puppy.” Then with a lost and confused voice, she continued: “What should I do with it?”

I thought this is how people once got rid of unwanted children. But in this case, a kind person put the puppy in front of my house. He could have walked away and left the puppy to die on the streets. He could have called a government official to collect the dog and then blamed others for the puppy’s death.

I asked Fatemeh to take the puppy to the bathroom and give him some food and water while I gathered myself together.

Still tired from the previous night’s battle with pain, I walked toward the bathroom to see the “gift” that was left on my doorstep. My heart leaped from my chest when I saw the tiny, skinny, and hairless puppy covered in dirt. He was so scared that he had pushed himself to the corner of the bathroom wall and had a look in his eyes begging me not to hurt him.  There was no way that I could take him in with that much dirt. I had to wash him. With great effort, I managed to put him in the bathtub. He resisted being washed and fought me. I finally won this fight. After washing him and his basket, I fed him a nice warm meal. He was so hungry that he inhaled his food.  By then I had gained his trust, and he had gained a name, “Jimbo.” I placed him on a clean warm towel, and he fell asleep.  Several hours later when he woke up, I took him to the yard. He loved the warmth of the sun on his skinny, hairless body and attempted to play. Perhaps this was his first attempt to play since he was separated from his mother.

I thought to myself that I wished that people could be kinder to animals and see how much they need love, shelter, and a good home–the same way humans do.

I remembered the words of the slogan, “Love animals”, and I wished that people could go one step farther and put the words into practice.

September 2009

Lida EsnaAshari

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