Friday, February 18, 2011

Please, can we keep him?

A few days ago, a little puppy wandered onto the grounds of Honour Village. It could be he was small enough to fit under the gate, or the gate might have been slightly open.  Possibly, one of the kids might have let the pup in when nobody was looking.  (After all, who can resist a puppy?)  The kids played with it for a few minutes, but as soon as the staff noticed, it had to go.  There were a few long faces, but these kids are very accepting, and do as they're told.  Sorry, no dogs allowed. 

In Cambodia, dogs are not treated the same as they are in western society.  I'm sure there are veterinarians here, but the average Cambodian dog never sees a vet or gets any immunizations.  For this one reason alone, I can certainly understand and agree that it's a huge risk for the health and safety of these children to bring a stray dog  on site.

Today, another (full-grown) dog came to the gates of Honour Village.  I'm not sure if he'd noticed the children playing, or if he could smell lunch cooking, but he yelped loudly for attention.   One of the kids must have taken pity on him and let him in.  This dog was SO happy to be among so many friends!  He ran and played gleefully, but as soon as one of the staff noticed him, he was escorted off the property and the gates closed behind him.  He refused to leave.

The kids went up for their afternoon nap, and we adults sat down for lunch.  As much as the staff tried to shoo him, he would not go away.  All through our lunch, he sat on the other side of the fence and whined and cried, and tried everything he could to get back inside.  He jumped as high as he could up the gates, hoping to jump over.  He gnawed at the metal bars.  He tried to dig through the metal track at the bottom of the gate, but he could not get in.  We kept ignoring him, hoping he'd go away, but he persisted for nearly an hour.  I'm sure there wasn't one of us who didn't feel sad for him.  If ever there was a dog who wanted to be around people so badly he would do anything, this was the one.  We wanted to feed him, but knew if we did, he would only return for more food, and we would have to go through this all over again.

Please, please let me in.  I promise I'll be good!

Aw, c'mon... Can't I just play for a little while?

Maybe if I stay here long enough,
someone will change their mind....
Rules are rules.  Sometimes we have to do things we'd rather not do, like say 'no' when we really want to say 'yes'.  (And something inside me really wanted to say 'yes'.)  

One thing I know, if circumstances had been  different, and I could have, I'd have taken that dog home in an instant, because I'm betting he'd be the best pet ever. 

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