Saving Private Ryan – Update
Wow, lots of you guys are dog lovers!! I’ve had so many messages during the past month asking how Private Ryan is doing and I thank you for caring about a dog that one Englishman in my neighborhood recently told me “needs a bullet”. Well, the answer is:
Private Ryan has developed a small belly during the past month! He also has much more energy than he used to have, but his skin and fur remain a disaster — which is an indication that his overall health is still not good. On the bright side, there is definitely some new fur beginning to grow in. I’m still not sure how well Private Ryan will fare in the long run, but I do know that he has not experienced hunger in the past month.
When I first began feeding this dog that looked like a skeleton, I had no idea that I would end up learning so many things. Such as:
1. You can’t just feed one hungry dog. Three of Private Ryan’s “mates” now show up for meals as well. So I’m kind of running a doggy food bank these days. But that’s okay. (You can see his mates in the cover photo)
2. Private Ryan is becoming fussy, sometimes picking through his bowl to eat the meat, leaving rice behind. But that’s okay because whatever Private Ryan doesn’t eat, one of his mates will.
3. Private Ryan has a mean side. He often growls and bares his teeth in a threatening manner at his hungry mates as they are eating from their own bowls.
4. Well fed dogs are horny dogs. A few nights ago I went to our front gate around 11:00 let in our dog, Mustang. Who did I see outside, but Private Ryan, strutting along the street, sniffing at the rear end of a female dog. So there may be junior Private Ryans in a few weeks. Which is a problem. These dogs need to be spayed and neutered — which I’ll look into the possibility of having done, though THAT is much easier said than done where we live.
5. Private Ryan will not let me take a photo of his face. Whenever he sees the camera he bolts, suggesting that he thinks the camera is a rock — and all dogs in the Philippines routinely have rocks thrown at them.
6. Dogs show gratitude, if not with words, with their eyes and body language. I hadn’t expected that I would make so many new four-legged friends.
7. My Filipino neighbors are pleased that I am feeding the dogs. With a couple of exceptions, most of my white neighbors act like I am stupid and/or crazy to be feeding the dogs.
8. I’ve learned that I don’t give a hoot what anybody thinks. I’ll do what I think is right.
9. I’ve learned that there is indeed pleasure in giving and helping.
10. One of my biggest criticisms of TV news is the way it bombards us with terrible stories which we the viewers are completely helpless to do anything about. The sense of hopelessness this creates is definitely unhealthy. So I think it’s great to see a local problem and be able to physically get out there and do something to fix it. Which is why volunteer work helps both the recipient AND the volunteer. And so I thank Private Ryan for the lessons he has taught me and for the opportunity to give back.
The doggy food bank will remain open for four-legged diners as long as there is a demand for it. And I thank you, dear readers, for caring about Private Ryan. I’m quite sure that your well wishes have made a difference.