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認養一隻狗並非我與男友的原意,因為我們時間不夠、空間不夠,怎麼養狗?但是那一夜,愛心阿姨一直拜託我們帶走小黃狗,並以迅雷不及掩耳的速度拿了童軍繩,堅持將小狗套上,牽給了我們。男友突然伸出了手說:「牽了,我們就不會丟掉他。」說出此話的當下,他真的非常英勇。

 文圖/ Story & Picture ─ 林芝因/ Lin Zhi-Yin

 

開始只是一個夜裡單純的冒險。凌晨兩點的星空下,家後方的山丘顯得特別寧靜,我與男友兩人順著沒有路燈的小徑前進。忽然,在遠方最深的黑暗裡,出現了亮亮的眼睛,我們卻步了。那放亮的眼神在深夜中令人害怕,於是我們放棄深夜探險,往原路折返,但那閃閃亮的眼睛卻跟著我們。直到路燈下,我們才發現那是隻瘦到只剩肋骨的小狗。

像難民的小狗遠遠跟著我們,不敢太靠近。我依據小時後餵食流浪狗多年的經驗,便往最近的便利商店走去,買了一罐狗罐頭,試著在門口餵食這乾扁的小狗。只見他狼吞虎嚥,沒停過嘴,然後就秒殺了罐頭。我們又買一罐,路燈下仔細一看,牠的雜毛凌亂不堪,黑嘴黃毛尖耳朵,還有黑色的指甲跟稚氣的臉,看來是受了許多委屈;而她既沒有加入當地山裡的狗群,也沒有項圈,我猜這應該是隻被丟棄的膽小狗吧!

當地的愛心媽媽(她們都在半夜準備食物給流浪狗)總是在晚上才會出沒,因為太早會被居民謾罵,尤其是在人群密集的時刻,她們知道居民不樂見到城市中躲藏的狗兒,反而可能將髒亂和過錯加罪在狗兒身上。於是,每天這樣的愛心都要隱藏在星星和月亮之下。

那夜,一位我認識的愛心阿姨也出現了。這阿姨白天幫人打掃,晚上才出來將燉煮的肉(肉販剩下來的料)送給城市中的狗兒。她看到我時和我點頭招呼,但雙眼卻看著小黃狗。她走過來問我是哪來的小狗,因為她沒見過牠,臉上滿是疼惜的表情,還把手中的雞腿丟給了這隻小狗。天啊!牠應該想都沒有想過自己在這一晚,除了剛剛兩大罐頭,竟還得到了一根大雞腿。

忽然,阿姨開口說:「你們兩個養他吧!牠看起來是被丟棄的,狗群不會接受牠的。不過,你們不養也沒關係,這山腰的廟公會吃狗,你們把他帶遠些,好嗎?放在這裡一定會死。他看起來憨明,這樣不行,雖然是一黑二黃三花四白,但冬天快到了,他們真的會進補喔!」我和男友面面相覷,養一隻狗非我們的原意,時間不夠、空間不夠,怎麼辦?但是阿姨一直拜託我們帶走小黃狗,並以迅雷不及掩耳的速度拿了童軍繩,堅持將小狗套上牽給我們。男友突然伸出了手:「牽了,我們就不會丟掉他。」說出此話的當下,他真的非常英勇。

小狗於是有了新家。剛來的幾個月,牠常常吃完東西就拉肚子,甚至還帶血。看了幾次醫生也無解,只能當作是腸胃病醫治。過了一陣子,毛色居然漸漸變好,原來人見人嫌的小狗,出門居然可以被誇。這傢伙在家也不曾亂咬東西,總是很乖巧得等我們回來,而且也不曾在家裡大小便。但不變的是什麼食物牠都可以吃,連埋在土裡的芒果籽都要挖出來啃,地瓜蔬菜也樣樣吃,還會偷吃院子長出來的金桔。總之,如果牠有做錯事,幾乎都是跟吃的有關;若被我們大聲吼叫兩聲,牠便立刻裝委屈。

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現在,這隻小狗和我們上山下海,到處露營或工作;晚上牠幫我們看車子;早晨牠會圍繞著我們討食物。這個後來加入我們的家人,我常常覺得他其實是裝笨,因為我深信牠一開始就選擇了我們,並非是我們選了他,而他也成功的把我們都馴服了。

牠是我們的家人,牠叫做Doggy

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It all began during a typical night-hike into the mountains. At 2:00 am, the hills behind our homes were extra serene and tranquil so my boyfriend and I decided to follow the unlit path. Suddenly, out there in the darkness appeared a pair of glowing eyes which made us fearful and we decided to return home. But those eyes kept following us and it wasn’t until we reached the street lamp when we discovered the eyes belonged to an emaciated puppy.

 

The puppy was like a starving refugee who didn’t dare to come near us. Recalling the times when I used to feed the street dogs when I was young, I quickly charged to the nearest convenient store to buy a can of dog food and fed the dog on the spot. He devoured the food within seconds so we bought another can. After a closer look under the light, we discovered he was mangy, scraggly brown puppy with a black snout and pointy years. From his childlike face, I can tell he had led a hard life. With no collar and no pack to follow, we suspected this little poor timid dog was abandoned.

 

The local volunteers always fed the dogs at night because they knew the nearby residents would complain if they saw people feeding these homeless dogs. To protect the dogs from the indignant residents who often blamed the dogs for the city’s filth, the volunteers had no choice but to carry out their work under the moon and the stars.

 

On that night, a volunteer that I had met before also appeared. This lady worked as a janitor during day but at night she would feed the city’s stray dogs with the left over meat she gets from the butcher. Although she was saying hello to me, her eyes were fixed on the dog. She asked me where the dog came from since she has never seen it before. The lady’s eyes were full of sympathy and quickly, she tossed the dog a chicken drumstick. My goodness, I bet the dog never thought that he would get to enjoy two cans of dog food and a big chicken drumstick all in the same night!

 

Out of the blue, the lady said to us, “why don’t you two take him? He looks like was discarded. The pack would never accept him. Its fine if you reject him because the manager of the nearby temple eat dogs, but would you at least take him to some place far because he will for sure die if he stays here. He has such an innocent disposition which means he will never survive out here. But you know, winter is approaching and you know what they say, the tastiest dogs are the blacks ones, followed by brown, spotted and white. I am not kidding, people will eat dogs! ”My boyfriend and I looked at each other. We never intended to have a dog because we didn’t have the time or the space. But that night, the volunteer kept asking us to take the brown puppy home. In a swift motion, she put the collar on the dog and handed the leash over to us.

 

To my surprise, my boyfriend grabbed the leash and said, “We will never abandon him once we take him.” He was quite courageous when he uttered those words.

 

And this is how the puppy arrived at his new home. In the first few months, he had severe diarrhea to the point he had bloody stools. The vet had no idea what to do so he treated the dog for intestinal issues. After a while, his coat began to shine and now the once timid and unwanted puppy, is the center of attention everywhere he goes. This little dude has never chewed off anything in the house and always waits to relief himself outside the house. He eats everything, including yam, vegetables and even the mango seed buried in the ground. Once he even ate the limes we grew in the backyard. Every trouble he gets into has to do with food. If I raise my voice at him, he would give me a pathetic sad look.

 

Now, this dog goes everywhere with us, whether it be up in the mountains and down by the beach. We take him to work and on all of our camping trips. At night, he is the guardian of our car and in the morning he hovers over us to beg for food. We often think this latest addition to our family is only pretending to be dumb because we believe, it was him that selected us and not the other way around. Moreover, he has trained us well.

 

His is our family. His name is Doggy.  

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