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Mangy Mutts -- Writer's Poke #162

For Writers:

The first time I met the neighbor's dog, Duke, he was sleeping in the carport of our new house. He raised his head a little, but soon he went back to sleep. Apparently he wasn't impressed.

He was clearly a mutt, but the neighbors seemed to take good care of him, and if he wanted to sleep in the carport, that was okay by me. Everyone has to sleep somewhere.

But a few months later, the neighbors picked up three more dogs. And unfortunately for these dogs, they quickly displayed a bad case of mange. Alarmingly, the neighbors had no plans to take their dogs to the vet, and soon enough, Duke had mange, too.

We used to grill out all the time in that carport, and let me tell you, there's nothing like the smell of pork chops and mange. Lovely. It got so bad that Linda suggested that we take the dogs to the vet ourselves. I vetoed the idea. These aren't our dogs, I reasoned. And in a matter of weeks, they weren't the neighbor's dogs, either. Duke managed to last the longest, but one by one, the mange won.

Have you ever done something for someone out that they refused to do for themselves? Or, have you watched something play out without interfering? Either way, did you later regret your action or inaction?

"Love your neighbor as yourself; but don't take down the fence." -- Carl Sandburg


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