"Remember El Alma" First On-site Performance Challenging the Alamo, March 2010

"Remember El Alma," First on-site performance
challenging the Alamo
original poem written by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez

Adapted by Virginia Grise; Produced by Bihl Haus Arts, Kellen McIntyre, Ph.D; Performed at Luminaria!
San Antonio, Hemisfair Plaza, San Antonio, Texas, March 13, 2010; 5 Actresses, 1 Musician
A cast of beautiful women, all ages and colors, from
all over San Antonio
; Foto Credit: Joan Frederick @2010

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Dog next door

The guy next door works at the base, and he has a big german shephard named Duke. I call him Dukie, and I admit it, I've been using my feminine wiles so that I can play with the dog, who never gets out of his little yard, maybe 400 sq. ft. The guy built a wire fence for him, so that Duke can see out, but since the guy's house is in the middle of the block and Duke's area is in the back, he rarely sees anybody, except in the morning when the high school kids pass by, but they don't notice him.

Duke rarely barks. He's very sweet, and when I go over to give him treats from the alley-side, he rolls over for a rubdown, and I do my best over the fence.

I live upstairs so I can see everything that goes on in the next yard, and this is not a good thing, because I worry about Dukie. I've noticed lots of things, for example, that the guy comes back at lunch, but doesn't even pay attention to Duke, check on his water or anything. One time he didn't return on Friday night or Saturday during the day, and when I figured that out, I went to check on Duke, and sure enough, his water bowl was dry and dirty and he didn't have any food. He must weigh over 100 pounds, and I have cats and don't know how much a dog like that eats, but I gave him two big cans of dog food mixed with dry, maybe seven cups. And fresh water. I wanted to let him out, his leash is right there, but want the guy to trust me.

I didn't say anything exactly to the guy -- the next time we ran into each other I mentioned that I'd fed the dog and he seemed pleased. That weekend I asked him if I could take Dukie walking and he let me. I took Dukie to the high school next door and he smelled every tree and blade of grass, I think. We were gone about an hour, and when we returned the guy said anytime.

So I walked him again.

Today I went to get him, and Duke was hyped. The collar around his head was loose, and he ran to the street. Me and the guy chased him, he wasn't far away, we were more scared he'd get hit by a car -- we live on a busy street. Finally, Duke got interested in another dog he saw, and I yelled to that man to just stay there so we could catch Duke

My neighbor the guy caught him alright. He was furious, and he squeezed Duke's neck so hard that he made the dog kneel even as I could see Duke wanted to get away. The giu put the collar on Duke and he pulled on the collar so hard I though he would pull Duke's head off. I tried to be calm, saying things like the dog just wanted to run, I have a friend who knows how to train dogs, etc., but he looked at me like I was crazy.

He said that the dog-walking was finished for the day. He took Duke, who was resisting him, back to his pen.

I didn't say anything more, feeling that if I did I wouldn't get a chance to walk Duke again. I made a special plate of meat and dry food for Dukie and took it to him through the alley like I usually do. He seemed Ok, his collar was loose, and he scarfed-up the food as always.

I think I'm trying to figure out how to save this dog. He's not chained, like the last dog who lived here. Or stuck in a garage for five days and nights. I got beat up for rescuing those dogs, and I don't regret it.

Duke looked so good running, he was so happy. The guy never takes him walking or plays ball with him, why does he have him? Duke doesn't bark, hardly. The guy told me that he saved Duke from a family that had chained him all his life.

This is all Duke knows. I wonder now if that time I took him walking was the first time for him. Could that be?


KCandtheSunshineKids said...

I was so moved by your post. I am a state rep for Colorado for an organization called Dogs Deserve Better. www.dogsdeservebetter.org
Have you heard of our organization? We have a rep called Adam Moran in your area. He can help you with this situation. His email is amoran2@gmail.com. You have already accomplished many steps to saving the dog...Thank you for what you do for the animals. :) Kit

Adam said...


I'm the Adam mentioned above :) Please e-mail me at amoran2@gmail.com or give me a call at 542-4908. Not only am I the DDB rep, but I'm also in the military; I think I may be able to help out. I look forward to hearing from you!

linda a said...

when i lived in san antonio, a friend of mine had suggested that since i lived alone that i ought to get a dog for my yard. i told my friend that i couldn't own a dog because i was never home and i didn't have time for a dog.
my friend 'explained' to me that a dog was meant to be a guard for the house not loved by me.
i never got a dog and i have often wished that my friend didn't own one.