Sunday, July 16, 2006
Haifa's Lost Dogs
It might seem a bit perverse to devote an entry to the lost dogs of Haifa, given that so many people have been killed and forced to leave their homes in Israel and in Lebanon. But the fate of Haifa's dogs also tells us something about their owners and the situation in which they have found themselves. As we were walking around our neighborhood, after a few hours of quiet, we noticed a number of ownerless dogs looking for their homes. One of these dogs followed us - we did not even notice it, until someone asked us whether we were its owners. Somehow it (she, we later discovered) even seemed to know where we were living and stubbornly followed us inside, terrifying the local cat. The dog was clearly suffering from the heat and drank all the water we put in front of her. She also devoured a whole bowl of cat food. I suspected that its owners might have abandoned her, as well as many of the other dogs we had seen, as they fled the city or descended to the bunkers. It is true that dog is man's best friend. The question though is whether man is dog's best friend. I began to have doubts.
However, we were able to locate the dog's owners and my pessimism proved unfounded. Our dog, who had quickly grown attached to us, had a chip whose ID a veteranarian helped us scan. From there, we were able to get in touch with the owners, who lived quite far away (the dog, her name was Nika, had wandered a long distance from home). The owners had of course noticed Nika's absence, but they had been too afraid to come outside because of the katyushot.