A Pit Bull washed up onto our Conestoga River Bank, one day.
He was carefully sewn into a moving blanket, weighted down by brick and concrete block, and thrown into the river points south of our home. The dog had deep tooth marks on his neck, and his right shoulder has been torn apart.
He was killed in a dog fight, professional or domestic.
Are there professional dog fights in our town? I surmised that there are–and that the killed dogs are dumped into the town's drinking water supply.
I wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper, accusing the town of ignoring this issue.
The Pit Bull was given a proper burial, down in the pasture along the river.
We gave the fella a name: Old Mac, the Conestoga Pit Bull. He was treated badly in his life, was taught to be mean, to kill, to tear up smaller animals than himself.
Perhaps he would have killed Mukunda.
But it was people who created the monster who rolled up on the bank of the meandering Conestoga.
He came to us, so we could think about him, feel deeply in our heats the travesty of his existence. We will muse about this every time we walk by the pile of rocks that top his tiny memorial, overlooking Canadian Goose habitat, squawking Blue Heron taking flight and skimming the river surface, and bird song music, also the yelp of Red Fox everywhere surrounding him.
So he found a final resting place where all of us who pass can ponder his existence.
How does Old Mac, the Conestoga Pit Bull, fit into our great theme of freedom when he was used and exploited in his short life? And in his death, he made the mistreatment of innocent animals into a public statement.
Mukunda regards Old Mac's grave site with a seriousness and an aura of contemplation and reverence. He looks at the grave for two to three minutes at a time, and therefore, so do I.
Mukunda now realizes that bad things happen to dogs. Before this time, he did not know. His innocence has been transformed to worldly ways.
Since then, he listens to me more consistently, wants to please me more constantly instead of proving his will over mine.
And to think Old Mac could teach me to be more humble as we place one foot in front of the other, passing his memorial every day.
Dog is man's best friend. The dog is not returned the unconditional love they hold for our supposedly superior species.
Yet even when they are abused, they teach us love.
Even when they die, they live on.