The story of Dingo Mutt

 “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. Gandhi.


One of my favorite pictures of Dingo Mutt

A tiny puppy 2 months old lay in wait for food, for water  No one home, no one cared.


There’s a home on the next block as  used and thrown away as the puppy who once lived within it.  Made of wood and built on stilts, it was owned in the 1970’s and 1980’s by a family who sold it to a woman serving in the Gulf war.  She sold it to someone in the northeast over a decade later. 

The new owner’s only purpose for buying it? To wring as much money out of it as possible through a property management service.  It has changed renters, on average, once ever 6 months for the past decade or more.

Some renters make great neighbors. They move on when they find work elsewhere or their lives improve.  Others come in, demanding that the people who have lived there for 30 years change their ways.  Those soon move to the convenience of the city and an easier life.  

Still others were the vilest of creatures–the dregs of humanity who steal to buy the next drug of addiction.   People meandered in and out of the place, the noise of loud voices littering the air.   That was what imprisoned a small puppy on a porch 6 feet from the ground, a puppy yelping and whining for help from a man who couldn’t hear him.  It’s hard to feed a puppy when buying crack comes first.  Harder still when the man is in jail and his crew move elsewhere.  

How do I know they were crack addicts?  The next people to move in were great neighbors.  They were given a discount on rental to clean up the place while they lived there.  They described the deplorable conditions, such as used syringes littering the place. 

Imagine you’re a small puppy, ignored, living in a litter of crack needles, wondering when the next scrap of food will come your way.  What is a small puppy to do?  When you’re not strong enough to defend yourself, you have to have an indomitable will.

Dingo Mutt chewed through the screen, jumping 6 feet to the ground.  He ran around the dirt road, looking for help, yelping until someone would listen.  That someone was my husband.

He brought Dingo into our home, keeping the other dogs away while the small puppy literally inhaled food and water. He put a note on the neighbors door with a name and phone number, but no one returned to the home for over a week.  The only way we knew anyone had been there were the fresh tire tracks in the dirt–and the note on the door was gone.  No one called.  No one cared.  No one but the other dogs in our household and us.

I’m trying to remember when he became part of our family.  It was at least 4 years ago.  You couldn’t want a more loyal, loving dog.  He has a few bad habits–but don’t we all?  

I may not chew up blankets, push people on the floor in my exuberance, or dent cat food cans with my teeth (which he used to deftly steal off the counter), but I’m not the easiest person to be around when I’m in the middle of a meltdown. His playfulness brought life back into the older dogs, his joy of living bringing a smile to my face as he engages our resident pit bull in healthy play. 

When I’m in the midst of a personal pity party, I think of Dingo Mutt’s courage and hug a spirit grateful for a home, a dog bed, and a perpetually filled food bowl.  it helps put life into perspective.