With the recent disaster a la Hurricane Harvey and the decimation the winds left in their wake, it’s been heartwarming to see the response of so many of us Greene Countians as we step up to help our fellow Americans.
I saw a picture posted by our own Kristen Inman in a story she did about relief efforts, and the image is a powerful one.
The photo depicts Texas National Guardsmen from the 386th Engineer Battalion during a rescue of residents and pets from severe flooding Aug. 28 along Cypress Creek in Texas.
What stays with me from that photo are the faces of two brave puppers as they are rescued along with their human owners. This photo brings me to tears, the more I look, the more I love.
It shows a smaller rescue boat as it pulls next to what is either a larger boat or a National Guard truck.
A medium-sized black mixed-breed dog is in the foreground, the look on its face is one of shock and panic, but also one of utter trust in the humans whose hands lift it to safety. It appears to be an older dog, with some gray hairs on it’s snout and head, telling me that this pooch has been somebody’s loved companion for awhile. Concern is etched on the forehead and in the eyes of a woman still in the water who appears to be the dog’s owner.
A street sign, visible in distance to the right, illustrates the water’s depth, reaching to nearly the bottom of the metal diamond-shaped sign.
For just a moment, can you imagine yourself as an animal, and can you imagine what this would make you think? The confusion, the fear, and what about stray animals?
Even the lucky ones, the animals with homes, don’t have any now..............
Back to the photo.
The foreground of the picture shows a member of the Texas National Guard, squatted down and reaching for the black dog being hoisted up by a fellow Guardsman.
Midway between the first Guardsman’s knee and ankle on the left, a small white terrier-type pupper waits, appearing to be safe and in the arms of someone who cares. On this doggy’s face, there is deep concern. It looks to me like it is making sure the black dog gets safely onto the truck, I swear I can see empathy on it’s face as it watches intently.
It strikes me that the people in the boat will hand up their beloved pets first, before assuring their own rescue, and you know what? That is a beautiful thing.
I wonder how many companion animals didn’t make it, but I cannot wonder too long, because I’m not wearing waterproof mascara.
Along with sending donations of water and other desperately needed items, please, if you can, throw in some kitty litter, a bag of Puppy Chow, or some Beggin’ Strips.
If you need any more motivation, just look at the faces of the two dogs in the photo, and imagine their faces when somebody tosses them the treat you provided.
See what I mean?
Now, wipe your eyes (sorry about that), and head to www.austinpetsalive.org/hurricane-harvey-evacuations/ to make whatever size donation you are able. If you can’t donate, that’s understandable. You can always send them a prayer.
Patti is a staff writer at the GCDW. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.