Kinship Circle
Mabel Means: I Matter
How am I here? This strange barking place. Canopies and bamboo. Table after table. Strange stuff, these bottle, needles, rolls. So many people. Serious but kind.

They are at my cage. Gentle hands. Ouch! It hurts. My back leg doesn't work. Wobbly. I remember running fast. I dodged cars. Canvassed streets for the high parts over water, the bridges. Didn't think about my legs then. But now pain shoots out my right hip. And the leg doesn't fit. Like it's stuck to me, but not mine.

The hands that help me are friendly and careful. I hear words: "Dislocated pelvis. Veterinarian popped back into place…Slipping…No muscle, fibrous tissue to support the leg…"

A lady who comes here a lot calls me "Mabel." No one ever said that before. It makes me happy to hear Ma-bel wedged into all that noise. Cries, barks, whimpers, voices…then: Mabel.

It means she'll open my cage door. When she first tried to lift me, I was mad. It hurt too much. I had to show her. So I growled and got snappy. That way, she knew what positions hurt. Now, she cradles my upper body against her chest so that my legs dangle freely. No bending or pressure. We figured that part out.

She carries me to the grass so I can do my business. And she kisses my face while we walk. Weird. No one ever did that. But it makes me feel good. At first pee-poops were quick. Now she stays with me longer each time. She lays me down in my cage, but strokes my chin from noise to ears. Just right. I fix my eyes on hers. This is my way to thank her for attention in this busy, loud place.

I ran from the water. I had to then. And I looked for food. But I am small, so the bigger dogs got most of the scraps. There wasn't much to begin with. The people are gone. The old food places are soggy. Dark water everywhere.

I just kept moving. Until the back part of me finally caved. So hard to get up. I dragged myself along, best I could.

I am away from the water now. At this place with so many dogs and a few cats. Most cats are at a different shelter, which is perfectly fine with me. Dogs look hungry, tired, sick or hurt like me. The voices seem to be about us. Each day: Food, water, walks, medicines. They write on paper that hangs from our cages.

Voices, footsteps…containers open and close, trucks, cars. A hum that never stops. And then, Mabel. A bump in the noise.

Mabel. The sound feels warm like food in my belly. I lift my head when she speaks to me. Mabel means I matter.
Thailand Photo Diary

Jan-Feb 2012, Brenda Shoss
Jan 2012, Sister Michael Marie
Jan 2012, Wendy Edney
Nov-Dec 2011, Cara Blome
All thumbnails click to full size photos.


Photo (C) Kinship Circle. Thailand Flood 2011-12
See all flood images in field reports!

Or, visit our Thailand Flood Photo Gallery.

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314-795-2646  |  7380 Kingsbury Blvd  |  Saint Louis, MO 63130 USA

●  Federal 501c3 under U.S. IRS ruling, Public Charity Status: 170b1Avi
●  Tax Employee Identification Number (EIN) available upon request
●  Nonprofit Certificate of Incorporation, Charter: N00071626