Give your love before it's too late. - HH on 12/18/1997
"Big Ear" was the female mixed breed dog I took care in the traditional market last fall.
Kind of having a pair of standing pretty ears.
When I first saw it, it was losing hair on its face, had fleas all over the body. Since I have adopted 3 stray dogs, it would be a burden to me if I tried to keep it. Anyway, I rode it home on my bicycle and telling myself, "Just for two days, give it a bath, remove the bugs then I will send it back here. I won't keep it with me. No, I won't."
After two days, and, one more day, for not to love it too deeply, I harden my heart and put it back where it came from. I moved it out from the basket of my bicycle, laid it down to the ground: "Sorry, I really can't keep you." I was thinking of the little one-month-old puppy and its homeless, starving future. I felt so sorry and my heart was painful. What a cruel world!
I got on my bike, ready to leave. An old lady there talked to me: " Hey! It's following you!" Like a knife punched into my heart... No, I must hang on... I tried to be tough, I yelled to it. It's still coming after me. To prevent it from running into the traffic, I picked up a stone, threw at it. It finally stopped. It looked up to me with doubt.
I got on my bicycle at once. The poor lonely Big Ear's face kept flashing into my sight and I felt very sorry. How can I keep it with the family for just three days then abandoned it? I did even throw a stone at it! Why didn't I just leave it alone at the very first beginning?
The next day, I went to see it. It seemed that it has understood its own destiny so it didn't follow me when I was leaving. Last time I gave it up, it made me feel sorrow; This time, it almost made me cry since it's just standing there nicely and looking at me in an expecting way. - What am I doing? What is it about of the stray dogs and me?
Started from then, I visited the market to see it almost everyday. I fed it, removed its ticks. Everytime I whistled, it came to me right away, like an old friend.
There's been a time it stayed in the arcade of a house. I thought that it was adopted. But the dream didn't come true when I saw the lady of the house who showed no interest to its tail waggling. It ended up returning to the market; I kept looking after it.
Three days after the Moon Festival, my family was taking a walk in the park of a neighborhood city. Someone got a few dogs running and playing in the field. One of them looked just like Big Ear. They looked alike but they got different destiny. I was attracted by them and couldn't help to think of Big Ear.
Big Ear started its stray life since it was about one-month-old. It ran into me, the one who concerned, the one who didn't adopt it. Day by day, will it get derma disease from other stray dogs? Will it be run over by a car? Will the dogcatcher catch it? I stared at the dog in front of me and made up my mind. "No matter what, I will take Big Ear back home tomorrow when I return to town."
I rushed to the market next morning. I whistled and whistled...It didn't show up. I searched over the places it used to stay but failed. Am I too late for this? Did I lose it in these two days? My feeling sunk, full of regret.
I rode my bike along the alley, didn't give up searching. When I passed by grassfield, I whistled to try. It suddenly jumped up to me excitedly! It seemed that we've been apart for a long time! It mumbled: "Hee...hee" I pampered it, felt happy and relieved. "It's great, you're still alive, it's great..."
The fireworks of Moon Festival must have scared the tiny little thing so it hided in the grass. I picked it up to the bike felt like saving a lost life.
I rode the bike easily, happily and started to talk to it: "Where's your home? Which street? Which house? Who's your mom, who's your dad? You, the little homeless orphan, you come to stay with me!" "Even my wife will blame me, even I have to clean up your mess... they'll be alright. Let's go home!"
I can still remember that day, I got Big Ear on my bicycle, I kept murmuring on the way home. I might have a little bit of worry, a little bit of pressure, but, no regrets. Under the warm autumn sunlight, we went home together happily...
Right after the day I took Big Ear back home, those stray dogs which hanged around in the market with Big Ear, that has not been adopted, were all caught by the dogcatcher. They were unforgettable and being written into my diary.
I have been saving a few stray dogs but I never felt such strong emotion when I took Big Ear home. It's a thrill like passing by the God of death. Life and death are two sides of one line. If I didn't see those happy dogs in the field, I might not be so anxious to get Big Ear home.
I am always wondering: the dog in the field that looks like Big Ear maybe the one that saved Big Ear's life...
- translated by Natasha on 7/05/1998