Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

Terrible things

This morning as I drove to work I listened to an interview with a former reporter who has written a book. The story of how he became a reporter is part of the theme of the book, but the reason he no longer is one is a story I cannot get out of my head:

He and some companions came upon a mass grave in Somalia while he was still reporting, and he spotted some movement in the grave. He jumped in and found a little boy clinging to his mother. The boy had gotten separated from his family and when he found the grave and his mother he clung to her and fell asleep there. About to be buried, he was spirited away, grabbed from the jaws of death to become the subject of worldwide news stories. The reporter felt such a high from having saved this boy, and returned to the hospital where the boy had been taken the following day, with a bag of candy.

The nurse met him at the door. She said the boy had "decided not to continue living". He was dead.

The reporter quit reporting.

I can't help but think of Joey when I think of this boy. The boy was black, looked not at all like Joey, I'm sure, but he was a little boy in need of his mother.

Tonight I watched Animal Cops: Detroit. A dog is rescued from his place in the year of a house that had been abandoned. Stick-thin and so cold he was almost frozen, he was lifted like a sack of bones by the Humane Society rescuer. At the shelter he was covered, pumped full of warm fluids, checked and checked again. His temperature was so low it was not measurable.

Another dog is rescued from a dog fighting house, where he has been used as a sacrificial animal. His mouth is taped shut and other, tougher dogs get to bite and eat at him, learning to like blood, gaining confidence in their fighting ability.

Two dogs are found locked inside abandoned apartments. One is a puppy, a labrador mix, a few months old. Very thin, undernourished, her hair starts to fall out when the shelter people wash her. Her teeth show serious signs of bad food, her bones have not developed correctly, her toenails have actually grown upward, she has no muscle tone.

I lay on the couch while watching this show, with Stretch lying heavily, satisfyingly, on my stomach. Unaware of the horrors elsewhere in the world.

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