Monday, December 7, 2009

About dogs and chaps

I have a little dog in Havana that a friend of mine gave it to me when it was only 3 month old. Today my little dog is 13 year old, but my friend is not with us, someone decided to take his life in exchange for his belongings. Five years ago, in a cold night of December, someone opened his door, beat him to death, killed his only companion, the little brother of my dashchund, and stole his most valuable possessions. He, or she, left the apartment with the door open. The crime was discovered 3 days later.About dogs and chaps

The police took account of the crime and filed it down in their piles, may be asked a few questions here and there, but with no relatives in Cuba, the case was forgot. Until today, the victim doesn’t have a suspect to be claimed as his murderer.

My friend wasn’t someone important. He wasn’t a close relative or family member of any Cuban official, or a tourist vacationing in Havana, or may be a famous artist with recognisable ties with the regime, or perhaps a military with high range in the army. He was just a simple multimedia designer and all his family was in Miami: he was expecting his opportunity to leave his country.

I remember him every time I play with my little dog when I am in Havana, or when I watch its face in my computer: barking to any single stray dog, or complaining when a little baby is passing by crying.

My friend was like that stray dog at which my little pet is barking in the picture: nobody sees him, nobody cares for him, and he is lost in a pile of files, if any, in some police station, waiting that someone gives him justice.

I used to walk my dog every Sunday morning along the Malecon (the long avenue aside the seashore of Havana), and I usually unlocked its chains looking after her in prevision of any other dog at sight. It is not rare that you see any other little creature licking his wounded body in any sunny corner. During those days, years 1998 or 1999, you could find a lot of abandoned dogs anywhere in Havana. For a Cuban family the choices were between the family members or the little pet at the times when dinner had to be served. Those little dogs finished their life on the streets.

You could find them in the entrance porch of any church accompanying his companionship in the same life: a beggar. I bet if you go to Havana Cathedral any day you would find them side by side.

In these days chaps and dogs are enduring the same fate. And like my friend, they are dying or being killed by someone and their names are sinking in obscurity. I guess, my little poppy, from the high of my balcony in Havana, is telling to one of them in her strange and secret language that he is not alone in this world. And even when a whole world is forgetting you, there is always someone who remembers you.

I always had thought that the way any society, any group of people, any human being treat our beautiful little creatures is the way we are treating ourselves.

Looking this picture in my computer, I feel fulfilled. In hard times as in better times, my family and my little dog were through life together, no matter what. But I still can’t forget the image of the little dog crying in the corner of Galeano and Zanja, crying for food, for help, for life while a crowd were passing by without even hear its little voice pledging.

I guess, the people of Cuba are today that little voice who nobody hears, nobody notices and nobody cares.