April 17, 2007

Late one night, a young man called the Let the Animals Live hotline to report, in tears, that a dog had been injured in a road accident. " We moved him from the road. There's blood everywhere," he said.

He related that is name is Maor and that he lives in Ramle, on Miriam the Prophetess Street. He asked that the association come to help the dog. The mission went to Tzvika Tammuz of Moked Hai.

"The traffic was heavy," Tammuz relates. "Maor, who knew I was coming to collect the dog, called me twice en route. I told him to keep oglers away from the dog, not to bother him. Maor reassured me that he was keeping an eye open.

"As I approached the area and started looking for Miriam the Prophetess Street, I realized that the population in the area was a mix of Arabs and Jews living together. I found Miriam the Prophetess Street and stopped by a group of children speaking fluent Arabic.

"As soon as they saw the cage in the pickup truck, they realized I had come for the wounded dog. They immediately shifted to Hebrew and pointed to where he was. They called several other lads, one of whom was Maor.

"I approached the dog, accompanied by a group of very excited children, who had a lot of questions.

"The dog was lying down. Next to him was a bowl of water. One front leg was very swollen. The boys sat around him and tried to explain what happened. Mahmoud told Maor that his brother had seen the dog get run over, and Maor told Ali that maybe the dog had been chipped and his owners could be found.

"And I thought to myself, how well these kids get along: no politics, no problems. Then some adults started to gather, Jews and Arabs, who acted like neighbors who could have been from anywhere. Maybe the source of the trouble is politicians, and the simple people and animals bring one another together.

"I started talking to the dog, soothing him, and pulled his collar so he would try to get up and I could see the degree of damage. The dog did arise, then yelped. His front leg was clearly broken, and I noticed a problem with the pelvis too. I picked him up in my arms and took him to the pickup, followed by a stream of excited children speaking in a babel of tongues. In the background, I could hear the thump of a drum. Maybe it was the drum of Miriam the Prophetess.

"I took the dog to Dr Shiner. Happily, it was chipped. Unhappily, its chip wasn't in the database. We can only hope to find its owners and also, that he is not injured too badly."

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