Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Dog Called Pepsi

Written in response to Poets United Think Tank Thursday:
write about something ugly
and find the beautiful in it.

He was a little mongrel,
living on  reserve
where life for dogs
is often harsh,
the people steeped
in poverty and pain.

He found my friend's door,
asked questioningly
if he might find
kindness there.
He did.
She already had two dogs,
and was feeding other strays.
She could feed one more.

She named him Pepsi,
for his bright spirit
shining out
through sad eyes
that loneliness
and hunger
had turned old.
He sheltered
on her porch
as the winter winds
turned cold.

One weekend
she had to be away.
When she returned,
no one in the village
would meet her eyes.
"Pepsi's gone," she knew
and she began to cry.

Turns out
one man's idea of
reducing the homeless
dog population
was to tie a rope
around their necks
and drag them
behind a truck
till they were dead.

Where is
the Beautiful
in this Ugly,
you may ask?
My friends,
there is more
to be said.

My friend found
poor Pepsi's body,
rubbed raw like
butcher's meat
alongside the road.
And - amazingly -
his valiant little heart
still beat.

She gathered him up,
rushed him by boat
and car
to the nearest vet.
They tended him
and healed him.
He pulled through.

Now any of us,
abused like that,
would carry
a bitter heart,
a snarling face,
and we'd
lay blame.

Not Pepsi.
His stump of a tail
still wagged
when they called
his name.

He never went back
to the village.
Those days
were done.

They found him
a forever home
with a woman
in a wheelchair
 who'd lived
a loneliness
as vast as
Pepsi's heart,
and who had
all the time
and love
a heart
could abide
to lavish
on this
gallant little dog
who now
never leaves
her side.

After homelessness
and hunger
and the
worst human abuse,
Pepsi did not
seal away
his heart.
He learned
to trust again.
After all
he had been through,
he was brave enough
to give his heart

My friend had to
leave the village.
She could not
stay there
any longer
after that.
But before she left,
she spoke to
a gathering of 
the village elders
about treating dogs
with compassion,
about the message
to the children
by mistreating
and disposing
of animals,
about attachment disorders 
the numbing of emotions,
about health and wellness,
for children
and for  dogs.

She brought in
the SPCA
who promised
they would travel
to the village
to pick up
any unwanted animal,
at their own expense.
Not one more dog
in that one village
needed to
what Pepsi

I'd like to say
the end of suffering
has come
to all the dogs
on Planet Earth.
It kills me
when these
devoted, loving
are abused
and treated
as if they are
of little worth.

But this one time,
this little dog
called Pepsi
shone a light upon
the differences
in human
and doggy hearts.
I'd like to think
at least
some hearts
were changed.
I know
my own


  1. Brave little Pepsi...
    How can people behave like this?
    Your friend is a very nice woman who went through troubles to save a life eventhough its a dog.
    A very beautiful,emotional yet powerful poem..

  2. You made me tear up; so tragic and sad, what an emotional turn of events! Dogs are like angels on earth, not all, but most have a soul's kindness that a lot of humans don't understand. Unconditional love~

  3. I know. It broke my heart all over again just writing and remembering this.

  4. This type of thing is why I have a little "ditch cat". Sad, so sad.

  5. This is quite some poem, Sherry. A wonderful, but gut-wrenching, story about Pepsi and the resilence of spirit. I am glad Pepsi now has a forever home!

  6. Oh my, what a heartwrenching and beautiful story. So glad it turned out like it did. I think the heart of anyone reading this must surely be changed...

  7. Whoah! What a brave lady to stand up to the village and the depravity that was being allowed to exist. Amazing story, Sherry! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  8. It is a harsh story, but thankfully ended well. Thanks for reading and hanging in till the end!!

  9. I'm glad for the happy ending, but you have got to warn me before i read something like this. It made me physically sick to read what was done to her. :-(

  10. Dear dear Sherry,
    I cried.

    All Gods creatures, big and small do not deserve cruelty.

  11. oh sherry, my heart bleeds for pepsi and for all the other abused and maltreated dogs. pepsi's story should be an eye-opener so people would realize that these dogs have feelings and they love us unconditionally.

    i am a convert myself. i wasn't much of a dog lover until my Heaven (jap spitz-poodle mix) came into my life. he cried with us. he shared our grief. now i realized he was instrumental in the healing of my family.

  12. OK, you've reduced me to a blubbering mess. How could anyone do that to an animal? I'm so glad it turned out well for little Pepsi, but my heart weeps for those who weren't so lucky.

  13. Such a heartbreaking piece, Sherry. I still hear of culls on islands where strays are rounded up and shot. I'm glad Pepsi's story ended well. Isn't it humbling that we are loved so completely by our canine friends even when it's not deserved?

  14. Sad tale.
    Ugly dogs can be so snugly.

  15. Sherry this is heartwrenching, but full of hope for Pepsi! He is awesome! :-)

  16. Dear Sherry,
    Your story was so sad and yet also it demonstrated the kindness that can be found with some humans.
    I firmly believe that anyone who can harm an animal, is beyond being considered a member of the human race.

    That dear little dog, so innocent and forgiving.
    Sherry, thank you for writing about this topic.
    All Good wishes,

  17. Sherry,
    This made me cry, I know how horrible people can treat animals.
    Living in Oaxaca, Mexico I had a similar experience with a dog I used to feed. The only difference was he didn't make. We had named him "Mange" and he was a market dog and he always followed us home and I bought medicine, bathed and cured him of his skin condition.
    Most people in the town thought I was nuts. But I didn't care. He was a sweetheart. Then one morning he didn't return for food and I checked with the authorities and they told me and my husband they had rounded up the strays and beat them to death the night before. I will never as long as I live, forget how I felt that day. I DO NOT understand cruelty of any kind. Thanks for sharing this story.


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