The RV park consists of a large population of retired expats from Arizona.
It is an island of mostly white, non-Spanish speakers that cluster together to dine, play games, go on outings, and sometimes gossip. If something happens in the park, everyone will know about it before the day is up.
One day after returning from a walk on the beach with my dogs, there was talk of a puppy in the RV park.
As the story unfolded, I learned that there were complaints from the residents about some guard dogs the RV park had on site. There was a stray dog with a litter of puppies hanging around. And the dogs barked all night long.
The RV park managers caught the female dog and her litter, I’m not sure what happened to them. But I heard the guard dogs were taken out and shot.
The only problem was this one feral puppy no one could catch. She became the topic of the week and acquired the nickname Rocky.
The day after I heard about all of this, I saw her.
She was small, about the size of my dog, Taylor. But she was skittish and fast, you could see in her eyes how scared and broken she was.
It was hard to look at her, not because she was fast, but because she was horrifyingly thin. It was obvious that she was starving.
Out of pity, I joined everyone else in the RV park and tried to feed her. People tried to give Rocky food from their hands, thinking it would be easy to grab her when she came over to get the food. But she never came close enough to be fed or caught.
I put out a bowl of food for her on the patio of the vacant trailer next door. I put it there because I didn’t want her to get attached to me and my dogs. I already had two dogs and I didn’t need a third.
The only food I had was for my older dogs, not quite what a growing puppy needed, but better than nothing.
Every morning, the bowl was empty. My reward for feeding Rocky was a shoe delivered to my door in the dark of night. Not my shoes, but shoes left out by other people on their patios before they entered their trailers.
I hung the stolen shoes out over the fence so they could be reclaimed. People stopped by to chat about Rocky and with a laugh collect their missing shoes. It was through the shoe conversations that I learned how much everyone was invested in Rocky and hopeful someone would catch her and keep her.
Rocky started following me during my morning walks with Sam and Taylor. I could hear her little feet pattering behind and feel her sharp teeth nip at my heals. They were razor sharp and left my heels bloodied after every encounter.
If you want to read more of this story about the dog I rescued, please click the link.