Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Maria Browning

The Humanitarian's Dilemma

A soft touch navigates the food chain

One freezing Monday in January, I stopped at the big box pet emporium to buy my dogs their kibble and treats. As I stepped out of the car I saw a white mutt standing about thirty feet away, surveying the parking lot with that mixture of confidence and wariness that is the hallmark of long-term strays. I called him. As I expected, he acknowledged me but kept his distance. Dogs that are newly lost will either come straight to you or run away in a panic. This guy was clearly hardcore homeless.

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