All’s Well That Ends Well

In the early hours of Friday morning I woke up with a startle. As I listened to the pre-dawn sounds I wondered what exactly woke me. Then I heard it again: one sharp ‘yap’. A dog? Can’t be! I have never heard a dog barking in the neighbourhood, and I was certain that this sound came from within our building. The fog lifted from my half-asleep mind when there was sudden barking – a loud confirmation that I wasn’t just imagining things.

Sunlight revealed a beautiful dog with a wagging tale. We told him in no uncertain terms that he will have to go home, as we headed off to do our weekly shopping. When we returned our guest was lying at the top of the stairs where the intensity of the desert heat did not quite reach. It was clear that we had to do something, but what exactly we weren’t sure of. I’ve never had a dog just pitching at my house, and the neighbours all reasoned that if we feed it, it won’t go away. A quick Google search revealed an e-mail address for Animal Welfare Al Ain, but no phone number. This left me with a feeling of frustration, as I did not think that anyone will answer e-mails over the weekend, and what I was looking for was an immediate solution to our problem.

It was clear that this little dog will have to be nudged a bit to go home, so during the night we closed the doors leading into the building, effectively locking him out, in the hope that he will find his way home. Saturday morning dawned with him playing on the grass. It was clear that he had no intention to go home and he appeared quite happy with his newly adopted home. Maybe he didn’t know how to get home, or perhaps, we speculated, he was abandoned. Now what? He clearly had no intention to move on.

I have never described myself as a pet lover, and most probably never will. Pet owners often look with judgemental eyes at me when I jump back to avoid contact with their pets. I have always considered animals in a house a bit unhygienic, and could never understand people’s urge to have pets. At some point I even thought that it must be an indication that I’m just not a very kind person, until a friend remarked: “Well Hitler loved dogs, so that clearly cannot be an indication of kindness!” I made peace with the fact that I have a kind heart despite my lack of wanting to own a pet. I struggle to play witness to any kind of suffering or pain, and in this instance my aching heart wanted desperately to take care of this beautiful dog with his intelligent demeanor. Out of desperation I finally sent an e-mail to Animal Welfare Al Ain, hoping to receive an answer, but not feeling very optimistic. After drinking some water, our little guest once again made himself at home at the top of the stairs where he quietly whiled away his time, while Michael and I watched a DVD, trying to stop obsessing about a solution.

We are often in a hurry to fix things or rush to solve problems, but sometimes the Universe works in mysterious ways and all we need is patience and the belief that all will be well. As it turned out, I missed the first reply from Animal Welfare, which would have had me calling a shelter in Abu Dhabi to fetch the dog. Another reply, sent later, informed me that someone posted a notice on Facebook regarding their lost dog in our area. Michael quickly called the number I was given, and less than five minutes later dog and owners were reunited. They have been frantically looking for him everywhere, and out of desperation, eventually, placed a notice on Facebook that very morning. Ironically they live just around the block from us, so Tartan was never very far from his home.

This taught me that although it doesn’t always feel like it at the time, things have a certain rhythm to them, and if we allow ourselves to be open to possibilities, trusting that all will work out the way it should, things tend to do just that. If I sent a message the previous day, or kept checking my e-mails for a reply, the story could have had a different ending. Everyone in this little drama played his or her role exactly the way we should have, and with a bit of help from the Universe, it had a happy ending.