We live on a small plot in a rural area. Most of our neighbours are really kind hearted. Regular food parcels, that are paid for by community donations, are delivered to families where jobs have been lost. When recently a family’s house and everything in it burnt down and they had no insurance, the community got together and donated everything from corrugated iron roof panels to electric frying pans to help them back on their feet.

The people of our community are also kind to animals. That was not always true of communities like ours, but times have changed and people with it. Today most people see their animals as part of the family

Not all people are kind to animals though. An ugly aspect of humanity has become apparent in recent years. Every summer holiday, dogs and cats are dumped along our roads by city people who are going on holiday and do not want to take them along or pay kennel fees. The animals often chase after the car of their beloved owner, only stopping when the car is out of sight and they can run no further.

Many dogs have been collected and cared for by members of the community. We know one older lady who has 24 dogs and a family that has over 70, all refugees who have been dumped.

Most dogs are fine people, much better than their so-called owners. They are loyal, faithful and courageous. And this also applies to all dogs who get dumped. They deserve better. Just recently a sturdy pit bull, was dumped together with a pile of trash. When the car from which he had been ejected disappeared from sight, he settled down next to the trash to guard it with the same loyalty he no doubt felt for his owner. He was determined that no one would interfere with it. A local farmer made an attempt to remove the trash, but was driven off by the snarling and barking custodian of the trash pile.

After three days in which he had nothing to eat or drink he was still loyally stopping anyone from interfering with his trash. But he was weaker now. The farmer fed him and returned to give him water and feed him every day until the dog finally accepted that this was a friend and the one who dumped him was not coming back. Eventually he took up the invitation to get into the farmer’s car.

It was only after he was installed in his new home that the trash could be removed. The farmer calls him Hero, a fitting name.

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Guardian of the Trash