Puppies squealed from some dark corner in the predawn hours. I heard them despite the loud rolling sea water against earth in low tide from my seaside balcony.
Lightning flashed to the north, stars were over my head, and breezes from the east knocked around palm fronds near me. These are the breezes that die down when the sun approaches, and then an hour after it rises, a second wind comes.
I also heard boats. Motor boats. Men lucky enough to have boat motors to go further out to find bigger fish to eat or to sell.
I heard bugs singing, an occasional distant dog bark, a rooster made a call, followed by another and another and another. These peaceful minutes erupt into a cacophony of crowing the closer dawn gets.
Whenever I talk with family on video chat (audio chats are more successful, and it’s almost always in the mornings) they hear the roosters. To my family and friends back home in urban and suburban America, rooster sounds are novel. Living among them is foreign. But like someone who lives near an airport or train station, I no longer hear the racket at our apartment rental in Malay, Aklan, Philippines.
The puppies were born on Sunday to Bradly, one of Yolly’s protective dogs. (Yolly is the owner of the Hangout Beach Resort, where we rent an apartment during our global travel pause.) There are five small black buttons with four paws and wet noses.
Bradly gets upset when I try to approach, so I look from afar.
Yolly will give away the puppies. She already has four dogs. She asked if I wanted one.
Of course I do! And: of course I don’t!
Eventually we will leave here, and I don’t want to be a heart breaker. Eventually, one day, in the future, that’s the plan. I cannot easily travel great distances with a dog.
I’ve written before how dogs around these parts are thinner. And how some dogs, whose owners cannot feed them, are wasting away to nothing. Some dogs are so scrawny they don’t waste energy to stand up and move out of the sun as it crosses the sky.
Who would you feed first? Children or dogs?
If dogs are your children, then there is no dilemma, is there? You’d be in the lucky few, because the majority of Philippine families have children. Dogs suffer accordingly.
People also are thinner. Some by quite a lot.
I commented to a local friend it looked like she was losing weight. She said with a smile, “Nothing to eat.” She was only half-joking. Or maybe she wasn’t joking at all.
My friend was on the beach at low tide to dig in the sand for crustaceans. “It’s not a lot, but it will be enough for us. For today. I’ll make soup,” she said.
Her bucket had maybe six or seven shells almost size of your palm. I know the creature inside is one-tenth the shell size, if that.
My Western family and friends probably cannot fathom actually hunting and gathering food to survive. At least, not yet. And maybe never, since there are food pantries to help.
I see food bank lines are ridiculously long back in America. The middle class people again have been trumped by… the system.
It’s as if the chasm between the super wealthy class and the average-to-lower-middle class has widened in one tide cycle. We were all up to our necks in pandemic lockdowns and life changes to adjust to the ‘new normal’. We floated for a good while, with an occasional snout full of water.
But now the tide has gone out and we are left with salt and sand in our thirsty mouths. Beached with no hope to float. And, is it just me, or do people seem to be losing the energy and will to stand up as the sun crosses the sky in yet another day.
I wish Americans would find energy to question the unchecked capitalist system instead of wasting time on a so-called ‘rigged’ election. They can’t see the forest for the trees.
Readers might be surprised to know: I’m conservative when it comes to fiscal issues, and a few other issues. I believe a capitalist system drives innovation and advancement.
But it’s also motivation for greed. And unchecked capitalism has failed.
The majority of American voters know this. That’s why they’ve handed Biden a win. That’s why people retire later. That’s why people live paycheck to paycheck. They are enslaved by a system that demands they work, and produce, for someone else – a giant company where corporate staff take gargantuan compensation.
Readers also might be surprised to know: I like Ayn Rand’s objectivism model – minus its one serious flaw. Which is: people are too greedy for it to work. Selfish desires run amok; prideful egos get too big. This philosophical model won’t work because too many people are too greedy. And too many of those greedy people call themselves ‘patriots’.
This election was about something much more than the right to bear arms, to have an abortion or not, to keep immigrants out or welcome them in. It was about Money. Power. Access. Privilege. Greed. Ego.
It’s about Souls. Morality. Humanity.
Back to puppies
For a post that started about puppies in a dark corner at a beach-side resort, this post sure did take a left turn. So let me go back to puppies.
If you read this far, you deserve to see the puppies. After all, puppies on our social media feeds still make us smile, right? Even if we can’t feed them all?
Unfortunately, Bradley won’t let me near her – or anyone else at the moment. She’s highly protective of her puppies in a dark corner of the resort.
This is the best I can do for now:
I’ll post closeup puppy pictures when I can. When Bradley lets me.
Her babies will need ongoing care and love and guidance when they come out of the dark and into the light. I hope they all find good homes, never know hunger, and are not hurt by greed.
Thanks for reading, “Puppies in a dark corner, hunger and greed.”