Bait Dogs

Karen Friedland

Bait dogs
are usually female –
this one was left for dead
on a cold winter night by Turtle Pond.

She had more than 60 bite wounds,
some hand-sewn with purple thread,
others still fresh, infected.

Sixty flashing sets of teeth
tore at this dog’s flesh,
and yet she wagged her stump-tail
when her rescuers came.

She was harmless, helpless
and will need six months of quarantine
because they don’t know how many dogs bit her.

All I can hold onto is how grateful I am
for her rescuers,
for the all-night animal hospital they raced her to
and even for the t.v. newswoman
who reported this story
that made me cry pitifully for days.