Over the past few days I have become aware of angels in our midst.
These are not the visions of glorious light and shimmering wings we are used to seeing in fiction but the simple flesh and blood of humanity.
The angels manifested themselves because a dog had become in serious need of help and had presented itself to a man who fed it, watered it and let it go walk about again in the belief that it would return for more food.
Sure enough, the dog did return and the man decided that if he could get the dog fit, he would adopt it and give it a home.
The dog was in a very seriously poor condition. It was under-fed and had evidence of maxilofacial problems as well as being alarmingly underweight for its size.
Following an appeal for help, along came the first angel to collect the poor creature and transport it to a veterinary surgeon – who was the second angel.
After a tremendous struggle and the administration of both a laxative and an enema, the veterinary surgeon had to accept that his small surgery was not going to be able to cope with this poor creature’s problems.
Angels three and four had been assisting the veterinary surgeon and were ready to take upon themselves the responsibility of transporting the dog to a veterinary hospital and paying for the necessary surgery. While angels two and four started on the marathon task of cleaning the veterinary surgery of the massive efflux of faesces that had innundated the small place, angel three took the dog to the veterinary hospital.
The trip culminated in an offensive rebuke to angel number three because she had had the temerity to take the dog into the veterinary hospital through the wrong door! She was even told to carry the dog to the correct door since the poor thing could barely stand, let alone walk.
X-rays disclosed that the poor dog had been eating bones and rocks for, probably, a year and had a huge agglomeration which was blocking a very significant portion of the intestine. Blood tests indicated that the dog was probably strong enough to under-go an anaesthetic and an operation was agreed to.
While this drama had been unfolding, people had heard about the dog and more angels came forward to offer whatever help they could – generally donations to help with the cost of the care. This response was far greater than anything seen for a very long time because appeals for help for other dogs in dire straits had been met with indifference (for want of a better word).
Sadly, the operation was proceding well enough and much of the agglomeration had been successfully removed when the dog simply gave up his fight and died.
Angels five and six came forward and arranged to collect the donations that had been so generously offered so that they could be used by angels three and four to help defray the significant costs they had incurred.
Obviously nothing could ever repay the emotional response but the costs of surgery, transportation and even being forced to accept responsibility for the disposal of the poor dog’s corpse not to mention the huge amounts of time involved but the small donations did amount to around 40% of the cost of the surgery.
I am hoping that there will be another angel – the man who was relieved of the responsibility of doing anything for the dog that had come to him for help.