Monday, August 9, 2010

Yoyo is Gone

Jessy the Mad Dog--the ex-settler who bit me and then became a thief--had a love affair not too long ago.

I think I failed to mention that here (didn't I?), but my Facebook friends will remember the Youtube link I posted on my wall:

Do I hear an Oscar Buzz?


Okay, but it's Tarek's and my first film. Cut us some slack.

Anyway, the object of Jessy's infatuation was a young stray puppy, as you can see here. She was white with light brown patches over her eyes and ears, and we named her Yoyo. Yoyo, I think, fell in love with Jessy right away and would follow us around when I took Jessy for walks. Jessy would strut along by my side with an air of indifference, and only occasionally pay attention to Yoyo. But when Yoyo fell behind to smell something, Jessy would implore me to wait so Yoyo could catch up with us again.

I could never really figure out if Jessy was playing hard to get; if her age and comfort in life had made her a little blasé; or maybe if it was a dog hierarchy thing.

Nevertheless, Yoyo wasn't put off. Au contraire--for a period of time she would come by the house each and every night to kiss/lick/smell Jessy through the metal bars of the gate.  Sometimes we would let Jessy out to play with her, or we would allow Yoyo to come inside the garden. There the two of them would sniff and lick each other unashamedly.

We used to give Yoyo food and water, and Jessy (surprisingly enough) was only mildly jealous of her. Only once did she try to bite her, and that was just because I gave Yoyo a piece of bread before I gave Jessy. Quite understandable, in other words.

Yoyo whimpered and ran away with her tail between her legs and we didn't see her for a week or two. But the bond between them was too strong for such an incident to break, and before we knew it, Yoyo forgave Jessy and came back.

This was in May. Observant readers will already have noticed that I write about Yoyo in the past tense.

It's not a grammatical mistake.

At the end of June, before Tarek's and my surprise visit to Sweden, Yoyo would still follow Jessy and me when we went out jogging, and she would still come by the house at night.

In the beginning of July, when we came back, the streets of Al-Tireh were empty. Not a stray dog in sight. The nights were quiet.

At first (rather naively) I thought that maybe it was too hot for the dogs (I mean after all, Jessy won't even drink in this heat unless we put ice cubes in her water first). But then, a few days ago, I learned that our neighbor's dog passed away a couple of weeks back after having eaten poisoned chicken that the Ramallah Municipality throws out in the neighborhood to deal with the "problem" of stray dogs.

And if our neighbor's husky died like that, then...

...I don't even want to think the thought.

Jessy still jumps at the mention of Yoyo's name, and runs to the gate to look for her. But she never comes. And her sleeping place on the street outside Dr. Taha's house is empty.

How sad it is when love stories come to an unhappy ending.

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