What must it be like for a dog to meet and bond with a Human, then to lose that Human, to have to adapt to life in an animal shelter, to one day be subjected to a massive upheaval of its routine and fly in a roaring machine over unknowably vast distances, and to find at the end of this journey the very human one had lost in the first place? What must it be like?

Scrapper started Life with the natural advantage of being indisputably cute and handsome. Every Human that saw him said something along the lines of “Ah!” Kind people from Australia rescued him from motherless death at 6 weeks old on the cruel streets of Guatemala City, and brought him to Hound Heights. But no one adopted him, even when his mange cleared up.

But Scrapper felt the hand of Destiny upon him, and waited, and one day his Human came. She came in the shape of Nese, a young Turkish woman, volunteering at Hound Heights.How, we ask, can a heart made of pure gold so melt and swell? Gold, we conclude, must be more than mere metal. Gold must feel, and powerfully.

Powerfully enough for dollars to be disbursed and arrangements to be made, the horrendous bureaucratic paperwork to be endured and completed, the visits, the vaccinations, the various visas.

Is Life simple? Perhaps sometimes it is – as the result of more prayer than we had time for on this occasion. Nese was obliged by ever-changing international animal transportation rules to fly to Turkey alone. A schedule, a returning, a home-coming, a flight without a friend.

So Scrapper spends 5 hours alone and probably terrified, swaying in the hold of a 747, and touches down safe and sound (and relieved) at JFK. Scrapper is in the U.S.A!

Except that down here in the Guatemalan woods, on the end of the phone, we hear from JFK “No dog booked. No dog arrived.” Scrapper is loose in the World. We grit our teeth – at least, those of us with teeth to grit, grit them good.

But hey – things do indeed work out sometimes, and Scrapper was eventually picked up by his Contacts after many frantic international telephone calls, back and forth across time zones. He was safe! We rejoiced, and expedited emails straight through the system to inform Nese of the imminent arrival in Turkey of her canine pal.

Did Scrapper arrive at Ankara International Airport, leaping in joyful reunion to lick Nese’s tearful face?

No, he did not. He stayed Stateside.Too cute for his own good – those Contacts, those kind-hearted volunteers detailed to collect him from JFK fell straight off in love with him, and did not want to let him go.

Did Scrapper know he was on his way to Nese? Did he sustain himself with fantasies of exotic Turkish sights and smells? Of untasted foods and unchased Turkish cats? Maybe.

But the fact remains that he’s a New Yorker now, a young dog with history and a loving home. What more could a dog want?


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