Rubio’s Bark

I thought he would never die. I actually believed that he was immortal. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. There is always something to remind me of him. We had some rough times together. Sometimes it was because of his health, other times were due in great part to the neighbors we had. Most of them were unkind and/or indifferent. Other neighbors were just plain nasty. Yesterday afternoon when I was walking in Green Point, Brooklyn, I heard a dog’s bark behind me. I turned around and saw that the sound came from behind an open window. It’s an old dog’s bark, I said to myself. Rubio used to bark like that in the last months of his life. On the morning of his death, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, when the men from the municipality dog shelter came to take him, he alerted me before they had time to knock on our door. He had to be put down because he could no longer walk and he did not want to walk anymore. The sores on his body were getting bigger and bigger. Even so, he cared enough about our safety—his and mine—to tell me that strangers were on our floor.

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