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October 19, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Lost in the Barrio

Dog sitting (NO permissions granted for this image) at edge of parking lot on foggy day. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted

Red sign. Read signs.©

Days are shorter. Early morning fog. Uncertainty.

He’s bound to notice: Warmth leaching away. Fog caping everything.

Does he hope? Does he know to hope?

Barrio warrior.

Dog in the fog.

Winter is coming.

He moves to sit in the middle of the street. Some warmth still held there, maybe.

Or watching down the road.

Open ended.

Wish he’d move. It’s barely dawn.

Alone. Small in the fog.

If he’s there next trip to the plant – and without collar or tag

Doubt any offer of food would be ignored.

A small hop up and in could take him to –

Would he be interested or be doggedly self-reliant?

Which requires the courage?

Human-like. No surprise the species cling to each other.

Winter is coming.

For all those shadows the fog.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.


  1. easyweimaraner / Oct 19 2015 12:40 pm

    I hope the pup isn’t alone and he has a home…. it seems all thoughts are more intensive in fall and winter… is it because we fall in “christmas mood” or is it because we become more sensitive when everything outside is ready to sleep till next spring?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 12:54 pm

      The dogs around the plant/shop are a concern. Some have homes and are just loose. You see them romping with kids (also in the street) But probably not all of them. The climate here is mild for most of the year, dogs can scoot under the houses for shelter, and there is food – from workers, and the critters running around – even rabbits and squirrels in vacant lots around the houses and big plants.. But life will be much harder if this winter is as bad as predicted. We planning to keep an eye out….and a blanket to cover the car seat just in case. Paws crossed easy, that all the little ones find snug refuges for the winter.Thanks for barking along

      Liked by 3 people

      • Kate Crimmins / Oct 19 2015 1:08 pm

        Of course you will rescue if needed. It’s what we do. You will need to answer to RC and promise to re-home. We all know how that goes…..


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 1:31 pm

          A difficult situation as it’s a pretty rough and tumble area – no fences and everything and everybody spills into the streets. He could even belong to one of the guys in the shop…it’s pretty relaxed environment.
          No huddling desperate bit of fur will be left behind in brutal cold, though. (HRH herself still shivers with the memory at times, so she would tolerate…with annoyance clearly expressed.)
          Thanks for bundling up a comment

          Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres / Oct 19 2015 12:56 pm

    It’s the perfect time for such a post. I had to get up at 3 this morning to shut the windows, because it was a little too cool. The pollen riding the night air was getting to me, too, but that’s just an irritant, and not life-threatening, like cold can be when it’s worst.

    Lost pups and kitties do touch the heart, don’t they? While I don’t exactly approve of the way some people live with their dozens of cats and dogs in poor circumstances, I understand the impulse to bring them all it. It was hard enough for me to learn to stop planting every single trimming from my plants.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 1:26 pm

      Yep, it was about 3 am here, too. (As Scarlet in Gone with the Wind said “I don’t care if I sneeze I SHALL have open windows once again…well, not at night”) Tired of being trapped indoors by the heat – and now it looks like this may be one of the strongest El Nino patterns since the 50’s? brrr) Oh, speaking of cold, need any new plants, it’s so hard to tell the baby ones they are unwanted (HA HA…the good thing about new neighbors/houses – they need plants! And happen to have a few spares…)
      Sailors probably muttering all sorts of charms to this weekend’s weather. The barrio dogs will be scooting under houses for sure. Thanks for trimming up a comment to plant here


  3. marthaschaefer / Oct 19 2015 1:09 pm

    I wonder what his/her story is? Homeless pets don’t last long up here…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 1:43 pm

      Tis mild climate is one reason we have so large human and animal (1.2 million estimated animals) homeless populations.The people can and do seek shelter ( assisted by city workers and cops in very cold weather) But the animals can’t exactly walk up and go “Hey, I’m down on my luck a bit and could use a little assistance.” Even worse, some of the shelters have no provision for homeless individual’s fur companions – so they both huddle outdoors. Complex problem.
      But one encouraging thing is the Barrio Dogs which was created to help reduce the population/provide vet care/neutering/education ( And works with shelters/rescue groups to find homes. Here’s their adoption website:
      Anyone who purchases things at Amazon or Kroger groceries can designate the group for donations (see Barrio Dogs’ website) The groups been working for about 5-6 years and it is making a difference. Thanks for raising a paw!

      Liked by 1 person

      • marthaschaefer / Oct 20 2015 11:38 am

        That is good news, Phil. I’m always encouraged when humans take on the hard work of addressing the plight of homeless animals. Great story and thanks for getting the word out. This group is definitely deserving of attention.

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2015 1:39 pm

          Just ordinary people who had enough of being ignored by those in charge – the ones we elect – the ones we pay taxes to. Sometimes you just have to take the reins and ride. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul / Oct 19 2015 1:16 pm

    Oh, the life of some animals is so sad. My heart goes out to them. There are so many that are abandoned or alone. It is a gift that you are caring about the lonely pooch Phil – if only more could care. Life is so hard for them – every meal a one shot deal, never knowing where the next meal will come from. It seems that the only option available is death – not really an option for life. Some are so toughened by life that they can’t be adopted in any normal sense. If someone is dedicated , arrangements – perhaps an external caged run or such – can be made but few will do this as there is no return for the owner.

    You are a kind and caring soul Phil – if there were more like you there would be so fewer strays. Thank You.

    By the way I have a guest post over at Willow’s If you have time to drop by I would be honored. Thank You.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 1:54 pm

      As the weather turns, it’s time for people to look around. Molly was one of the refugees. The couple that finally managed to grab her couldn’t deal with her injuries/vet bills or her manic behavior, but they got her to safety and to those who could.
      Normally this climate is mild and life is easy, but (and I’m sounding an old farmer) the signs are that this winter will be a bad one. There are groups that specifically focus in this close to downtown area – which is pretty rough and tumble between industry and neighborhoods without fences. You’d probably be interested Barrio Dogs groups which is mentioned in the reply to the comment just before yours. Ordinary people are stepping up – obvious the city is too busy.
      Thanks for the link to your post! I had just started trying to wade through all the new postings – so many on Word Press – and I keep getting distracted and side tracked. Will wander that way shortly. Stay warm – it looks cold is arriving ( watching the Jays baseball at all? )

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beth / Oct 19 2015 2:30 pm

    Hope he finds his way to a home.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 2:49 pm

      Who knows? In that industrial area with neighborhoods without fences, he could live across the street or belong to one of they guys in the shop. Wish he would stay out of the street in the fog. Paws crossed for all reasons. Thanks for leashing a comment. (Maybe some rain will arrive for y’all mid week. How did it dry out so fast?)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sportsattitudes / Oct 19 2015 3:01 pm

    There has been a concerted effort in our area to not only adopt rescue animals but to safely rescue animals roaming the streets and get them into shelter. We recently had a bit of a scandal regarding some less-than-stellar treatment a few animals were getting at a local SPCA and the outrage was heart-warming to see. It seems whenever there is a story now of an animal or animals being mistreated more and more people are getting into the movement to do their part to ensure all animals are treated with dignity and respect. I feel how we treat animals is a mirror into our own soul.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 6:32 pm

      (A boa constrictor scout was checking out the buses for potential cold weather shelter in Philly? Those Brazilians do prefer warm weather..and you just can’t wait on people to notice the chill on the scales..)
      Some of our area shelters have had problems in the past few years. One manager responded to yells of “You are killing to many dogs!” with a very public announcement of “Look at this place. It’s old, not suitable, and depressing – even for those of us who work here and care. Would you bring your family and child to this grim concrete jail to adopt a pet?” He was right. Public voted funding and now – with rescue groups helping find foster homes – people do come to a happy place and play in big green yards as they select the perfect dog. With this next election, the public can OK bonds for another renov. of another “dog pound”. Little by little and if people are watching…it’s always crushing to see someone was hired that shouldn’t have been. There are strict laws about humane treatment of the shelter animals, but just can’t trust people to do the right thing anymore. Always better to spend your effort and money in your own area rather than some place far away. Long distant charity/work isn’t any more virtuous or “good” than local efforts – and if people ignore the need in front of their own face/their own neighborhood, it’s much less applaudable. Your last sentence pretty much says it all. Thanks for heeling that comment!


  7. SingingTuna / Oct 19 2015 3:23 pm

    Makes me cry. 😦
    So many lives, human and otherwise, out in the cold.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 4:30 pm

      Take heart. Now is the time to make plans and prepare for winter – like the Ant and the Grasshopper. Shelter and rescuers of both human and animal homeless are making progress. Watch the efforts by a local volunteer group Barrio Dogs in the video pasted in for one of the earlier comments. People are making a difference – and ALL lives matter. (Otherwise, it would be an even colder world.) Pet the ones you’re with! Thanks for joining the good search


  8. Carrie Rubin / Oct 19 2015 4:48 pm

    Great pic and great words to accompany it! But I don’t want winter yet. In fact, I wish it could stay fall until spring. 🙂


    • Carrie Rubin / Oct 19 2015 4:49 pm

      And I hope the pooch has a home. 😦


      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 8:00 pm

        Pet ownership is a pretty loose term over there in this older mix of homes and machine shops/industry.I think this one may live across the street and was forlorn as the school bus had just picked up his kids for the day. Nap, puppy – somewhere safe, like under the house!

        Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 7:57 pm

      As long as we’re wishing, I vote for fall until spring and spring until fall! (Far too early for ski slopes to be open already)
      Thanks for clicking into the conversation

      Liked by 2 people

  9. robstroud / Oct 19 2015 5:02 pm

    I feel so sorry for strays. Some were lost, and some, I imagine, fled hostile environments. The three dogs we’ve “rescued” in the past have all been wonderful additions to our family.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 8:23 pm

      In this area with houses without fenced yards, some of the dogs may consider multiple places “home”…and then there’s the snacks at lunch from the shop guys.
      A few years ago, this one woman had had enough and started “Bario Dogs” (Video/links in comments below) which offers free/low cost vet care/neutering as well as working with the school age kids on pet care and responsibilities. Shelter groups dovetail into them for pet rescue and adoptions. It is making a difference. Far too many animals having to fend for themselves here. (Which is why one of my neighbors gets an “F” for constantly keeping their female pure bred spaniel having puppies to sell. One of her male pups is being kept, groomed, and showed so he, too can make money…sadly the male pup seems as smart as a brick, nervous, and terrified of everything.
      As you say, rescued/shelter animals are really the pick of the litters – and never a dog more grateful and loyal. (and so many pure blooded dogs available for adoption there)
      Winter’s coming (may already be where you are?) Time to make plans for all living things.
      Thanks for tethering a pet comment

      Liked by 1 person

  10. markbialczak / Oct 20 2015 1:05 am

    Stark descriptions but touched with warmth. I like this one, Phil. Very much.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2015 1:45 pm

      That picture was a bit haunting. Appreciate the kind words. Get ready: winter is coming, grasshoppers.Thanks for leashing a comment


  11. EllaDee / Oct 20 2015 1:45 am

    It’s not easy to tell, homeless or wandering… I’d never want to dog or cat nap a furry-one belonging to someone else but sometimes ownership is blurry… Our shared Soossie-Cat’s original person thought she was dead but she just found herself better digs.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2015 1:52 pm

      It is funny how some animals seem to interview and do trial runs of people as potential owners. Cats always seem to hedge their bets and have multiple options for home….cats never miss a chance to lure/addict a person in a possible home. And cats show no shame at all about it. Thanks for adding that cat tale!


  12. PiedType / Oct 20 2015 2:04 am

    At least your winters are milder there.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2015 1:43 pm

      Normally yes, but this one is predicted to be colder and wetter than usual (I hate those long dark dreary ones, but the cycle will roll back again) Been outside evaluating plant survival plans…basically telling most of them to toughen up. See, now that’s what is nice about really cold climates where it snows – all those plants are covered up and totally out of sight so you don’t have to see those poor sticky branches begging for rescue. Shutting blinds is good. Thanks for hiking by to chat


      • PiedType / Oct 20 2015 2:28 pm

        You’d probably be surprised, as I was, to find how few days in Denver actually have snow cover.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2015 4:24 pm

          Shhhh! That’s been a well kept secret for a long time. I loved covering that sales territory – nothing better than a bright cold day in CO…especially if the office has heard about winter storms and thinks you’d better just stay over for a bit and wait it out. Yep….Colorado weather. Can’t get on the roads ( because of traffic)….although the cross winds in places are not to be taken lightly…(so must just wait it out a bit..)


          • PiedType / Oct 20 2015 4:52 pm

            Your secret is safe with me.


  13. aFrankAngle / Oct 20 2015 12:37 pm

    I’ve returned to shorter days, cooler temps, and changing tree leaves … oh … and my dog friends in the neighborhood. Hi Mouse! …. and your use of “Barrio” in the title is timely for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. jmmcdowell / Oct 20 2015 8:04 pm

    Why will I not be surprised if this winter I learn that Molly has a new sibling…. I hope this fellow does have a home, but if he doesn’t, then may a forever one appear soon.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 21 2015 1:27 am

      I think RC has considered wiring the car doors shut as a precaution. The dog in the fog I hope was sitting there dejected because the school bus just picked up his pal…but we’ll see. Thanks for barking along


  15. jannatwrites / Oct 21 2015 2:18 am

    It is so hard to see homeless dogs. I hate to think of them being cold, hungry, and scared.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 21 2015 2:56 pm

      Researchers say people project too many of our own emotions and ideas into dog’s reality. But anyone who’s had a pet knows the species are closer in make-up than “facts” predict. (For years they said dogs were color blind – only they aren’t! So what’s next?) Luckily this climate is mild – and in this rough and tumble neighborhood, there’s always herds of kids, dogs, and cats bouncing around. I think this one lives across the street from the plant…but keeping an eye out if the weather get brutal. Thanks for gathering up a comment to leave


  16. roughseasinthemed / Oct 22 2015 8:43 pm

    Awww! Is that the pic you meant? The Snowy lookalike? Paws crossed for him/her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 23 2015 2:45 pm

      I’m hoping this little one is looking dejected because the school bus had just picked up the kids. We’ll watch once winter really moves in. The dog in the fog is a bit haunting and reminded me of Snowy, lucky dog that he is! Thanks for drifting by



  1. Lost in the Barrio | Elements Hyperlocal Journalism Photo-blog

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