Keaau Beach, Hawaii
Edible garbage never lasted long. There was always a stay dog around
to eat it. Every once in a while a dog would disappear from the beach,
but replacements were only a matter of time. Once, after I bought a
five-pound bag of dog food, White Fang reverted to her thieving ways
(there were no cupboards on the beach). That time she took her
boyfriend, Primo, down with her. The two dogs made a shambles of the
inside of my tent. Uneaten portions of dog food were scattered
everywhere. After that, she had to settle for table scrapes. There
were times she went to bed hungry, but that never stopped her from
protecting the tent from intruders. At night, under the light of the
moon, her white body could be seen from far away, and upon close
inspection, my darker silhouette could be seen sleeping right next to her.
Living together was always hard, and just when she and I were getting
along the best, the curse of curses struck. White Fang went into heat, and
after that chaos reigned. Dogs didn’t just hang out around my tent after that; they fought each other for White Fang’s affection. The problem was she wanted none of it. I tried to keep the dogs away from her, but I was only
partially successful. There was really nothing I could do except be
irritated, and I was, very, very, irritated.
One night when I was sleeping, and White Fang was tucked safe away
inside the tent, a dog woke me up. Outside, above my head, I awoke to
the cocked leg of a male dog. Before I could react, I got an eyeful of
piss. What a stinging, hurtful, pain, to be roused from sleep at 4 a.m. with a burning sensation in your eye, and dog pee running down your cheek. I didn’t
have time to think. I ran to the water faucet up where the cars were
parked and flushed my face with cold water. When I returned I guessed
the dogs could sense my anger because only a few remained.
The sad part was that I couldn’t even identify the culprit, it all
happened too fast. When I laid back down, the smell of urine was all
over my jacket and pillow.