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Osmel Almaguer:Until recently I would to identify myself as a poet, a cultural promoter and a university student. Now that my notions on poetry have changed slightly, that I got a new job, and that I have finished my studies, I’m forced to ask myself: Am I a different person? In our introductions, we usually mention our social status instead of looking within ourselves for those characteristics that define us as unique and special. The fact that I’m scared of spiders, that I’ve never learned to dance, that I get upset over the simplest things, that culminating moments excite me, that I’m a perfectionist, composed but impulsive, childish but antiquated: these are clues that lead to who I truly am.

A Dog’s Day in Cuba

January 9, 2014 | Print Print |

Osmel Almaguer

HAVANA TIMES — My uncle has a dog on a leash in his back yard. Though I’ve often heard him bark, I have never once seen him wag his tail. The poor creature has a very hard life, at the mercy of the rain, the cold and his fleas.

A bit of metal paneling on the ground is the only home he knows. He stands on all four for long hours to avoid lying on the panel, which enhances the surrounding cold or heat, whatever the case may be.

Not long ago, my uncle had the idea of trimming off all his hair, in the hopes of getting rid of the fleas and ticks that torment him (instead of taking him to the vet, or using an anti-flea medication).

Now furless, the animal’s malnourished body and bloated belly (quite clearly swollen by parasites) are plain to see.

I feel powerless to help him. Unfortunately for the dog, my uncle and I had a falling out and haven’t talked for years. I’m not the only one in the family he doesn’t talk to, so I can’t even get a word of advice about how to treat animals to him.

“In another country, they would have showered him with fines,” says a man who walks by and sees the dog, referring to my uncle. “The problem is that we feel we own animals, we’ve always been taught to think that way,” I reply.

My uncle had another dog before this one. It was a strong, healthy animal when he got it and, years later (before he managed to escape and we never saw him again) he was scrawny, bruised and sickly.

I am tempted to unleash the dog and let him escape. Perhaps he will have better luck next time and find a better human.


What's your opinion?

  • Oro Carson

    PLEASE either unleash the dog and let him escape, or “dognap” him and either give him the care he needs or try to find a family to take him in. Your uncle is guilty of the WORST animal cruelty and should not be allowed to “own” a dog..

  • Donn Mena

    street dogs have a life better than this…. Help him escape & tie your uncle in the yard…….

  • Moses Patterson

    Does your uncle have any children? There is a high correlation between animal and child abuse.

    • John Goodrich

      Passing strange that you support the U.S war on all the PEOPLE of Cuba which creates intended misery yet find sympathy for this one abused dog.
      An interesting perspective .

      • Moses Patterson

        I would not support a war on any people unless the interests of the US were threatened or attacked by that people. Cuba is no threat to the US so there is no need for a war. I do support the US embargo as it aims to pressure the totalitarian Castro regime towards greater human rights for the Cuban people.

        • John Goodrich

          I have asked this question before and you have thus far refused to answer it :
          If you go to the “Killing Hope” website you will find a list of some 54 interventions by the U.S .
          Show me one that involved doing so for humanitarian reasons.
          Then tell me why Cuba alone in this group is the sole exception .
          You should have some understanding of the aims and methods of U.S. imperialism before making claims that are not provable utilizing historical fact.
          Please answer my questions so that I need not chase you from thread to thread .

          • Moses Patterson

            This is HT. Your question is way off topic.

  • Lisa

    Please, please, please go there and unleash him! Don’t let this go on for one day longer…

  • Lisa

    Hi Osmel,
    is there anyway for me to send you an email?
    Lisa

  • Glenp Rich

    Please do what you can, anything is better then being tied there and unwanted – if you can try getting a flea collar on him. We must help those who cannot help themselves

  • maurbor

    Please do!

  • ofoab

    Unleash your better human , let a dog be your guide . Dogs need uncles , be one .

  • Lisa

    Does anyone know where this poor little dog is???!!! There is a great chance that we can help him if we could find him. Can anyone help, please…

  • AnimalProtector

    PLEASE contact Nora Garcia at Aniplant. Phone: Cell 05243 3789 or email: aniplant@enet.cu

  • AnimalProtector

    Please contact Nora Garcia at Aniplant in Havana. Phone: Cell 05243 3789 or email: aniplant@enet.cu

  • AnimalProtector

    Why won’t you answer all the people who have reached out and want to help this victim? Are you AFRAID somebody WILL help?

  • http://www.havanatimes.org/ Circles Robinson

    Like most HT writers Osmel does not have a regular place to check his e-mail and only today (January 21) did he receive the messages posted here. He does not have Internet access so this is his reply second hand. He has some sad news to report.

    “A few days after sending you my post, my uncle decided to attend the little dog,
    influenced by a conversation I had with my grandmother, that is, his mother, to
    do something about it.

    “Unfortunately his decision was to treat the dog’s parasites himself giving him medicine.

    “Apparently the animal’s body was too weak and could not resist the dose given
    by my uncle. I don’t know what kind of anti-parasitic he gave him and whether
    it was incorrect or bad medicine, but the result is that the dog died.

    “I appreciate the assistance offered by the various commentators who love
    animals as much as I. If I had known in time of your offered help I would have
    accepted it.”