I was waiting at the vet's with my cat Arturo when a young couple came in with a small pet carrier and sat down opposite us.
"I smell dog," Arturo said.
Having survived his first two years feral and homeless, Arturo is uncannily sharp on the question of what smells like what. I asked to see the puppy.
"You might not want to," the man said.
"It isn't me," I said, "it's my cat here; he's curious by nature."
He opened the carrier and I looked in.
What cowered there, looking up with caught in the headlights terror, was not a puppy. It was a skeleton with a dog painted on. It made a sound like the plaintive growl of a muted trumpet. There was no where to pet it, because most of its hair was gone, and one ear looked like a pink cauliflower.
Even Arturo was appalled.
"We just rescued him," the woman told me. "We're social workers with the county. We see this all the time."
"What are you going to do with him?" I asked.
"We'll get him fixed up as much as we can afford, and try to find a home for him. It's not easy to know what's best," she said.
I handed them my card and suggested they visit the New Woodstock Free Library's animal care and rescue exhibit in person or online. The exhibit has information and displays from 23 organizations concerned with every aspect of service and care available for the comfort and safety of the feathered and furred and vulnerable creatures we share the world with, I told them. Through the exhibit, people can learn about and connect with organizations providing adoption, rescue, medical care, nutrition, commercial and specialty products, volunteerism, careers, and numerous links to other resources. The exhibit is free and open to the public during all regular library hours. Log on to midyork.org/newwoodstock, or call 662-3134 for more information, I explained. The exhibit ends August 24.