Friday, January 16, 2009

A digression with burrs attached

Before I continue with my absurdly brief version of the history of El Salvador (cribbed from Wikipedia and Equipo Maiz), there's a story from yesterday that needs telling. Many of you who read this blog already know Sister Peggy O'Neill, a Sister of Charity from Convent Station who's been on mission in El Salvador for 22 years and who this summer received the Margaret Anna Cusack Peacemaker Award at our Chapter meeting for her great Salvador ministry. Yesterday Peggy showed up with her new little dog, Luna, a Malti-poo (Maltese-poodle cross) of great charm (see above, top, for Luna with Peggy). Luna had a Friday appointment at the vets to be spayed. Peggy had to go out, leaving Luna in Eleanor's and my tender care, and I decided, alas, that she would really love to go for a walk in the little park across the way that belongs to our Urbanizacion Decapolis. I had been wondering why no one every seemed to use it. Luna and I had a great walk, though a brief one because all the neighborhood dogs were insulted and alerted by her presence into great barking choruses.

But when we got back into the light of the house I discovered that Luna and I were both covered with the nastiest little burrs ever seen: they had a hard and many-pointed interior with a covering of velcro-like hairs that attached themselves to anything - and especially to a a small, long-haired puppy. It was easy enough to get the burrs off my jeans and shoes, but Luna was covered with burrs from ears to paws, from mouth to flanks. Eleanor and I got busy with the scissors to cut the worst infestations, wondering between tears and laughter how we were ever going to explain this to Peggy. Lovely long-haired Luna now had patches of short hair and many, many burrs remaining. Peggy, when she returned, was aghast.

Today Luna had both her surgery and a haircut that removed all the burrs and left her looking a bit scrawny and naked, but clean (see above bottom). When we asked our guards the name of the horrid plant that had created these monstrosities one told us mosquillos and the other mosote. Neither name, of course, is to be found in the dictionary. And I have taken a small personal vow not to blithely go walking anywhere that others seem to avoid. Especially not with Luna, or any other dog I may happen to meet.

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