Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Little Dog Named Diligencia

Last patrol, we had a group onboard that had a little black dog with them. The little dog was mostly black, with a few white spots. She was probably about 25 pounds -- one of those big dogs in a small body, not a yappy little thing at all. She was very well behaved, even though she struggled to eat the beans and rice either because the seas didn't sit well on her stomach or because well, when you're a dog, beans and rice are tough to eat from a Styrofoam bowl that doesn't stay in place on the non-skid deck. 

She didn't belong to anyone specific from the group. I'm really not sure how she ended up with them in the first place. A few of the group played with her, roughhousing a little too much for many of our crew's comfort. But she got repatriated along with her group after having stayed with us for about nine days because the weather was too rough for a faster repat.

A few days ago, one of the individuals we have onboard now approached our translator and asked if he remembered him. He reminded our translator of the little dog (who was pretty unforgettable), and said he had adopted the dog when they got back home. He had even named her -- Diligencia, because that's where he found her. His mom is taking care of her, as he tries again to make his way to the United States. 

I'm not sure why this story touches me so much. Maybe because it's a good reminder that every one of these people *have* stories. They are not individuals whose existences are limited to our interactions with them; they have pasts and they have futures that occur separate and regardless of our brief encounter with them. Or maybe it's because in naming his dog Diligencia, he acknowledged that our paths crossed, and in a way he wishes to remember. It's a blending of the stories, his and ours, that expands out as more people meet the little dog named Diligencia.

LCDR Charlotte Mundy
Executive Officer

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