The cries were muffled and distant, but determined, which made people stop for a second. Then the crying stopped, and people kept on walking. But the inconsolable crying started a short time later and it persisted. That’s when an old man put some water in a bowl, clapped his hands and waited for his faithful pooch to come running. Instead, he heard some commotion, so he used the noise to guide him to some boxes in a dirty alley. Behind the boxes he found his dog surrounded by her puppies. But there was something else among the litter and it had pink skin.
Given the horrible way that some dogs get treated, it’s a wonder that dogs have remained man’s best friend. In fact, Way knows all about living in a bad situation. She lives in the bad part of town on the edge of Buenos Aires, Argentina with her owner. Their home is nothing more than a series of shacks constructed with metal scraps and wood. Passages made of dirt separate the hut-like homes where crime and poverty are high. Cops aren’t able to navigate through this area, so there’s virtually no protection.
Shanty towns like this one are unpredictable. Criminals and families are mixed together, and many of those living here have no choice but to call these slums, where so many shady dealings occur, home. Cops won’t venture into these areas because of the lack of sanitation and extreme poverty. However, after a series of high crimes occurred, authorities implemented a 24-hour policing system. But that doesn’t change the fact that people here are poor and starving. But one companion is quite popular here.
Like her mother, Way was a slum dog born from a litter of mutts. This meant she had to beg, borrow and steal in order to survive. The locals knew Way for always having a litter of pups with her. Fortunately, most people didn’t turn her away because she was too darn cute. Eventually, she crossed paths with the man who became her owner. He cared for her, gave her food when he could, and also loved her. However, Way’s life was anything but easy.
In the slums, birth rates and disease are high for humans as well as dogs. Pooches like Way might find someone to take them in but they don’t get spayed or neutered. This means they spend their entire lives pregnant. Now in some places, dogs are often rescued from puppy farms, which get shut down almost immediately. But dogs in this area run around catching infections and diseases, which they pass on to their puppies. So, given that dogs in general are facing a shorter life span in this town, would Way eventually suffer the same end?
Way had experienced several pregnancies, so she knew what areas of the city were safer. She also knew which people would give her and her puppies some food. But wherever she ventured off to, she would always come back to her pups. Her owner knew when Way was pregnant. Aside from a big belly, Way would vanish and would only return at night to eat. But when she failed to return one morning, he feared something was wrong.
Way’s owner asked his friends and neighbors if they’d seen her. He even walked through the labyrinth of alleys and checked every possible hiding spot for his pooch. He also called out her name repeatedly, but she never came. Other strays hounded him as if begging him for the food in his hands. Was she gone forever?
The temperature had dropped to three degrees Celsius and he was getting worried. Way had to eat in order to feed her pups, but they were missing too. At this point, he imagined the worst. After all, violence was common here and some folks didn’t mind hurting animals. Then, someone told him to check a nearby field. What if she ran into the wrong people? But he never could have imagined what he would stumble upon.
While the slums were well-known for violent crimes, Chief of Police, Daniel Salcedo, and his officers often received weird calls. So, he always warned his rookie cops to be careful when they answered a call. But Salcedo was shocked when a woman named Alejandria Griffin called and told him something unbelievable. Regardless, cops got in their cars and pulled up to slum area’s field. They assumed Griffin’s call was a prank until they heard a series of cries.
Six pups shuffled closer to Way as the cops approached. But beneath the puppies was a baby. Since it was naked and hungry, he cried, so Way tried to calm him by getting closer and putting her head on his. Salcedo was stunned. Who did this baby belong to? In all of his years on the force, he had never dealt with a situation like this.
The baby boy was taken to the hospital. He was in good health despite a few injuries, but he only weighed 4 kilos because he was premature. Eventually, authorities found the baby’s 33-year-old mother. She abandoned the baby because she was already struggling to feed eight mouths. But the child was not found in the spot that his mother dropped him off. Had this baby crawled across a bunch of dirt and trash?
Way had heard the baby boy’s cries and ran to his location. Then, she picked him up somehow and carried him more than 50 meters to the bed she had made for her puppies. She kept him safe and warm until authorities arrived. The media nicknamed him “the miracle baby Santino” and called Way a saint. But Salcedo was still stunned. “She took it like a puppy and rescued it,” said Salcedo. “The doctors told us if she hadn’t done this, he would have died.” But Way isn’t the only animal who has ever rescued children from danger.
According to Dr. Egidio Melta from Melchor Romero Hospital, the baby was only a few hours old when cops brought him in at 11:30 p.m. But the incident itself reminded some of the ancient Roman myth of Romulus and Remus, who were twins abandoned by their parents shortly after their birth. They were discovered by a female wolf by a river and rescued. The wolf looked after them and fed them until shepherds found the twins. While this is just a myth, there are tons of stories out there about dogs lending a helping paw to children in distress.
Dogs are quite sociable, which is why they form strong packs and develop bonds with human families. But canines have a soft spot for babies. In this instance, Way saw a child in distress and came to his aid. Way even kept the baby warm by using a rag. Now, the baby is being cared for by authorities until they can find a permanent family for him. Naturally, his mom was arrested for abandoning him, but there’s one element to this story that’s worrisome.
Way and her puppies got taken away from her owners and placed in a shelter because the owner couldn’t look after them. Ironically, people consider themselves the dominant species, but they make bad decisions that affect others. It also seems as though many don’t even have empathy. So, people should seriously stop and ask themselves; do they really deserve the loyalty that dogs provide them?