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The Ricky Taco

Sometimes the hardest work we do is the work we don’t do.

Doesn’t make sense, does it?

It’s not supposed to.

The kindest woman called about getting dog food for her 16 year old Chihuahua. She called him Ricky. She also called him Taco.

Ricky Taco.

That’s a cool name.

She shared many stories, but her favorite story was Ricky. She needed wet food desperately. She had no car but could take the bus to us. It would be a couple of hours.

She asked if we knew how expensive dog food was. We said yes. She said she didn’t understand how anyone could afford it. We told her we understood.

She told us all about Ricky Taco’s favorite foods. We knew we’d have a good selection for him.

We set a time to meet.

She never arrived.

We called her back. She answered. We said this is The Pongo Fund, you were going to meet us at 2.

She said who?

We said The Pongo Fund. With dog food for Ricky Taco.

She said who?

A man got on the phone, he asked who was calling. We told him The Pongo Fund. That we were supposed to meet his friend for dog food for Ricky Taco.

He said Ricky Taco had died many years earlier.

His friend was battling some memory issues. Every now and then she had vivid memories of Ricky Taco and she must have been thinking about him when she called us. He apologized for her call. He said she never would have wanted to inconvenience us.

We told him we were not inconvenienced at all.

What we were, was heartbroken. But we didn’t tell him that.

He was such a kind man on the phone. We could tell he was a good friend to Ricky Taco’s Mom.

But all we could think about then was Ricky Taco. For the dog who had crossed the Rainbow Bridge many years earlier. Now we had vivid memories of him too. Of the dog we never met.

We had two dozen cans of wet food ready for Ricky Taco. All his favorites right there, ready to go.

But no Ricky Taco.

One of our Kibble Couriers took the food to a low income apartment building hear her house. She knew there were a lot of dogs there, she’d see them outside all the time.

We could have put the 24 cans back on the shelf for another time.

But there will never be another Ricky Taco.

So in memory of the dog we never knew, a lot of other dogs got to enjoy his favorite dinner.

In loving memory of Ricky Taco.

Because we miss him too.

And this is why we Pongo.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live.

The Pongo Fund / Portland, Oregon