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#229650 - 02/07/07 08:50 PM Your new puppy :)
Scuba-John Offline
From a friend:
When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I "was bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" -- but then you'd relent, and roll me over for a belly rub.

My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love. She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" -- still I welcomed her into our home, tried
to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy.

Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."

As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch -- because your touch was now so infrequent -- and I would have defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their
worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.

Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family. I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness.

You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers."

You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash
with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind -- that this was all a bad dream .. or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room.
A blissfully quiet room.

She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her.

The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay
down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dog speak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself -- a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her.
It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.

May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

The End....

A note from the author...

If "How Could You?" brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly owned pets who die each year in American and Canadian animal shelters. Anyone is welcome to distribute the essay for a noncommercial purpose, as long as it is properly attributed with the copyright notice. Please use it to help educate, on websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards. Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care, that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious.

Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay & neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.

Don Keith Ingram the Desperado
Creating UNIQUE custom homes for the most discerning clients!

Edited by Scuba-John (02/07/07 08:51 PM)

#229700 - 02/08/07 01:25 PM Re: Your new puppy :) [Re: Scuba-John]
Wyoming Carla Offline
I worked at an animal shelter for 3 1/2 years, and I can tell you first hand that this is an exact accounting of what REALLY happens. I did my level best to do my job with compassion, but it was all for the animals. WHen I wanted to leap over the counter at people JUST LIKE THIS, and strangle them, it was time to leave. My job went home with me every night. I couldn't sleep. I became depressed. It's HORRIBLE what stupid, non thinking people do to their own pets; and then expect the shelters to make it all OK....or make it all go away. Euthanizing an animal because of other people's stupidity instead of an illness, is totally one of the toughest things I've ever done, and I've done some tough stuff. PLEASE go to shelters to find new pets. PLEASE spay and neuter. PLEASE don't be one of THOSE people....EVER. PLEASE.

#229706 - 02/08/07 02:21 PM Re: Your new puppy :) [Re: Wyoming Carla]
Debbie Offline
I adopted my sweet little Sadie last July. I knew my son was going off to college and couldn't face being alone in an empty house. I adopted her from the Humane Society, and my trip there was heart breaking. I wanted to take them all home. There were so many that were forlorn, frightened and depressed. Some wouldn't even lift their heads or look you in the eye. Their grief was overwhelming. Sadie came with a written statement. Not only did a pet owner dump her after having had her for several months, but they didn't even bother to drop her off during business hours. They found her tied to the door handle of the facility in the morning when the workers arrived. So she was outside, tied up, and greiving alone all night. This sick person had found her roaming her neighborhood, after her neighbor's dog had puppies. He decided he didn't want her so he just let her loose to fend for herself, and hoped she would just "go away". She was starving. So my poor Sadie didn't have much positive to say about the two sets humans she had known. It never ceases to amaze me at the level of love she gives me with this as her history. We fell in love immediately and I adore her. She loves unconditionally, despite her experiences, and many could take lessons from her.

#229781 - 02/09/07 03:54 PM Re: Your new puppy :) [Re: Debbie]
MALIBU Offline
This is sad but true. I searched for a similar story from a dog awaiting adoption, what he thought of the rescuers who saved him....couldnt' find it.

I am in animal rescue and the reasons we get for people turning in animals is rediculous. The new boyfriend didn't like the dog(s) or cat(s) is a VERY popular one. I have news: that dog will be so much more loyal to you even after the boyfriend dumps you.

I want to do so much to make people aware of adoption, neutering, and making a commitment to their pet so it won't be killed when they take it to the "shelter" because they no longer want to care for it. Especially down here in Houston. I haven't looked at the figures recently but about 1.5 yrs ago we were killing 200 dogs a day in our "shelters". That term shelter must be a northern term, here they should put up a sign that says Death Drop Off. I don't know what the answer is but I am doing everything I can: My group E-Rescue Houston adopted out 519 animals last year!!! I am so proud of us.

The last rescue dog I had (who died of cong heart failure last Oct) was the love of my life. He was nine when he found his forever home with me, didn't have any use for humans because no human had ever shown him love. He knew love before he died a year later though, I made sure of it. I saw him smile with his heart. I miss that little guy. His name was George.

People like you Debbie are wonderful for adopting!

#229786 - 02/09/07 05:39 PM Re: Your new puppy :) [Re: MALIBU]
Debbie Offline
Thanks Malibu, but Sadie is the wonderful one for giving me so much love and joy and keeping me company. She didn't let her experiences extinguish her spirit, and chose to love and trust again. She's pampered, spoiled and Princess of this castle. She listens to everything I talk about, and even watches TV with me. She's even won the hearts of my neighbors!

I'm so sorry you lost your beloved companion, George. I know that has to be a very big hole in your heart. At least he found an angel to show him the way in the end. So many don't. God Bless.

#229800 - 02/09/07 10:22 PM Re: Your new puppy :) [Re: Debbie]
LtoZ Offline
That is a touching story. I admire those that work at animal shelters, it must be painful yet so rewarding on the best of days. One of our kitties we brought home from Mexico, she was 4 wks and left under a tumbleweed, high noon,hot sun and 3 buzzards were flying over her. It appeard that she had been thrown out of a car. That was 16 years ago and she is still with us, she is the sweetest kitty.

#229801 - 02/09/07 10:41 PM Re: Your new puppy :) [Re: LtoZ]
Sun&sand Offline
My heart breaks for the animals who have been considered disposable. The new pedigree ad makes me cry every time it comes on TV. I have three rescued dogs and three rescued cats, would have more if I could. Two of my "kids" are dying, one with lung cancer, the other with heart failure. I spend a fortune on medications, but wouldn't do it any other way. I pledged when I got them, that they would only know love and kindbess, and I haven't broken that pledge. When I rescued my Aussie, she was 2, had never had a squeekie toy, never been off a short chain, hooked to a tree. We vowed never to chain her again, and she has had the free run of 6.5 acres with the help of an E-collar and invisible fencing. The others are running free as well. I wish I had the "constitution" to work with the animals, but it breaks my heart every time one has to be put down, or comes in hurting. I will continue to support our shelters, and praise all of you who do this kind of work. God bless all of you.
Live so that when you arise in the A.M, Satan shudders & says..
'Oh sh t..she's awake!'

#229813 - 02/10/07 12:54 AM Re: Your new puppy :) [Re: Sun&sand]
DitchDocDiver Offline
We picked up our current black lab at a no-kill shelter. He is one of the smartest dogs I have ever seen. We took him to doggie school, and even the instructor that is a pro trainer was impressed with how good of a dog her is. She said we didn't pay for his blood lines, but somebody did!

Not to bad for a dog found tied to the shelter door when the folks arrived in the am. We are sorry that we couldn't take his brother, also tied to the door.

We left some stuff for SAGA on our last visit, I hope everyone helps support some SAGA or some other cause on the island, we consider giving back to the island, and hope that some can pay it forward!
Support Ambergris Caye Emergency Rescue
The life we are trying to save may be a loved one of yours

#229816 - 02/10/07 01:09 AM Re: Your new puppy :) [Re: DitchDocDiver]
Pedro1 Offline
preferably lets put them on a bar-b-q

#229817 - 02/10/07 01:46 AM Re: Your new puppy :) [Re: Pedro1]
KVarner Offline
I have heard a lot about SAGA and what they do for the animals on the island. I admire them a lot.


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