A Must Read for Pet lovers...

Discussion in 'Pets' started by Cad-z, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Cad-z

    Cad-z New Member

    I got this email a few years ago and have kept it in my mail box since.

    I have two dogs myself and love them as a part of my family...and would NEVER give them up...for the world...

    I hope everyone who ever does own a pet or is in the midst of thinking whether or not to get a pet...considers how much responsibility it is to have one. It's not just for fun and depending on the pet, it can be the next 10-20 years of your life.....it's a long term commitment!!!

    See below:

    If anything every touched me more, this did, and I hope that all of
    you that read it will pass it on because our pets are our family and
    this happens just too many times and truly moves me beyond words.

    HOW COULD YOU?

    By Jim Willis, 2001

    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 bellyrub.

    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've 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 that 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 dogspeak, 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 directed at you, My
    Beloved Master, I was thinking of you. I will think of you and wait
    for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so
    much loyalty.

    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 & 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 your 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.

    Jim Willis
     

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