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Old 02-27-2009, 01:53 AM   #1
Anaedilla

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Default "How Could You?"- a story of canine betrayal
I stumbled across this a while back, thought some people might enjoy it. It chokes me up everytime I read it. As far as I know it has not been posted yet, did a search and didn't turn up anything.... so here it is:


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 anymore 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 understood the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to prise 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 realised 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 seperate 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 dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained that 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: Jim Wills, 2001 -- 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 every year in Animal Shelters around the world. Anyone is welcome to distribute the essay for a noncommercial purpose, as long as it is properly attributed. Please use it to help educate, on your websites, in your newsletters, on animal shelters 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 and neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.

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Old 02-27-2009, 02:03 AM   #2
soitlyobserty

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I have read that before and it still brings tears to my eyes... I work at an animal shelter where there are numerous surrenders every day, many because the family is moving.
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:12 AM   #3
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That was pretty sad.
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:35 AM   #4
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I have read that before but I still cry reading it.
How could they do it
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:35 AM   #5
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OMG! I don't even know how I am able to write this with the tears still blurring my vision! I cannot even tell you how much that touched me, as a 1st time dog owner I can tell you truthfully that I have never really wanted the responsibility of taking care of a pet, but when Gigi walked into our lives off the streets, without a collar or tags, dirty, shaking and hungry, I just knew that it was time to add a wonderful little puppy to our family! It has only been a month since that day, and I can again, honestly say that she is the best thing has happened to us in a very long time. We don't have any children and I never ever thought I would love a dog so much, but she is not just a dog, she is our family too! I just cannot even imagine the pain of having to give her up, I just don't even want to think of it! Thank you for the posting, I had never read that before, and I look back on everything now, and I am so glad I waited until I really felt responsible enough to care for this sweet creature! So sad when people don't think about the big picture when it comes to dogs they are wonderful sensitive animals that give love and deserve love and respect back! I am STILL crying as i finish this up! Sorry for my rant!
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:13 AM   #6
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I've read it before, I can't read it again.... I started and had to stop. I have gotten 2 of my dogs at the Humane Society. My girl Sheaba back in 86, had her 14 yrs, she was only 4 weeks old when I got her, in a cage with 10 pups and no mother.

I got my boy Maxx at the Humane Society back in 98, they estimated him to be about a year and a half to 2 yrs old. Some one had left him tied to their fence. I can't imagine this sweet boy watching his family drive away and thinking "How could you leave me here in this place, alone, scared, tied to a fence"..... It still brings tears to my eyes.

Maxx has had a good life, I've had him 10 years now, he's getting old, has a hard time getting up and down in the winter months. But he sleeps inside when it's cold or raining, and he comes inside where it's cool when it's hot outside. He's had a pretty good life, and I love him dearly. I can't imagine how anyone could get an animal, only to take it to the HS in the middle of the night, and leave it tied to a fence. I wish I could rescue them all.
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:22 AM   #7
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Like MN, I have read it before and cannot read it again.

I have two beloved dogs here (Esperanza and Trusty) that were dumped on the street; presumably, their respective former owners could not even find the time to take them to one of our numerous shelters.
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:48 AM   #8
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I can't imagine how anyone could get an animal, only to take it to the HS in the middle of the night, and leave it tied to a fence. I wish I could rescue them all.
At least they left him someplace where someone would take him in. My Molly at 4 months old, was dumped in the middle of nowhere in January in -10F. She had a littermate when they dumped her but it got killed by a car. If anyone had seen her in a pasture with their cattle they would have shot her on sight.

I'd have more respect for someone who just took an unwanted puppy out and shot it than someone who would dump one out on the side of the road. It happens here all the time too.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:53 AM   #9
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Well that just made me cry. Karie came over and kissed my tears away. Karie came to me because her owner couldn't keep her anymore and I agreed to find her a home...well I did find her one, here with us. I couldn't bear to part with her and I was afraid of what might happen to her with someone else. She'll have a home with us the rest of her life.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:28 AM   #10
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I have read this before, and it made me sob then and made me sob now. I am so thankful we went to the SPCA when we did otherwise we never would have gotten our Jersey.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:44 AM   #11
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well my dogs are my fam. they go where i go i mean thats just that there is always away around leaving your dog in a shelter even if you got to sneak them in you know to your new home it is just a risk you will have to take .
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:02 AM   #12
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I ,too have read this before and could not read it today. Just seeing it again had tears in my eyes. I don't unferstand how anyone can take a dog , keep it awhile and just get rid of it. All of my dogs are ones people decided to get rid of. They never have to fear being abandoned again. I hurt for all the shelter animals.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:04 AM   #13
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My poor Coulter wasn't taken to the shelter, he was left at a soccer field in the middle of a Texas summer. When I found him, the kids practising there said he'd been there over a week by himself - living out of trash cans, etc. He was still wearing his collar (choke chain), I called the number on the tag and was told that if I wanted him, he was mine. He was 'too much' for them to handle. He was approx 10 mos old. They thought he could find a home with someone from the soccer fields. He was so sick when I managed to get him home. I placed him up for adoption, but less than 6 months later, he showed me just what an 'unwanted/unloved' dog was good for as he protected me from a larger dog intent on biting my face. Coulter will be with me until the day he dies - hopefully a very long time from now. I wish people could see just what/who they are throwing away. It just breaks my heart. I am going to give my Colt a huge hug when I get off work.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:04 PM   #14
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God bless MN and all of you on here that have opened your hearts and your homes to dogs from shelters and all unwanted dogs.
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:18 AM   #15
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Sad.

Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay and neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.
I don't see how spay/neutering would prevent unwanted animals. Irresponsible owners that are not willing to make the lifelong commitment of the animals' life will still purchase them.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:18 AM   #16
Anaedilla

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By spaying/neutering your animal you are ensuring that no litters will come by accident, which a person will more then likely have no plan for. Now throw in expenses for caring for these pups and the situation may become way too expenseive for most people. This may force people to allow their pups to go to people, who they may not be entierly confident of their commitment to the dog they are receving, which is where the irresponsible owners come in.

So by allowing an accident litter to occur you have contributed to the problem. Now obviously a responsible owner would never let this happen......

When spaying/neutering has much more positive then negative implications for the dogs health and personality and if you have no intentions of breeding, why not spay/neuter and insure accidents never happen? If there is no pup that must be gotten rid of due to not having a home for it (un-planned litters) then there will be no opportunity for an irresponsible owner to get their hands on a dog. IMO.

To each their own though.....
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:16 AM   #17
attishina

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By spaying/neutering your animal you are ensuring that no litters will come by accident, which a person will more then likely have no plan for. Now throw in expenses for caring for these pups and the situation may become way too expenseive for most people. This may force people to allow their pups to go to people, who they may not be entierly confident of their commitment to the dog they are receving, which is where the irresponsible owners come in.

So by allowing an accident litter to occur you have contributed to the problem. Now obviously a responsible owner would never let this happen......

When spaying/neutering has much more positive then negative implications for the dogs health and personality and if you have no intentions of breeding, why not spay/neuter and insure accidents never happen? If there is no pup that must be gotten rid of due to not having a home for it (un-planned litters) then there will be no opportunity for an irresponsible owner to get their hands on a dog. IMO.

To each their own though.....
I agree with spay/neuter is a good thing. But in that example it uses that story and ends with that statement. Regardless, whether that dog is spayed or neutered, that dog was doomed. I would say I live in a above avg income area that is mostly condos/apts; I hear this same story too many times. And it sucks for the dog!
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:13 AM   #18
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I have had to move several times in my baby girl's life, but never would go without her! I did have to leave her with my parents when I went through boot camp and then again when I went on deployment overseas. But she was my baby! As soon as I returned she was with me again. (My parents even brought her with them to meet me on the pier when my ship pulled back in from deployment.)

I've never understood how someone's pet can be "just a dog". I had to make the VERY difficult decision to put my baby girl to sleep a little more than a week ago (she had deteriorated from an inoperable brain tumor). The day I found out she had a brain tumor one of the officers I work with said to me, "It's just a dog. Throw it away and get a new one. It's not worth crying over." I couldn't believe he could say that to me!! I was furious! I've seen this posted elsewhere & I always cry. My dogs mean the world to me and I can't imagine ever choosing to give them up.
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