Author Topic: How Could You ....Warning Sad  (Read 2971 times)

Offline doglover

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How Could You ....Warning Sad
« on: August 17, 2006, 07:20:21 am »
How Could You?

A man in Grand Rapids, Michigan took out a $7000 full page ad in the paper to present the
following essay to the people of our community. It  really  touched my heart and I hope it will yours
too.

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
disappointment s, 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 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 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 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. 

Offline horsepoor21

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Re: How Could You ....Warning Sad
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2006, 09:03:30 am »
 :'(  :'(  :'(
-Amy
Moose-Border Collie/Newfoundland rescue
Allie-Newfoundland
Spook-Newfoundland
Whiskey-Arabian
Wolverine-Cockatiel
Polly&Rainbow-Lovebirds (with 3 babies!)
Crush-Painted Turtle

       "Every boy should have two things:
 A dog, and a mother willing to let him have one"

Offline Miranda

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Re: How Could You ....Warning Sad
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2006, 09:14:44 am »
Yeah...that definitely made me cry.
If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.  ~Phil Pastoret

Offline DixieSugarBear

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Re: How Could You ....Warning Sad
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2006, 09:25:55 am »
 :'(
Lisa, owned by the following:
Sugar Bear - Great Pyrenees 4.5 yr.
Dixie Darlin - Great Pyrenees 4 yr.
Penny Lane - Great Pyrenees 2.5 yr.
Beauman - Great Pyrenees 14 months
Izzy - Great Pyrenees 14 month
Rosie - Great Pyrenees (at the bridge)

GR8DAME

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Re: How Could You ....Warning Sad
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2006, 09:33:32 am »
That is the second time I have seen that piece, and it hit equally hard both times. :'(
That should be required reading for anyone dumping a dog at the shelters, and the reliquishers should have to sign that they read it. But the saddest thing of all would be that it wouldn't make a difference...
Stella

Offline lshelley21

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Re: How Could You ....Warning Sad
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2006, 09:38:26 am »
this is my second time as well, and as i sit here and think...it is better that the animals are free rather than sitting in a crate, or being abused in some way. It definitly hits the spot though,i am in a situation where it is my sisters animals, and in all honesty they would be happier off and cross the rainbow the packed with fleas living in a basement. Having their owner not realize that one is so sick and hasn't eating in 2 weeks, and because she doesn't want to purchase flea medicine she will put him to rest, now he is anemic, starving himself to death. I would love to take him but i can't, i told her people would take him... but no. Some times i just don't understand people nor do i want to.  I hope you don't mind i email that to my sister. Hopefully she will take a minute and think about what she has done. Just imagine if that was what we did with people..
Lauren, Jazmine (great dane)
Jazmine's pets:
Calvin (ferret)
Willy (ferret)
Samantha (ferret)
Baxter (ferret)
Ferrets friends:
Shirly and baldamore (geckos)
Gecko's friend:
Big D (fish)

Oh yeah.. my pet.. Matt (hubby)
Our pets are all above

Offline Miranda

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Re: How Could You ....Warning Sad
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2006, 09:39:06 am »
My boyfriend and I actually go rounds about adopting dogs. He wants to adopt a puppy, but I'd rather adopt an adult, because I know hardly anybody else will. He says that if you adopt a senior dog, it's way more money and you can't spend that much time with them before they die, yada yada yada, but I'd much rather give a dog a great life for a couple years than know it's probably going to be put to sleep.
If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.  ~Phil Pastoret

Offline Bella's mom

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Re: How Could You ....Warning Sad
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2006, 08:30:09 pm »
 :'( :'( :'(
I can't stop crying
Tessie - Belladonna's and Mojo's Mom

Offline lshelley21

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Re: How Could You ....Warning Sad
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2006, 02:25:41 am »
Nice thing about MA is that there is only one kill shelter....the others are all non-kill...but is it fair to the dog to sit in a kennel for 2,3,4,5 years? That is a nice life huh? I don't think so.....
Lauren, Jazmine (great dane)
Jazmine's pets:
Calvin (ferret)
Willy (ferret)
Samantha (ferret)
Baxter (ferret)
Ferrets friends:
Shirly and baldamore (geckos)
Gecko's friend:
Big D (fish)

Oh yeah.. my pet.. Matt (hubby)
Our pets are all above

Offline MommaBear

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Re: How Could You ....Warning Sad
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2006, 03:06:58 am »
very sad...I thought about it as I walked with Bear this morning. I can't imagine her going through that...It made me promise myself I will always make time for her no matter where life takes us.

bigdogs@5501

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Re: How Could You ....Warning Sad
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2006, 12:16:16 pm »
I have seen that before and it is not any easier to read again. My daughter works at a shelter. She and several of the others up there make it thier mission to try and point out all of the virtues of the older dogs. And they have succeeded often. I remember her calling me about 3 mos ago- said that there was a Dane that was surrendered- he was about 40 pounds underweight, nervous and in just really bad shape. It was at that point that we agreed- we would take him if it meant that the alternative was that he was to be put to sleep. He had horrible diarhea, so we requested that they determine the reason for the diarhea before we took him home so that we could treat him properly. While waiting for the blood test to come back a lady came to the shelter- said that her Dane was taken from her back yard several months prior and that she was just making the rounds- just hoping- Well he was the only Dane at the facility and he had been a surrender- but the staff figured what the harm? So they led her back to the big guy and he was her missing Dane. They said that as soon as she saw him she started crying and he started barking. She was on the floor with him in her lap, calling her husband on he cell phone in hysterics. They immediatly called thier vet to meet them at the clinic. Maybe the Dane had diarhea because he was so upset that he wasnt with his family? We never requested the results of the blood test. I am convinced that he may have been put to sleep due to his condition had we not stepped in and I am convinced we were just doing the work of a higer entity so that his mom could find him. Trust me- I didnt need another dog, but there is no way that we would have let this guy get put to sleep.