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Want to shed some tears and provoke some thought?  Read the following stories:

YOUR DOG

The years go so very fast and before you know it that romping pup is old and grey muzzled and they have sat by our sides while we read, watch TV, and work on our computers. Every so often they come and lay their heads in our laps, toss our elbow with their muzzle or gaze into our eyes and wait for us to notice them. Take a moment now to commune.

I am your dog, and I have a little something I'd like to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise. It always seems like you are running here and running there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life.

Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours? They are slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The gray hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle. You smile at me; I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time? That is all I ask. To slow down, if even for a few minutes, to be with me.

So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of others of my kind, passing. Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land. I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just "one more day" with me. Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me.

We have NOW, together. So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes. What do you see? If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come to me not as "alpha" or as "trainer" or even "Mom or Dad," come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another's eyes and talk. I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general.

You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with. Someone very different from you, and here I am. I am a dog, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a "Dog on two feet" -- I know what you are and who you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

Now, come sit with me, on the floor. Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes. Look deep into my eyes, and whisper into my ears. Speak with your heart, with your joy, and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow, but we do have today, and life is oh so very short. So please--come sit with me now and let us share these precious moments we have together.


Love, on behalf of canines everywhere.
Your Dog
Author Unknown

"Interview at the Dog Pound"

by: Sally Hull

As a journalist, I decided to go to the dog pound, and interview some of the "inmates". I wanted to know what it was like in there from their perspective. What follows is not for the faint of heart.

I entered the building, and one of the workers accompanied me to the holding area. This is where dogs are kept before they are allowed up for adoption.IF they are allowed up for adoption. If the dogs are found to be aggressive in any way, euthanasia is employed. Fortunately, if "fortunately" is the word to be used here.this is a Canadian establishment, and they use lethal injection, not a gas chamber.

The pound worker led me past a big steel door that says "Employees Only". "What is in there?" I asked. From the look he gave me, I knew that this is where dogs go in, and never return.
We moved on to a row of kennels. The dogs were barking loudly, there was the acrid smell of urine and feces, and a feeling of despair seemed to permeate the room.
"Go ahead," the worker said. "They're all yours."

PETEY

I looked into the first kennel, and saw only the back of a medium sized dog who was curled up in the corner of his kennel, shivering. He was mostly white, with some black spots. "Hello?" I said. "May I come in?" He lifted his head, as though it weighed more than he could bear. When he looked at me, I could see he was a Pitbull. His eyes were gentle, but filled with grief. "Enter," was all he said.
I stepped in, closing the gate behind me. He put his head back down, facing away from me. I crouched down a few feet away.
"My name is Pete. Petey my Master called me," he said, still not looking at me.
"Why are you here Pete?" I asked.
"I am here because Master cannot afford to move to another province. I am here because someone with power said I am vicious, and a killer. Someone who never met me. Master took me for a walk one day, and some lady started to scream when she saw me. I got frightened, and barked at her. The dog police came, and they took me away. I have been with Master for 10 years. The last time I saw him, he just held me and cried. He kept telling me he was sorry. I worry for him. Whatever will he do without me?" Pete shivered even more. A tear slid down my face. I am supposed to remain objective, but this was wrong.so wrong.
"Thank you Pete." I said. He said nothing as I got up and left his kennel.

Popper

The kennel next to Pete's held a very young looking dog. Pure Border Collie by my guess. He stood on his hind legs, looking at me through the gate.
"Hello. My name's Popper. He tilted his head. "Are you here to take me home?"
"No, I'm sorry," I replied. "But I would like to talk with you."
"Sure. What would you like to talk about?"
"Popper, how did you come to be in this place?" I asked.
Popper dropped down from the gate, with a perplexed look on his face. He walked to the back of the kennel, then back to the front. I noticed he had one blue eye, and one brown. He was quite beautiful. His black and white coat was shiny and thick.
"I am not certain WHY I am here. I think maybe my family will come back for me. They bought me when I was only 6 weeks old. I remember they said how smart Border Collies are, and how it would be so easy to train me. They were very excited at first. The little ones played with me all the time. But the trouble with little Masters is, they refuse to stay in a group. I constantly had to nip their heels to keep them together." He looked confused. "Why won't they stay in a group?" he sighed. "So I did what I thought I should do. I am not quite sure why the little ones screamed when I did my job, but they did, and the Masters got very angry at me. They also got angry when I had to relieve myself, and did so in the house. I am not sure where they expected me to go. All they said was that I was the smartest breed in the world, and I should just KNOW better. Then they left me in the yard for a month or so. I got bored a lot, and I dug holes in the grass. The next thing I knew, the
Masters brought me here."
Popper jumped back up on the gate, his white paws protruding through the links. He looked at me with his lovely eyes, and asked "Will you please let them know I want to come home? Please tell them I promise I will be good?"
"I will Popper," I said.

Spartan

My heart was breaking. I was beginning to regret coming here, but their stories had to be told. I moved along. The next dog I saw looked to be easily 100 lbs., a Rottweiler. He was handsome indeed, except for the scars on his face and back. He tilted his head, and looked me right in the eyes.
"Hello. Who are you?" he asked.
"I am a reporter," I replied. "May I speak with you for a little while?"
"Most certainly. My name is Spartan. You can come in, I won't bite," he said.
"Thank you Spartan. I will."
I entered his kennel, reached out and stroked his giant head. He made a loud grumbling noise, and closed his eyes.
"Spartan, why are you here?"
Before he could answer my question, he was suddenly in the grip of a nasty coughing spasm. It sounded painful.
"Please excuse me," he said when it passed. "Kennel cough. It seems all of us who come in here get it.
"Why am I here? Well, about two years ago, I was born in the backyard of some person I can't even recall. I had 11 brothers and sisters. I recall a day when a big man came and gave that person some money, and took me away from my mother. They had to chain her up, as she was very angry that he took me. They chained her and beat her. I came to know the man by the name of Jim. I overheard him telling his friends that I would grow up to be big and mean like my mother. But as I grew older, all I wanted to do was play and be friends with everyone. Jim said I needed to be taught how to be mean, so he chained me up in the yard. No more house for me, he said, I was too spoiled. When people came by to visit, I was so happy to see them. I wanted them to come and play. But that made Jim angry, so he beat me with sticks and chains. When he came near, I would roll onto my back so he would know I wasn't a bad dog. That made him beat me more." Spartan's eyes clouded with grief. "Then he
brought me here."
I reached out and stroked Spartan's massive gentle head once more. "I am so sorry Spartan. Some people are just plain evil." I gave him a kiss and left his kennel. As I walked away, Spartan called out, "What will happen to me, nice lady?"
I shook my head. "I can't say Spartan. Maybe someone kind will come and get you. We can only hope."

Patsy

I walked a little further down. I could see a shape moving at the back of the next kennel. "Hello?" I called out. Suddenly the shape lunged at the gate in a fury, barking and gnashing its teeth. I stumbled backwards, and crashed into an adjacent kennel. The other dogs began barking loudly and jumping at their gates.
"Don't go near her," a small female voice came from behind me. "She's mad."
I gathered myself back together, and saw a little Jack Russell Terrier behind me.
"Thanks for the warning," I was still trembling. Across the way, the other dog, apparently a Husky and German Shepherd cross, was glaring at me, lips curled back revealing brown stained teeth. Her ribs and hips showed through her dull, matted grey coat.
The little dog invited me into her kennel, and I gladly went in.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Patsy." The little brown and white dog held a paw up to the gate in greeting.
"My owner surrendered me. She said she wanted a cute little dog like the one on the TV show, Frasier. She didn't bother to look into the type of dog I am." Patsy heaved a sigh.
"I suppose she expected me to just lie about and only need a short walk each day, just like Eddie, but my energy was so high that I needed to run and play." She glanced at her surroundings. "Now I am here. I suppose it could be worse. I could be like.her." Patsy looked towards the still growling dog across the way.
"What happened to make her so vicious?" I asked.
"From what we could gather," she replied. "she was found tied in a back yard. She only had a three foot chain. Some days there was no water. Rarely was there any food. One day a nice neighbour came by and brought her some meat. By then it was too late. She was already mad. She broke off her chain, and bit the poor man badly. We know she will be going behind the steel door. I am sad to say, I think it will be best. Perhaps then she will know some peace."
Just then, the door at the end of the building opened, and a woman stepped inside. All the dogs began to bark wildly, then one by one, they went quiet. I whispered to Patsy, "Who is that? Why have all the dogs gone quiet?"
Patsy breathed deeply through her little nose, and closed her eyes. "SHE is a Rescuer. Can't you smell it?" she asked.
"Smell what?" I was confused.
"Compassion. Love. Sorrow. It emanates from her pores. She is here for one of us, but nobody knows who just yet." Patsy looked hopeful.
The Rescuer moved from kennel to kennel, looking at each dog. I sat quietly watching. I could see tears in her eyes as she made eye contact with each one. She stopped at Spartan's cage and spoke quietly to him.
"No more beatings my man. No more. You are coming with me. From here on in, it's all going to get better." The Rescuer produced a leash, opened the kennel door, and took Spartan away. As he walked beside her, his little stubby tail wagged with delight.
Patsy sighed again. I could see the disappointment in her eyes, and it grieved me. They all had the same look, as they watched The Rescuer depart.
"I am so sorry Patsy," I said in a whisper. "But you are a little dog, and everyone loves little dogs. I am convinced you will be rescued soon." Patsy's brown eyes twinkled at me, a little bit of hope returning.

I had heard and seen enough. I needed to tell people how it was for these unfortunate creatures. They were all here through no fault of their own. I stood to leave. I passed by many other dogs I did not interview, looking at each one, wishing I could take them all home with me and give them the love they deserved.
I stood by the door taking one last glance back, when it opened, and one of the pound workers came in. His face was drawn and sad. He walked by without a word, and stopped at Pete's kennel. I heard him take a deep breath, then he paused, and opened the kennel door. The words were muffled, but I am sure I heard him say "I'm sorry old boy."
He came out, with Petey in tow. The old dog's head hung down in resignation, and they both disappeared behind the big steel door.

Copyright
Sally Hull
July 6th/2006
 

 

My dogs lives here
 

My dogs live here, they're here to stay.
 you don't like pets, be on your way.
they share my home, my food, my space
this is their home, this is their place.

You will find dog hair on the floor,
they will alert you're at the door.
they may request a little pat, 
a simple 'no' will settle that.

It gripes me when I hear you say
'just how is it you live this way?
they smell, they shed, they're in the way..'
 WHO ASKED YOU? is all I can say..

They love me more than anyone,
my voice is like the rising sun,
they merely have to hear me say
'C'mon , time to go and play'.

Then tails wag and faces grin,
 they bounce and hop and make a din. 
They never say 'no time for you',
they're always there, to GO and DO.

And if I'm sad? They're by my side
 and if I'm mad? they circle wide
 and if I laugh, they laugh with me
 they understand, they always see.

So once again, I say to you
 come visit me, but know this too..

My dogs live here, they're here to stay.
you don't like pets, be on your way.
they share my home, my food, my space 
this is their home, this is their place..

------------ Author Unknown

HOW COULD YOU?

By Jim Willis, 2001
 

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 his community:

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 tomeet 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 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.

Jim Willis

Untitled

Author: unknown

Melissa sat on the floor, unable to sit straight and tall like her mother had always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be impossible. And tomorrow... it probably wouldn't be possible then either. Her mind was too busy thinking about the dog that lay across her lap.

When he came to be with her, he had no name. She remembered that day very well. The first sight of him was enough to break her heart into little pieces.

The woman, who had taken this dog from the rough streets where he had lived, had tried to save him because she was unable to watch this young dog find his own food in a dumpster outside the crack house where he lived.
Nobody cared that he was gone.

His fur was very thick; so thick that she had to wiggle her fingers down to feel his bony body. And as she pulled her fingers away again, they were coated in old dirt. Black and white, he was supposed to be. But on that day he was beige and dust.

He sat in the back of her car panting continuously, ears laid outward for he had lost his courage and couldn't keep them proud and tall. He sat motionless, waiting and limp.

But the thing that was the most disturbing was the look in his eyes. They were quiet eyes, sunken into his head - and they watched her. They were alive with thought. He was waiting for her to do something "to" him.

Little did he know at the time that, instead, she would "give" something to him. She gave him one of the little broken pieces of her heart.

She reached out to stroke his head and he instinctively squinched his eyes shut and dropped his head, waiting for the heavy hand. With that little bit of movement she gave him another one of the broken pieces of her heart.

She took him home and gave him a bath. She toweled him dry and brush some order back into his coat. For that, he was grateful and even though his own heart was loaded with worms, he accepted yet another piece of her heart, for it would help to heal his own.

"Would you like some water, big boy?" She whispered to him as she set down a large bowl of cold well water. He drank it up happily. He had been dehydrated for a long time and she knew it would take him most of the week to
re-hydrate.

He wanted more water - but it was gone. Ah... that's how it is, he thought to himself. But he was grateful for what he had been able to get. "Would you like some more?" and she gave him another bowl along with another little piece of her heart.

"I know that you are hungry. You don't have to find your own food anymore. Here's a big bowl of good food for you. I've added some warm water and a little piece of my heart."

Over the four months that he stayed with her, his health improved. The heart full of worms was replaced piece by piece with little bits of her loving heart. And each little piece worked a very special kind of magic.

When the warmth of love and gentle caresses are added, the little broken pieces knit together again and heal the container it resides in. That container becomes whole again.

She watched each little broken piece fill a gap in the gentle dog until his quiet eyes radiated the light from the little pieces. You see, kind words gently spoken turn the little pieces into illumination for the spirit that
resides within.

He rested beside her, happy to be with her always. Never had he known such kindness, such gentle caresses; such love. His health had returned, his spirit was playful as a young dog's should be and he had learned about love.

Now his heart was full. The healing was complete. It was time to go. There was another person who had another heart that was meant to be shared with him.

So she sat shapeless on the floor because all the broken pieces of her heart were with the dog. It is difficult to sit tall when your heart is not with you. She wrapped her arms around the dog that sat with tall, proud ears
for her. Lean on me, he said.

And she gave him one last thing that would keep him strong; that wouldkeep the pieces of her heart together long after he had gone on to live his new life. She gave him her tears and bound them to the pieces with a simple
statement made from the ribbons of her heart.

"I love you, Joe."

And Joe lived happily ever after.

Melissa sat on the floor, straight and tall like her mother had always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be possible. And tomorrow... it probably would be possible too. Because her mind was busy
thinking about this, the next dog that lay across her lap.

Where did she get the heart to help yet another dog, you ask?

Ahhh... it came with the dog. They always bring a little bit of heart with them. And when the rescuer breathes in that little bit of heart, it quickly grows and fills the void left by the last dog.
 

For more information contact:

vom Drakkenfels

Kimberly Cardona

Rottweiler Breeder, Show Handler and Trainer

Polk City, Florida
(407) 460-0089

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