How Could You? A Pet's Story By Jim Willis 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'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 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. I had to hold a tear back while I was reading this.
It did make me feel a little sick to the stomach. I get teary eyed when I see a dog jogging with its owner. I'm thinking of all the dogs that are tied to a pole in the back yard all of their lives, and have no outside stimulation. One of my neigbours told me his dog commited suicide by jumping over the fence while still on a chain leash.He spent his whole life outside . The dog hung himself. Of course the dog didn't commit suicide, he was just trying to escape. But I guess he sort of did escape.
I find it very hard to respond to the post.....cant find the keys to type for all the tears...is so sad....reminds me of Duke a german shepard we took in....My husband said we could never do a thing with him...I told him...thats right...and we dont need to....just love him and he'll do just fine...and he did....he lived out the rest of his life fishing with me...sledding...gardening....even rat chasing when my husband brush hogged...He lived to be 13...about three when we got him...His other owner kept him tied up to a pole and used him for a punching bag when he had parties....Husband was on patrol and saw him in the act...needless to say the owner faced a stiff fine and charges....Duke was almost hairless...boney...no shine in his eyes...But in time and lots of love and attention he had become a very loving and gental old boy...always wondered if he ever remembered the horror he came out of....I like to think not....
Oh.I better correct myself...misunderstandings and all......He chased rats not eat,lick,bit,ect....no harm...no holes to fall in while he was chasing them...no risk of heat stroke...kept him in from the run when it was hot...humid...rainy....He had to have some fun with his dad...there think I covered it all......lol......if not...OH LIKE WELL....
thanks Chili Pepper...that was lovely. My 2 Golden Retrievers (11 and 17 months) are my babies, as is my 4 year old personality disordered cat (lol). My husband and I just could not give them up for anything in this world.
I know i would make a decision around my dog u know i mean if they offered that job to me and there was no apartment that allowed dogs i would not take it i mean i couldnt live without my dog and you bought the dog you have to take care of it you are the only thing to take care of the dog i mean dont buy a dog unless you can take it everywere if you must move i mean come on i have a really big opinion on that
It is a beautiful story that shows you to not dessert your dog or cat. Please guys, tell more people on this forum to come because not very many people are coming...So if you go on another board can you tell them about this? I just want as many people as possible to read this. The first time I read it I tried to hold back a tear... The saddest part of the story(besides the euthanization part)was when it said that she was happy when she got into the car and when she saw the pound, and when she said "They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago." The overall thing was sad...but it teaches a valuable lesson that can be passed on...
Tears formed in my eyes and nearly started down my cheeks. It struck a chord in my heart because it reminded me of our family cocker spaniel that we had to have euthanised due to blindness, deafness, pain, and problems that occured. It's very painful to think about b/c in a way she'll never leave.
Chilli Pepper, I did not want to read it all at first because I was already crying during the first paragraph. I hate it when people do not take responsibility for their pets. I f they are not going to responsible then they do not deserve them. Pets are like children they are a life long responsibility. They need love and attention! THis was a good story. I couldn't stop reading once I got started because I wanted to see what happened to the dog. It was so heartbreaking.
man, that is so sad.but it hits the nail on the head!!!! its sad to say but this stuff happens all the time.i fell so sorry for these "beloved pets" to put off for that reason or any "stupid" reason!!i would have tried my best to find that dog a home if i knew i had to give it up before i moved.i will not give up my" pitties" , unless it was the last resort.especillaly if they are part of the family. i have to say i cried when i read this story.its so sad.
ok, i am still crying. i just can't handle stories like this, and reminded me of when we had to put our big girl down a year ago this month. she actually came to us to let us know it was time, but it was the hardest thing i ever had to do. working at a vet clinic, i see this every day and learn how to control my emotions (some) i've gotten better, but when it is your own it is the hardest thing a family has to do. i know she is safe now and hopefully one day i will be with her.
People are so willing to adopt pets and just give them up when they don't work out. You never really think about the dog's feelings or the consequences of your actions. It's not like buying a cd and returning it because it wasn't what you wanted. If it makes anyone feel better, I just watched a show about an abandoned mastiff with behavioral problems who almost got put to sleep, but then got adopted by a family willing to work with him through anything.