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Old 02-13-2007, 01:23 PM  
Lzen Lzen is offline
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How Could You?

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 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 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 dog speak, 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 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.
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:25 PM   #2
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:26 PM   #3
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:28 PM   #4
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:33 PM   #5
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Pet:How could you?
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:36 PM   #6
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:36 PM   #7
Gonzo Gonzo is offline
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:41 PM   #8
Lzen Lzen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dartgod
Hog Farmer will be along to comment soon.
Eh, I just tend to ignore his comments. BTW, here is the latest pic of my boxer pups. It's amazing how Arrow outweighs Sofie by 10 lbs yet they are from the same litter.
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:43 PM   #9
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:46 PM   #10
chagrin chagrin is offline
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Awesome that you are trying to bring attention to the plight, Lzen, allow me to add this one:

Elliot: The Life of a Feral Cat.

I am Elliot
A child born to Momma one sunny June morning in a barn
I am that cute little Tuxedo kitten you saw at the shelter behind bars
I am the one you could not resist, the one with a single tear shaped patch of white under the right eye

I am Elliot
Child of a farmer's daughter
The one he without remorse gunned down 5 weeks after she brought us into this world
The one who fed us then killed my sister Sasha and brothers Troy and Sir
I am the one that escaped quietly as I heard the cries of my siblings echoing from the garage that Sunday morning

I am Elliot
The motherless child the neighbor took to the shelter.
The one they found distraught and broken under the porch
I am the one you promised to love forever and care for

I am Elliot
Remember that beautiful Tuxedo kitten you fell so deeply in love with
Love at first sight you promised me a life, security, shelter and food
I am the one you nestled with in front of the fire during the bitter Winter months

I am Elliot
Your star child. Mommy? Do you remember today's date?
I am two years of age today
Can I visit you? Throw me a few bits of decent food

I am Elliot
I roam from field to barn
Chased by coyote and dogs
Kicked in the ribs, grabbed by the scruff and thrown face first on gravel roads
Shot at, pushed, hit, spat at, degraded and yelled at
The old woman tried feeding me poison once

I am Elliot
Lately, I have very little strength to fight for the bits of mice
I have hunted in the canola field behind the old abandoned barn
The younger tomcats, strutting their lush furs for any female
Shoving, pushing, stealing my claim
Once upon a day I was a prize fighter, a lady's man

I am Elliot
Fur dirty, matted
Skin hangs from under my left eye from hitting gravel
My teeth are broken
I was beautiful once; such silky hair and bright emerald green eyes

I am Elliot
My body has weakened
Food means little to me now; what I can keep down
I am feverish; in constant pain; swollen belly
I have nightmares; My sleep restless

I am Elliot
For the first time I slept in peace
I felt this cool wet nose push against my cheek
And the warm touch of a tongue
There she was; Sasha.
The most beautiful yellow eyes
Long beige flowing hair and still she remained such a sweet tiny girl
She looked deep into my eyes with quiet understanding
And spoke to me as only cats communicate with one another
There, behind her, sat Momma
Many I have had the pleasure of meeting
But this Calico angel; this farmer's daughter; crying....
And at her feet, Troy and Sir sleeping peacefully
Twin orange tabbies
How I remember the four of us chasing each other while Momma watched over us
"Elliot" such sweet music. How I missed that voice
"Momma; why did that man do this?"
"Elliot. It's of no importance now. You are tired my son. You are feverish, your cough is much worst and the light in those emerald greens I have loved forever has dimmed."
"I am sorry Momma. For running away that day; for losing the fight; for...."
"Hush Elliot. All is well. Sasha?" "Momma?" "Come join your brothers"
Then, with such grace Momma came to me
How soft and warm her coat felt close to me
"Elliot"
"Yes Momma"
"Close your eyes baby; it's time"

I am Elliot
I leave to you my last breath
I give to you one last look
Look deep; the last of Momma's legacy dims slowly from this existence
I am so tired. I don't see very well right now
I am trying to hold on dearly
Perhaps by chance someone will find me
Give me that second chance my family never had

I am Elliot
Please, remember this name
Please, offer my resting body a proper burial
Do not leave me lying here amidst the insects and dirt

I am Elliot
More will come like myself
Broken, orphaned, abandoned
There are many of us
Next time you meet one of us
One who is ravaged by hunger, illness, despair
Remember these emerald green eyes that once pierced the night and drew rainbows in the sky
Next time one of us comes to you for love and shelter
Let them whisper my name to you as you sleep

I am Elliot
It is getting so dark
My paws twitch with uncontrollable fits
I am tired
I hurt
It is so dark

From "John" (All content (c)Jean Boileau - Loving the Feral Soul Inc.):

John has over a decade of caring for feral cats. He is working on a book called Loving the Feral Soul which is a very personal look at his life as a caregiver and the lives of feral cats. It's by no means a technical book but a personal journey. His plans for the proceeds are for more traps, more public outreach, a better facility to care for them. This is just a sample of what will be in the book. He is just one of thousands of caring people who care for feral cats. The huge numbers of feral cats is aggravated by people not spaying and neutering their cats Many of the resulting kittens will be abandoned before they are altered and the problem just gets worse.
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:55 PM   #11
Saulbadguy Saulbadguy is offline
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"I grab a dog...and I CHOKE him! I kick the shit out of him!"

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Old 02-13-2007, 01:56 PM   #12
Simply Red Simply Red is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lzen
Eh, I just tend to ignore his comments. BTW, here is the latest pic of my boxer pups. It's amazing how Arrow outweighs Sofie by 10 lbs yet they are from the same litter.
I actually have 5-dogs and they're all small and white n fluffy.One Shipoo, One Shitszu, One Lhasa Apso, One Maltese, and One poodle.

I truly love them, they are so cute. I don't like to tell a room full of men this though. So if you wouldn't mind lets keep this a secret. Besides my wife is the guilty one.
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:58 PM   #13
Simply Red Simply Red is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saulbadguy
"I grab a dog...and I CHOKE him! I kick the shit out of him!"

"That's my pleaaaaaaaaaaasure!"
Fugger! More humans are deserving of that.

My pleasure is chocking your mom while smacking her ass-cheeks with a rolling pin...
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:26 PM   #14
Nzoner Nzoner is offline
a haw haw haw
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saulbadguy
"I grab a dog...and I CHOKE him! I kick the shit out of him!"

"That's my pleaaaaaaaaaaasure!"
I've got a quote too


"You fock with my dogs,you fock with me!"
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:34 PM   #15
angel angel is offline
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you know what else breaks my heart?
That new commercial for pedigree with all the cute dogs in the shelters.

http://www.pedigree.com/dogadoption/commercial.asp
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