We have had our new pup about 2 months now. It has been a very long and difficult time with the passing of our beautiful girl Nali and with the adoption of our new girl, Shia. Some people don’t agree with getting another pet right away, and I was one of them. The reason we adopted another dog was life decided it for us. Our other girl, Keena was so sad and lonely it just broke our hearts. The house was just too quiet with only one dog, or dog child is more of how we feel.
Around Christmas time we like to step up our donating, especially if we lacked during the year. This year we drove around a nearby town that is known for having more homeless people. I had dog food in hand to give to the homeless people that are amazing enough to care for a dog they have found on their journey. We found actually quite a few this particular day and not only handed out everything we had but we purchased more at a pet store and told them what we were doing. They in return, handed us a big bag of dog treats to pass out as well. So kind and amazing, don’t you think? So we were out again, passing out the dog treats and a little cash we had. We didn’t have much, but we are happy to share. One man remains in my memory. He was very slender, tall with a heavily arched back, white hair and gray beard. He had a small older, Shih tzu and they were both quite dirty. That little dog just looked up at him with love, as he was begging at an intersection in a shopping plaza. It makes me cry just thinking about it again. I got out of the car and handed him a newly bought bag of small dog food and the treats from the store. He clasped his hands in gratitude and bowed his head. He showed his furry companion the dog food and the little fella wagged in anticipation. He gently sat the bag down by his meager pile, of what I am assuming is everything he owned, and gave his dog a place to lay and eat a treat. I honestly don’t like to write or talk about this stuff because it messes with me for a much longer period than it should. Then again, I wish this stuff that… Is Life, would affect more of humankind. Wouldn’t more people would act on their compassion? Instead of stare and pretend it doesn’t exist around them every minute of every day. Maybe we need to pretend it doesn’t happen, so we can live or is that selfishness? I haven’t decided my viewpoint and that could easily change. What I do know is that I want to make a difference and I want to encourage others to do the same.
Oh I almost forgot to tell you how we found Shia. We went to a kill shelter first, yep, where they terminate animals, the local shelter. It is uncomfortable to talk about, but we need to know these things. I wanted to take all of the hundreds and hundreds of sick, coughing, sad, sweet, scared, shaking dogs and cats home. With our limited funds we were just there to donate a bag of food. I saw a dog there who will also remain in my mind forever. He was a beautiful black furry sweet angel, with his face pressed against the cold screen front of the cage. He just wanted to be pet, that is it, to be pet and loved. I was afraid to pet him, because many of the animals there had kennel cough. Of course they denied it. By the way, kennel cough is not a big deal to handle at home. You get a prescription for your new dog and whatever dogs you have at home, cause they will more than likely get it. Ask your vet first. It is like when your kids come home with the flu. You love them, you take care of them, you feed them well and help them rest. They start feeling better and symptoms can subside pretty quick, from the antibiotic. Don’t let kennel cough deter you from adopting, just plan for it. See if your shelter, can start administering antibiotics while in the kennel before you bring them home. Anyway, I ended up petting the black male dog, who was on special for $50 dollars cause he had been there a while. He was fixed and ready to go home. Hubby didn’t want any boy dogs and while he left to go to find someone to help us donate, I wandered. Bad idea, the more I saw the more sad I became. I saw this sweet black lab shaking in the corner of her pen with another brown pit bull mix. The lab had what looked like a broken off tail and a broken tooth. She was emaciated, dehydrated, and showed signs of kennel cough and looked like she was young but had puppies recently. They didn’t give her much time, until, you know. Well I had the volunteer guy take her out when my husband was just walking up. He escorted us to this pathetic gravel yard. There was just gravel surrounded by a wood fence. The girl was so happy to be out she went pee and potty and came over to my face, sniffed me, gave me a kiss on my chin and turned around and sat in my lap. Well we are taking her home, and that was it. It happened so smoothly and serendipitously that it was meant to be. Of course we forgot about donating the food, that is when we bagged it in ziplock bags to hand out to the homeless with dogs. When we were signing papers, another family was signing papers to adopt, and it turned out to be the brown pit bull mix that was her cage mate. That freed up one pen to keep another dog, for a time.
I would like to talk to you about how through trial, error, reading, asking our vet, from others, and time that I have learned and continue to learn how to properly care for my ” kids”. Pets are time consuming. Let me rephrase that, they require time, love, patience, knowledge, acceptance, guidance and responsibility from the pet owner or parent as we see it. They are not there to ward off passerby’s or sit in your yard for all time, or closed off in a tiny room. People who do this are not people, I have another few names for them. This is not humane or responsible. Pets are light and love and companionship. It is a partnership. Think really hard and earnestly…now picture yourself just abused, broken, starving and put in a place that is scary, cold, dark and loud with the cries of other animals. You see people going in and out, you see other animals coming and going. You know something bad is going to happen. You get adopted, you are saved. Or are you? You are put outside tied to a tree for the rest of your life, or put in a laundry room all night without water, no bed. You never see outside the house, your family leaves you in the dark. Will they remember to feed you? You poop in the house because no one lets you out, and they yell at you, or worse. You can’t help it, you need to be let outside, you need walks, love, petting, food, clean wanter, baths, your teeth brushed so you don’t get infections of the mouth or worse. Your owners, eat, drink, bathe, sleep in soft beds, play and go outside. Why can’t you?
They didn’t ask for this life and you wouldn’t want to be abused or neglected, so don’t do it to them.
I hope this hits home and helps some of you, or someone you know. Speak up and love deeply. This is one of the most important things we can do in life, is love, love compassionately, love responsibly, be open and just be good to our pets.