It saddens me to see how narcissistic we have become as a society. Everything has to be at our “convenience.” We really don’t deserve the many gifts on this planet. We use and abuse and then discard. Landfills are filled with broken stuff and nursing homes with broken old folks.
Children walk the streets and there just aren’t enough foster families for the unwanted or needy ones. Why should we be surprised that 10,000 cats and dogs are destroyed hourly across the nation? Everything has become disposable, especially if it takes time and effort to “fix.”
For three consecutive days, I’ve noticed posts on Facebook from three unrelated rescue organizations about “returned dogs.” All of them cited “no time” as reasons for returning. I’ve also listened to owners surrendering their dogs because of kennel cough, not housetrained, barks, has ticks, diarrhea.
Just like with everything else in our lives, we want the “perfect” dog and if somehow he or she does not live up to our “standards,” we get rid of him or her.
Little Miss Sunshine was one of the first dogs I pulled from “death row” at Roswell Animal Control. I adopted her to be part of my family, and she is adored by all. I have had at least three offers from people who wanted to “adopt” her from me because she’s so cute. . . offers not even remotely considered. When I tell a dog he or she can stay, it’s a done deal . . . for life.
The pound is full of cute dogs if you can just look past the matted hair, the emaciation, the fear in their eyes, and especially if you can get past your own prejudicial thinking that there’s something wrong with shelter dogs. You, too, could find your “Sunshine” there if you were willing to invest a little bit of time, love and patience.
Our dogs are so grateful for whatever time we give them, and they don’t ask for much. Sadly for those of us who love and understand dogs, they only live a fraction of our lifetime. How quickly ten years go by.
Perfection is relative, what does it really mean and who has the right to say that this or that is “perfect?” In my book it’s a despicable term, especially when referring to a living being. Every one of my dogs is “perfect.” I’ve had to invest a little more time and effort in some, but so what. I love to teach and dogs are excellent students . . much better than many of today’s teenagers! Besides that, I love them, and if they have found their way into my life, they deserve my time and my love.
Lydia, one of my adopted rescue dogs, was extremely fearful for quite a while. One day, something frightened her and she slipped under the fence and out of the yard. I spent the day driving the roads and calling her name. In my heart, though, I felt that she wouldn’t have gone far (and she hadn’t) but it didn’t help that feeling that comes with “she’s gone . . . maybe forever.” Dozens of scenarios crossed my mind. But when I turned and saw her waiting for me at the door, I will never forget the pure joy that ran through every fiber of my being. There’s nothing like that feeling of a second chance, a lost treasure finally found, a life brought back from the brink of death, a friend returning home.
Maybe for just a day, a “magic wand” could swish away every dog on the planet. What would it be like to live in a world without a single dog? Maybe if we could imagine that, there would be no need for a shelter system. The human species spent 3000 years cultivating the “perfect partner” and now they are simply taken for granted, ignored and tossed away like a worthless commodity. How many would notice or care that they were gone? How different would our lives be for just that one day?
Then, with that same magic wand, when our dogs did reappear, they would become the “lost treasures returned to us” and would never again be unloved, unappreciated or thrown away.
Maybe we could come to grips with the reality that the whole world does not revolve around us, and learn to give our time and attention to the gifts in front of us. Maybe we could learn to value what really matters to each of us . . . every day . . . before it’s too late.
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(Donations will appear under OHK PHOTOGRAPHY until the tax-exempt status for EXTRAORDINARY DOGS is finalized.)