PLEASE spay and neuter your pets! Millions of dogs and cats are put to death every year because there are not enough loving homes. Children can "learn about life and nature", in many other ways than watching a litter come into the world. Animals do not "need to reproduce to be happy." They do not get "fat and lazy" when altered. They are in fact, healthier and happier and better family companions. Even when homes are found for all the puppies or kittens in a litter, how many of those will eventually have litters of their own, or be abandoned to fend for themselves? Having your pet spayed or neutered is an expense, but it is one time, and needs to be a priority when you take on the responsibility of a pet. See if you can locate a low cost spay neuter program in your area, or a vet who will split the cost into a couple of payments, but you can find the way. Please don't be part of the problem, be part of the solution! The following stories are difficult to read, but for those who still do not believe in spaying and neutering, we challenge you to read all of them, and still have a valid excuse for not making this a priority for your pet. Please read, and then pass it on.
A Dog's Plea...
"Treat me kindly my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness, than the loving heart of me. Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me, the things you would have me learn.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to the bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food so that I may stay well, to romp and play, and do your bidding, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.
And my friend, when I am very old, and no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently. I shall leave the earth knowing with the last breath I draw, that my fate was always safest in your hands."
The Hard Lessons of Friendship and Loyalty
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 and say "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 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, and 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 and 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, 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 goodbye 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 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 when 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 that it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me.
When I realised 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.
She placed me on a 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 upon 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 the same way I used to comfort you 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 that it was her job to make sure that I went on 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.
"My Name is Sam"
by Chris Benton
Do I go home today?
My family brought me home
cradled in their arms.
Does that mean I have a second chance?
Do I go home today?
Am I Famous?
I was born today, one of 10. My daddy was very famous. I have lots of half brothers and sisters. My mother is very famous. Since she got famous, she has only had puppies. No more loving hands, no more fun trips . . . just puppies. She is always sad when they leave her.
I left home today. I didn't want to go, so I hid behind my mother and my three littermates that were left. I didn't like you. But one day they said I would be famous. I wonder; is famous the same as fun and good times? So you picked me up and carried me away, even though you were concerned about me hiding from you. I don't think you liked me.
My new home is far away. I am scared and afraid. My heart says be brave. My ancestors were. Did they go to good homes like mine? I'm hungry because I can't eat too much because it will be bad for my bones. I can't bite or snap when the children are mean to me. I just run and play and pretend I am in a big green field with butterflies and robins and frogs. I can't understand why they kick me. I am quiet, but the man hits and says loud things. The lady doesn't feed me good things like I had with my mother. She just throws dry food on the ground, then goes away before I can get too close for touching and petting. Sometimes my food smells bad but I eat it anyway.
Today I had 10 puppies. They are so wonderful and warm. Am I famous now? I wish I could play with them, but they are so tiny. I am so young and playful that it is hard to lay here in this hole under the house nursing my puppies. They are crying now. I am so hungry. I scratch and worry my fur. I wish someone would throw me some food. I am also very thirsty. I now have eight. Two got cold during the night and I couldn't make them warm again. They are gone. We are all very weak. Maybe if I take them out on the porch, we can get some food.
Today they took us away. It was too much trouble to feed us and someone came to take us away. Someone grabbed my puppies, they were crying and whimpering. We were put in a truck with boxes in it. Are my babies famous now? I hope so, because I miss them. They are gone.
The place smelled of urine, fear and sickness. Why was I here? I was beautiful, like my ancestors. Now I am hungry, dirty, in pain and unwanted. Maybe the worst is unwanted. No one came though I tried to be good.
Today someone came. They put a rope on my neck and led me to a room that was very clean and had a shiny table. They put me on the table. Someone held me and hugged me. It felt so good!!!
Then I felt tired and laid over the last one who cared.
I AM FAMOUS NOW.
Today someone cared.
The cycle of suffering ends only when owners take the responsibility seriously.
PLEASE spay and neuter your pets. Pass it on...
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