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How Could You??? (Must read for all dog people)

Discussion in 'Upland Game hunting, Dogs and dog training' started by gregm, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. Anyone that will read many posts in this forum will learn quickly that irresponsible dog ownership really gets under my skin (and a lot of other people too), I often post things that sometimes that seem very sad, but we need to keep these stories in mind. I think dog ownership (or pet ownership for that matter) should be veiwed in much the same way as having children. Anyone that is contemplating buying a dog should read this, if it doesn't get you choked up, I don't know what will.

    I posted this over on too, I orginally read it on a Brittany Listserver I'm a member of:



    A man in Grand Rapids, Michigan incredibly took out a US $7,000 full page ad
    in the paper to present the HOW COULD YOU?

    By Jim Willis, 2001
    How Could You?

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    - ----------------------------
    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 your 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 and neuter
    campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.
    Jim Willis

  2. WOW !! i just hugged my lab and said never.
  3. ccavacini

    ccavacini Super Mod Mod

    Thanks for posting. A good reminder about the responsibilities of being a dog owner.
  4. Thought it was time to Post this again....Just my thoughts!!!!
  5. exactly why I don't have a dog

    If you don't have enough time or attention for a dog, then don't have one. Same with kids.
  6. I remember having to say goodbye to Lady a few falls ago. That Beagle was my best friend and confidant. We did everything together....rabbit hunting, mushrooming, shed hunting....I hadn't cried like that since I was a pup myself. It's weird how hunters can be so attached to a dog while we kill other living things, but they're called "mans best friend" for a reason...I guess. I think God made them the way they are for a reason.

    It makes me eager to mend all of my past abuses towards all animals who I've threatended to kill.........:( !!

    Quail, I'll never say, "Die Bird, Die" ever again. I LOVE YOU MAN!!!!!! (Can I have the damn Jimmy picture now, please.....'Ol Buddy????)

    Heck, I even feel like hugging a cat.......Nah, not really!!!!
  7. i'll go before my lab goes