How Could You?

I apologize in advance… This is really sad but it happens everyday!!  You will need a handful of tissues…  I did!
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 bellyrub.

My housetraining 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, listening to your onfidences 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.  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 or cat, 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, aboutlove 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 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, 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 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.  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 meant for 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.
I thought ths song was appropriate…..

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13 Responses to How Could You?

  1. Rambling says:

    That is heart rending and heart breaking and of course, it goes for all of our beloved animal family and friends…dogs and cats.

  2. Beth says:

    So very sad Bob!  They don’t have any way to speak out and depend on their human family to take care of them.

  3. Julie says:

    I’m sobbing here. I don’t understand some people…I really don’t. I wish everyone that wanted a ‘pet’ had to take an oath. So so sad..

  4. Jaysey says:

    So sad.  I’m glad my pups don’t have to face that.

  5. Cin says:

    I know this happens all too often.  I can hardly bare to think about it.  My sister once asked me to consider kenneling our dog instead of bringing him with us to visit my parents.  I told her that our dog was a member of our family and where we go so goes Bronte (our beloved, puppy).  She did not understand…still doesn’t.
    I am not quite sure how some of us become extreme dog lovers, but that is who I am.  Yes, I am sometimes over-the-top when it comes to my dogs.  But they ARE my family. 
    You love me, you have to love my dogs. 
    Thanks for posting this Bob.  More people need to have their eyes opened up about what happens when they foresake their dogs.  Abandon their dogs.  It is unthinkable.

  6. Jude says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen one similar to this (if not the same one) before……I just can’t read that sort of stuff.
    Suffice it to say, you already know that I’ve taken in another animal because my neighbour, well, was being himself I guess!  LOL
    She’s fitting in pretty good and is getting used to the routines here… if only I could get my kids used to the routines!  I’ve just found out the oldest was giving the little dog a second serving of food and she was eating it all… wonder she felt a bit heavier when I picked her up!
    Hope things are well with you.  Take care and talk soon  🙂

  7. Stephen says:

    Bob –
    You certainly have me in tears! It makes me wonder what was going on in my dogs head when he had to be put down because of sub-lumbar cancer. I was a wreck for about a month because of that, his name was Saint Nicholas. 🙂
    Great post!!!
    Peace –

  8. klaus says:

    Wow! That is so sad my friend. My dog IS my family.

  9. Carol says:

    Oh I could not finish it BOB. I just could not.. going to bed now. it’s just so sad.. I loved my babydog like she was my own. sob..  I miss her…  : (

  10. sweeti's says:

    Hi Bob
    yeah  waterfalls…i wrote time back  abt this subject
    Read this  Bob
    and wait……………. get a hanky   
    tx for sharing Bob
    NJoy ur doggies i enjoy my cat

    10 november
    A letter to my master

    That morning u came out of ur bed so early…U were packing ur bags.
    U took my leash.Oh i was so excited It means …………. running  outside…Yippppppy
    A lil walk before vacation.We left with the car.U stopped the car in a nature area.Door went open, u trew a stick and i ran ran ran untill i had the stick between my teeth.
    But when i returned,u were not there anymore.I was panicking ran all directions to find u,but in vain.
    i became weaker and weaker from day to day.A  guy came to me and did a leash around my neck.Very soon i was in a cage.I was waiting for u to pick me up.
    But u did not come.The cage door opened
    No…It wasn’t u.It was the guy who found me.
    He took me to a room with a dead smell.
    My heart was bouncing…??whats this?
    I felt wierd.
    My time had come
    Dear Master.
    I want u to know,despite the pain u brought me,
    i still come running to u…coz i loved u…
    Dear space friends
    Never give a lil pet to lil kids…coz its  so cute.
    Pets do have feelings u know..
    Lil animals grow…

  11. Setterspirit says:

    Thanks for posting this Bob.  More people should be aware.  I call posts suuch as these:  Tissue Alert!
    Be well.

  12. Setterspirit says:

    P.S. … perfect song.  Where is that box of tissues.  Sniff

  13. Sue says:

    Oh, that is too sad.  When we had to get rid of Nikki’s sister, Sasha (she was beating up on her sister too much), we DID find a good home where she was the only dog–a ranch with children and other animals.  I could never leave an animal at a shelter.  If they couldn’t come with me, I wouldn’t go.

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