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Partners for Pets
P.O. Box 445
Troy, IL 62294

Phone: 618-346-3010

From a Dog's View

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 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 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, 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 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


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


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.

The End



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