I do not know how a society that likes to think of itself as evolved, enlightened, humane and civilized can tolerate any level of animal abuse. What is it in the brain of certain human beings that would allow him or her to not only torture, maim or otherwise abuse and/or deliberately injure another living creature (one that feels pain, anguish and fear)… but to enjoy such activity and derive pleasure directly from those acts of depravity… feeding off the fear and pain of that animal? I have seen the pleading look of tormented eyes… begging for help, crying out for some relief… “please help me… or at least end my suffering… please!” I have watched a dog belly-crawl across the floor in a desperate agonizing attempt to avoid being deliberately hurt again… and again… and yet again! Just wishing… “please don’t kick me again. Please!” I have witnessed the aftermath of months of being tied to a tree, with only occasional food and water. (And yet, in spite of such dispicable treatment, the tail wags each and every time - rare though it be - that a “person”(?) is sighted!) We have failed and we will all be judged. Every single one of us. For not caring. For not trying. For not protecting and guarding. DUTIES TO WHICH WE HAVE BEEN PRE-ORDAINED. It is our responsibility as rulers of this earth. IT IS OUR SOLE OBLIGATION.
Starvation, suffering, anguish, fear, pain, slow agonizing death, constant torment… these are unimaginable conditions to most people. But there are countless and untold thousands of dogs whose lives will never offer anything but those conditions! These are intelligent animals who feel love, sorrow, pain, fear, happiness… the only thing they are incapable of feeling - or understanding - is hate. But I guess they have us for that. Can you even comprehend what it must be like to live - exist(?) - like that? Will you even allow yourself to attempt a level of empathy so you can picture inside your evolved, enlightened, humane and civilized mind what that is like?
Centuries ago we took dogs as domesticated friends and companions. We promised to take care of them. They did not ask to be domesticated. They would have been perfectly happy to continue living their lives in the wild as nature had intended. But we took them. Promised them a better existence for being our guardians, protectors, workers, companions and friends. That is the hardest of all to swallow. That we deliberately did this to them. And give nothing in return. Nothing of our promises. We just take and take and take. When will we give? When will we honor our promise? Our duty? Our responsibility as a race of evolved, enlightened, humane and civilized people?
Has it not always been the mark of a good ruler, that he/she protected - truly protected - and cared for ALL his/her subjects? We have climbed to the top of the food chain. Does that alone give us the right to do whatever we may please to any other creature, supposedly beneath us, just because we can? Great power brings great responsibility. Are we destined to be judged as an unworthy species? Incapable - or unwilling - to accept the responsibilities that come with the power we have achieved?
What has become of our Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Gratitude, Patience?
Compassion for all God’s creatures, for hasn’t He entrusted their care and well-being to us?
Kindness to every living animal, for they are entitled to such simply by their existence.
Humility to remember that we are not “better” or “more important” than other animals, just different.
Gratitude for all that we have, for all that this world offers… for being the rulers, rather than the ruled.
Patience with all living creatures whose only crime is that they may be different from ourselves.
Dogs are very wonderful animals, indeed! To understand and open one’s self to the love of a dog, is to truly know “unconditional love”! They know no other way to love. They give of themselves in spite of receiving nothing in return. They will remain loyal and protective, though they may receive no thanks or gratitude in return. They know no other way to love. Dogs ask only for the most basic and simplest of things… food, water, shelter, kindness, a gentle word occasionally and a warm hand to pet them. For no more than that, they will lay down their life for you. Willingly, eagerly. They know no other way to love. If you abuse them, they will forgive you. If you are unkind, they will turn another cheek. If you hurt them, they will accept it. If you ignore them, they will remain silent at your side. If you turn them out, you need only beckon and they will return gladly. They know no other way to love. Once you understand this, truly understand what it means… once you have allowed this to sink into your consciousness and let yourself grasp the true and loving nature of this animal, you will eventually realize what an abominable affront to God himself our tolerance of animal abuse has become!
A dog is a social animal. Left on their own, they live in packs. In the wild, all dogs are pack animals. They have a very rigid and structured social order within their pack. They are den-dwelling, socially oriented, pack animals. They are NOT loners! In a domesticated environment, dogs want, need and actively seek out the comfort of being with their people. A dog views his “family” of people as his pack. The pack is necessary for his very survival. Belonging to the pack is paramount for his existence. Interaction is required for his emotional stability and overall wellbeing. That understood… how could anyone possibly be the least bit surprised or confused at the distrustful, anti-social, unfriendly, nasty and uncertain behavior of a dog which is left completely alone and tied up in the backyard? IT IS BASIC CAUSE AND EFFECT. Do you know why solitary confinement is used as a method to “break” the spirit of a human being? BECAUSE IT WORKS!
I cannot change the world. I cannot save every animal. I cannot save every dog. I cannot rescue every senior canine that has been turned out because of old age or special needs. But…
“Better to light a candle for one lost dog
than to curse the darkness of man’s indifference.
Saving just one dog won’t change the world
but it surely will change the world for that one dog.”
…Richard Clyde Call
So that is how it must begin. One at a time. Not everyone can make a difference in the world. But anyone can make a difference for one dog. Think about that. If you think one person can’t change anything… if you believe that one person can’t make a difference… try changing your focus from “the world” to “a dog”! You will find that you can change everything… you will make a difference… a life will be affected by your actions… your love and caring will not go unrewarded!
I can’t help but question how we got to this point. Are we so involved in our own separate worlds… have we become so thoroughly selfish… that we no longer even care? Somehow, I still believe that there are people out there who cry for the suffering animals. Though I wonder, are we so few that we are drowned out by the sheer abundance of the abusers and those who really don’t care at all? Perhaps. And perhaps my problem is always setting my sights too high… like changing the world instead of saving one dog. If I can focus my energy and emotions on the reality of helping one animal, can I perhaps convince one other person to do the same. And could that person save only one animal and then also convince only one other person to do likewise? WOULD THAT NOT EVENTUALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD? THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD…?
There are those who would contend that it is naive to believe in such fantasy…
I am going to try to prove them wrong.