Letter From A Dog: "how Could You?" - All Dog Love

Lounge By fondantgrl Updated 29 Jul 2008 , 7:18am by waywordz

fondantgrl Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 4:58pm
post #1 of 18

Long but really worth reading:

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 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'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, 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. T hey 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 room. 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 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 dog speak, 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 loyalty.


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 & Canadian animal shelters.


For any of you thinking of getting a dog or adopting â understand it is a lifelong commitment. Consider adopting a shelter pet and ensure that it is spayed or neutered.
We hope this makes even one person give their dog a better life.

For those of you dog lovers that appreciate your dog â we appreciate you!

17 replies
Amia Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 5:33pm
post #2 of 18

icon_cry.gif OMG, that is so sad! This is almost as bad as that ASPCA commercial with Sarah McLachlan! And this is why I end up taking in other people's dogs! My great dane, Lady, belonged to a friend who's husband died. She couldn't keep her, so I took her. I've had her a little over a year now and she just celebrated her 4th birthday last month. icon_smile.gif

Petit-four Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 9:36pm
post #3 of 18

There's hope: we adopted a 7 year old dog -- they kept her on 3 months at the shelter, spared her from "the room" because she was so good. She developed infections and allergies, but they cleared up within a few weeks of living with us. Now she's been with us 4 years, is healthy, happy, and a complete dear.

We sometimes wonder if she thinks about her "first people."

ladyellam Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 11:02pm
post #4 of 18

We have only ever had shelter animals. Some of them were funny looking and others were just scruffy. I love/loved them all and I only wished my Alli or Alligator was here for my kids. She was the best and the most loyal dog a person could ever wish for.

I think about her everyday.


baker4life Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 12:43am
post #5 of 18

Awww!! How sad!!
I have always been a dog person, and hubby and I got our beagle almost six years at a shelter and he is the best dog I've ever had!!! Love him to pieces!
I already decided once I retire, I'm going to buy a farm and adopt a bunch of dogs!!

TheCakerator Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 12:47am
post #6 of 18

this is so sad .... unfortunately to many people get what they believe are disposable pets and it makes me sick to my stomach!! If I could bring one more pet into my home I would do it, and it would be a rescued animal. At this point that isn't going to happen any time soon, but it's something I really feel the need to do.

DianeLM Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 12:52am
post #7 of 18

Me and my 7 foster kitties (5 now permanent), thank you.

Unfortunately, the only people moved by stories like this are those who wouldn't dream of discarding a family member like yesterday's trash.

Shelters aren't the best answer, but in a lot of cases, if the shelters didn't take them, they'd be abandoned in fields (which is a crime, btw), causing an even bigger problem for everyone.

Thank goodness there are people like us to pick up after those heartless and brainless boobs.

I'll tell ya on whose doorstep I'd like to dump the contents of my kitties' litterboxes... icon_biggrin.gif

TheCakerator Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 2:09pm
post #8 of 18

let me know when you go diane cause I got two boxes myself! thumbs_up.gif

lynda-bob Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 4:01pm
post #9 of 18

icon_cry.gif This was so sad...

I know, though, the reality.

We just got our Frida (Blonde Weiner dog) last year. I made my kids wait until they were 10 and 12 before we got our new family member because I drilled it into them that it was permanent and a responsibility. I'm going to have them read the post because it is important thumbs_up.gif

TC123 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 4:59pm
post #10 of 18

icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif My goodness, if this doesn't tug at your heartstrings...

I think whatever way gets the word out there that we need to be more committed to our pets and their well-being. There are some unfortunate circumstances where it becomes necessary for a family to part with a pet. Maybe they will see this and consider other alternatives, like finding a suitable home (like maybe a friend or family member, where the relationship can continue). It is worth the effort to find a safe and loving place for a pet that loves us unconditionally. We owe them a chance to have a good life.

My personal note: That is why I enjoy working with Animal Farm Foundation, sharing their message (click on my signature to learn more). Another idea is to of course donate to shelters, including but not limited to monatary, coupons, food, toys, towels, helping on adoption day, etc., especially those in crucial need of assistance. It helps their residents have a better quality of life, and hopefully increase their chances of not being euthanized.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

dragonflydreams Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 5:52pm
post #11 of 18

Image . . . okay . . . I probably shouldn't have read this right now . . . I am sniffling like a baby . . .

literally . . .

I'm in the process of having to say goodbye to my beloved Shiloh . . . she will have to be put down before the month is out . . . and this letter was just too much . . . Image

lynda-bob Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:50pm
post #12 of 18
Originally Posted by dragonflydreams

Image . . . okay . . . I probably shouldn't have read this right now . . . I am sniffling like a baby . . .

literally . . .

I'm in the process of having to say goodbye to my beloved Shiloh . . . she will have to be put down before the month is out . . . and this letter was just too much . . . Image

I'm so sorry, dragonfly! Last year my mom had to put down her Dachshund because he had a stroke. We had him in our family for 16 wonderful years. It's hard to loose a loved one icon_sad.gif

dragonflydreams Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 2:44am
post #13 of 18

. . . thanx lynda-bob . . . no, it is never easy losing a friend . . . thanx for the sentiment . . . it's been an emotional day for me, nice to know there are people out there that care . . . thanx again . . .

fondantgrl Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 5:42pm
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by dragonflydreams

Image . . . okay . . . I probably shouldn't have read this right now . . . I am sniffling like a baby . . .

literally . . .

I'm in the process of having to say goodbye to my beloved Shiloh . . . she will have to be put down before the month is out . . . and this letter was just too much . . . Image

Our dog's name was SHILOH too.. she ran away and we have never seen her again.. Is your dog Shiloh ill ? Sorry to hear about her.

Molly2 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:56pm
post #15 of 18

How sad is that I can't even think of doing that to my Molly God Bless All The Dogs I could not dream of leaving my baby Molly

dragonflydreams Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 4:03am
post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by fondantgrl

Our dog's name was SHILOH too.. she ran away and we have never seen her again.. Is your dog Shiloh ill ? Sorry to hear about her.

. . . are you sure she ran away . . . maybe someone stole her . . . icon_confused.gif

yes. . . my Shiloh is ill . . . she has a dreadful disease (degenerative myelopathy) . . . and has gradually, over time become paralyzed . . . she still has all of her mental faculties, but it is becoming more and more apparent she truly is "on her last legs" . . . and it breaks my heart . . .

. . . and when you think of the people that behave like the ones in your letter . . . treating these beautiful creatures as "disposable" . . . well, it's shameful . . .

CambriasCakes Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 7:08am
post #17 of 18

Oh my God I could NEVER imagine leaving my baby behind!!

We found Jaxson - actually he found us, he wandered into our yard one morning and never left - when he was only about 3 months old. I was pregnant with my first baby and a dog was the last thing we needed but I absolutely fell head over heels in love with him! He's been by my side ever since. He is so much a part of our family, I always say I couldn't love him more if I gave birth to him myself (my mom thinks I'm crazy!) but it's true! We even have a birthday party for him every year. My girls adore him and he loves them back just as much...he has brought us so much joy! He's so loyal and is fiercely protective of me and the girls. We're home alone a lot because my husband works 24-hour shifts as a firefigher but we know we have nothing to worry about - he's got our back!! Ok, can you tell I love him to death??!?

I would encourage all potential pet owners to visit the shelters and find their pets there. They're good animals and they desperately need a good home!!!

waywordz Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 7:18am
post #18 of 18

Awww, yes. You have me in tears too. We've been a good friend to the assorted pets we've had over the years. I miss them all. My last pet, our cat, Bug, passed away last year. It is like they take part of me with them. A void that I just can't replace. I've vowed no more pets. I tell anyone that wants me to take one of theirs that we can't afford one. But, that is only part of it. Either the pet will go first and I will be left grieving or I'll go first and they will be left grieving. My oldest son passed away and it hurts just as much to lose a pet as my sons death does. I and my family are responsible pet keepers. Although I truly see it as just having another family member. I just can't do it anymore. Fondantgrl, may I copy what you wrote and share it with my family and friends that are "animal* lovers" too. (*In the book The Mammoth Hunters, Ayla said she was an "animal" too. Me too.) What you wrote is beautiful. Maybe someone it is passed on to will learn something in it. I won't, if you say no. And I'll keep whatever name you want attached to it also if you say yes. You can pm me if you like. But, thank you for sharing. Sorry so long.

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