Monday, 21 November 2011

A dog is for life,not just for Christmas.

Around two years ago, a close friend of mine began looking for the perfect dog. She had always been fond of man's best friend,and with all her heart,she wanted to become a dog owner. She wanted her own little bundle of fur that would be her constant companion no matter what.

Being the friend in our small group,that is absolutely dog crazy and with the most experience(with three crazy monsters at home!), Jess came to me and began to ask me all about the dog world. I of course, was thrilled to help,my eyes light up whenever anything is mentioned about our four legged friends and I have a habit of talking about my dogs a bit too much,just like some new parents do about their children. Anyways, I was only too happy to help and proceeded to give Jess a list of family friendly dog breeds,and loan her my favorite book on dog breeds. I, being immersed in the world of dog showing/pedigree dogs, was directing my friend down the road towards buying a pedigree dog. However,I never really thought about suggesting the local dog pound which is the direction Jess and her family walked in the end.

And it was the right direction,a Dogs Trust shelter only having opened recently with lots of waggy tails looking for their 'forever home.' So this is where Jess went and she came back with lots of tails about loads of different dogs that had caught her eye. But one in particular had reached out, grabbed her heart and said 'mine'. And this little doggy was called Shadow.

Like most dogs in Dogs Trust, Shadow hadn't had a great start to life. When she was barely only a puppy herself, she became pregnant with a litter and Shadow and her newborn pups were abandoned in a box at the side of the road. Luckily,someone spotted Shadow and handed her into Dogs Trust where she was treated like a princess, and finally she found Jessica.

Shadow was a small,nervous dog but I could see how gently Jess treated her and knew eventually Shadow would become the bouncy, happy dog she deserved to be. As sixth year ended,and college life began, I didn't see Jessica as often and so didn't see Shadow but I always taught of her when I saw the Dogs Trust ad's on television.

And now less than two years later, I am astonished to find out Jess had to return Shadow to Dogs Trust. Not only do I feel for my friend who is heartbroken but I can't help think of poor Shadow,alone and confused, wondering what she did to be back in Dogs Trust that though is a great place for dogs,is not their forever home.

I don't know the circumstances behind Shadow's return but I do know a little of the type of people my friend's parents are,and it saddens me to think that they can take a living animal,take it's love and trust and return it like a broken toy. I think it's a very easy solution for people who can't handle when a dog is just being a dog, and at the end of the day, we as pet owners are in total control of a living, breathing, animal and it's not fair to toss it back when it starts to bore us or becomes a little bit of work.

This whole story makes me think of the phrase 'a dog is for life,not just for Christmas' and I totally agree with it. I cannot imagine being able to give up any of my dogs,and neither would my parents not only because they are part of our family but because we wouldn't be able to do it to an animal who has become dependent on us. People need to be able to deal with the consequences that having a dog or a cat means, and that includes problems with barking,digging holes or unexpected pregnancies. There's behavioral,and surgical solutions for all kinds of pet problems but people just don't have the time or patience to work it out and instead decide to turn their back on a creature who loves them.

So if you're thinking of getting a dog soon, or a cat, please please remember that it's for life, another 10-16 years of it!And if the pet seems to be giving you trouble, they'll give you far more happiness than trouble by the end of those years,only if you take the time to see.

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