The ones that remind me of a time I walked into the local SPCA to find a beautiful Golden Retriever tied up beside the front desk. I was waiting for the attendant to get off the phone so stooped down to say hi to the angel laying at her feet. Her face was that of a classic golden, wide eyed and sweet but gone white with age. Warm brown eyes, clouded with gray cataracts, looked up at me and met my gaze evenly. Her tail wagged gently. I cooed to her softly, "Hey, there sweet lady." She got up to meet me, her bones clicked and muscles strained to lift her. Her tail stopped wagging for a moment, reflecting the pain it caused her to rise, but immediately resumed, gently swaying back and forth, the long ribbons of silken hair, falling from her tail like banners. She sat before me, her chest round and proud, her face set in a regal and contemplative pose. I reached out a hand, knuckles up, in greeting. She ducked her head and pushed up into my fist. I instinctual cupped her cheek and ear. She leaned into me, desperately. I looked into her eyes once again and felt my heart break at the look in them. She was dead. There were no other words for it. The pain and confusion that I saw reflected back from her gaze overwhelmed me and I felt the tears break and stream down my cheeks. I didn't understand. Was this the attendants old dog? Surely no one had left her here? I stood up when I heard the woman at the desk hang up the phone. She took one look at my face and simply shrugged her shoulders.
"Why?" I asked, my voice breaking.
She answered, "For thirteen years one family owned her. But the kids went away to collage and the parents wanted to travel. They dropped her off this morning."
I groaned. They cold, hard edge that had clipped her voice as she spoke told me all I needed to know....That while tragic, there was nothing uncommon about this beautiful dogs story. I cringed to think of what injustices this woman must witness, day by day and wondered at how she kept any faith at all...in humanity. I didn't need to ask what would happen to this dog. Her years had clearly come to an end, she was in pain, physically and emotionally.
"When?" I asked. "Please don't tell me you have to wait two day?"
"Yes, we do." She replied in the same hard tone.
I looked her dead in the eye, jaw clenched and my hands trembling. She looked back at me evenly, and then, ever so slightly, nodded her head. I turned on my heel and walked outside. I sat in my car and cried. At that moment, I hated myself for being human. For the dog. For the people like her. For the millions of children around the world, enslaved and starving. For the women that are beat. For the horses that we hurt for our own gain. For the abused and tortured. For all the injustice. And I felt some last thread of my innocence slip away.
It is that feeling of injustice, anger, resentment....of hate even, that I try to avoid when looking at horses for sale online. I used to be fairy adapt at avoiding the half dead horses. These days, it is impossible to ignore. A bad economy is hurting the horse market. Stop over at Browneyed Cowgirls post to read how she was recently reminded of this. Her neighbors, longstanding and respected horse breedersare euthanizing their brood stock. IMHO, they did the moral thing. They took responsibility, no matter how hard or disheartening the reality. They didn't pass the buck.
"I think it is safe to say that we all love horses here! But the sad truth is that horses are not simple creatures to keep...not like dogs, that require very little financially and can sleep where we sleep. I think that we all have to face the fact that regardless of the economy, the world around us is changing and the market for horses will change with it. I personally feel that over time there will less need for the broodbands that we have seen in the past. Even now "production sales" are not as common as they used to be. In the past, I didnt question the ethics of breeders that were producing quality stock but I think that time has passed and there is no longer a market to support the use (and care) of those animals. I would much rather see a horse put down than see it starve. Is it sad? Of course, it hurts me heart to think of what those families are facing and the nice horses that were lost...but...I hate to say it in this crowd..... How many children were just killed in Darfur while I was writing this? more than 1? Less than 5? What child in the UNITED STATES just watched his mother die because they could not afford health care? What family just became homeless? I dont want to see horses die any more than the next person but the humane culling in times such as these, while tragic and sad, is a responsible action. Their death is not a punishment, their neglect would be."
"22 year old grade mare. Never bred. Sound for light riding but hasn't been ridden in years so would need a tuneup. Needs experienced rider. We've had this mare since she was 2 and would like to see her go to a good home. Cant afford to keep her for the winter. Come pick her up. $100 Will trade for a dirt bike or ATV"
Are you kidding me? Buck up!!!
I had to post this because I feel so passionately that the death of an animal is not a punishment to them. Their suffering and neglect is. The obligation that all pet owners have is to put their own feelings aside and do what is right for the animals in their care.
There! I said it.
Usually, I try to keep this blog positive. Usually, it is my hope to make you'all smile. Maybe even get a chuckle out of ya! I am sorry for the rant. It had to be said.
Hmmmm.... how to make you smile after all that......
Okay... a joke....
A guy walked into a bar.....
No! That didn't do it. How about...
What did the snail say when it took a ride on the turtles back?
Dont hate me.