Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 41

Thread: How Could You? (give your dog up)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Australia

    Default How Could You? (give your dog up)

    A man in Grand Rapids, Michigan incredibly took out a US $7,000 full page ad in the paper to present the HOW COULD YOU?
    By Jim Willis, 2001


    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 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, 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 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.

    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 and Canadian animal shelters. Anyone is welcome to distribute the essay for a noncommercial purpose, as long as it is properly attributed with the copyright notice. Please use it to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards.

    Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care, that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious.

    Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay and neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.
    © Jim Willis
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 07-10-2015 at 03:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Bawling my eyes out right now....
    Education not Legislation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Perth, WA


    Me too...

    Good on Jim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Gold Coast, Australia


    I could only read half and then the tears turned into bawling!! Dogs give so much and sometimes do not get the love they deserve!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Redland Bay, Queensland


    That end part was so emotional for me...
    All I could see was Keesie on the Vets table as old age was about to take her away from us. The look of love from her eyes just before she went to sleep for the last time..

    now I'm flat out typing this as I can't read the screen now.  14

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Melbourne, Australia


    That is so sad......I am tring hard not to cry as i'm at work. And look horrid when I cry. But my heart feels broken. How could anyone do that to a dog(or any animal)!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Central QLD


    People just suck sometimes...

  8. #8


    Cat i used to have had a blood clot lodge in the main artery of his back legs,paralysing him. His heart was beating irregular,and he had fluid in the lungs. He showed NO signs that i could see of his impending doom,or i would have acted on that immediately. He was my boy,the man of the house (despite the lack of um,balls),he greeted me when i came home,snuggled with me at all times,even when i wanted a break he persisted,and i relented. Thou when i had to rush him to the vet after hours i knew this was it,i could feel his legs grow cold in my arms as i held him close to my heart. When the vet said all the words of what was happening,i knew. I asked if he was in any pain,disregarding the fact that the vet had said there was a 10-15% chance of survival. He said yes,and i told him to 'get the stuff' was how i put it. I didnt want my boy in any undue pain,and i knew that he was dying,i could feel him dying. I held him in my arms and stroked him as the vet slid the needle in,it didnt take much,he was very near already there. And then he was gone.
    Cuddles was a cat given to me by old neighbours who were moving and didnt want him no more. I wanted him,i loved him,but sadly he was not with me many years,passing over at the age of only 5. And while he was wanted,there is so many that are not wanted.

    That single full page ad in the paper would have touched the whole community,and quite possibly have made a few humans open their eyes and re-think about how they treat their best friend. Even if it saved one life,it would have been worth it.

    Thank you for posting it here.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    I'm in tears and I didn't even get half way.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Yep I "do my part", I do my part until I'm blue in the face. I do my part but can't seem to get thru.

    I've completed courses and worked myself until I'm red in the face earning a pittance so I can gain more knowledge to do my part.

    I breed less than I'd like to and offer life time return and cash back on de-sexing and volunteer my time at clubs and shelters where I'm sick of taking in puppies from oops litters, or adults because they are no longer puppies, or they grew too big or they chase the children or they dig holes in the lawn and all the other reasons they come up with because they are ignorant, uncaring, selfish, heartless or just plain have their head in the sand.

    I've done my part until I think I'm sick of it and the ignorant people and the people who want me to be happy and supportive.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts