I feel sick. I feel sad. I feel sort of shell-shocked.
I worked with the local Humane Society tonight at an adoption fair we were having. It was great to see several puppies get new homes, but hardly anyone looked at the adult dogs. They sat in their cages watching people walk by, wagging their tails and hoping for some attention. Most people didn't even look at them. They went to the pen with the fat, playful puppies in it. These are all great dogs that have been cast aside for one reason or another. At the end of our adoption fair, back to the shelter they went. Some may be adopted later. The majority will be euthanized. I fell in love with a little female beagle mix whose eyes were half blue and half brown. She was the sweetest little dog and just wanted to be cuddled. She went back to the shelter, too, but I told them NOT to euthanize her without calling me first. I will find a home for that little girl no matter what. I cried all the way home. (more....)
It makes me sick how our society treats its companion animals. We treat them as disposable property, like they have no feelings. Folks....these are sentient beings capable of feeling fear, joy, sadness, anger, and they are able to feel and give more love than most people I know.
How do we repay that love? We abuse them, starve them, leave them chained in the yard alone and ignored, dumped out onto the street, or we take them to the shelter because we "just don't have time for them anymore." The worst one of all is someone who has had a dog for 8 or 9 years or more who then takes it to the shelter because it's "too old." The poor dog sits in the cage, alone and scared, waiting for his master to come and get him. Only he never does.
It breaks my heart.
If I sound angry, I am. If I sound bitter, I am. If you think I'm still upset and teary-eyed about this, you'd be right.
Why bother, you ask? Why worry about that little beagle mix when there are dozens of other dogs in that shelter who need homes, too? Here's why....
The Parable of the Starfish
One morning an elderly man was walking on a nearly deserted beach. He came upon a boy surrounded by thousands and thousands of starfish. As eagerly as he could, the youngster was picking them up and throwing them back into the ocean.
Puzzled, the older man looked at the young boy and asked, "Little boy, what are you doing?"
The youth responded without looking up, "I'm trying to save these starfish, sir."
The old man chuckled aloud, and queried, "Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?"
Holding a starfish in his hand, the boy turned to the man and, gently tossing the starfish into the water, said, "It will make a difference to that one!"