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I Cried Today
I wrote this when I was struggling with the knowledge that there is never a shortage of people who do not understand what their companion animals need, and a great many who do not care. It can be depressing. There are, however, the occasional nuggets of good news. For example: A couple planning to breed their "beautiful but unpapered" dog not only changed their mind, but went to the local rescue for that breed and adopted the second dog they wanted. Also, a woman wrote saying she was reconsidering whether getting a dog for their very busy household was a good idea, and that I had raised issues she had not considered. It is, by the way completely true. I did cry and just rereading it has me crying now.

I Cried Today

It's an hour drive home and I cried half the way. No, my dogs are fine thank-you. But I was listening to the Washington puppy mill story, and thinking about the posts to the newsgroup and I was suddenly so sorry. I was sorry for all the dogs that never know a full life, and sorry for all the people who never really open themselves to understanding and enjoying their dogs.

I cried for the family with the Bernese Mountain dog, only 8 months old and suffering the pain of hip dysplasia. I cried because here is a dog and a family suffering the pain of ignorant, careless, reckless or greedy breeding. I cried because no matter how many dogs are suffering there are those people who answer back that no one has the right to say who should breed and should not, and who deliberately ignore the pain and heartache caused.

I cried for the dog whose heart is inside and whose family wants him outside. I cried for those who have dogs that know only the house, the yard and the vets because they want "only a pet" and think it somehow crushes a dogs spirit to learn good manners. But I know it is the opposite giving a dog freedom and self confidence.

I cried for the dogs that are petted, but where the petting is a careless gesture, devoid of thought or meaning, and I cried for the people who give such empty pets for what they miss, without knowing.

Please, just appreciate your dog tonight.

Diane Blackman


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