I was mailed this today. Have no idea where it originates from, but it is sadly, oh so true of what happens oh so often.............


 The Five Freedoms                                                  

Freedom from thirst hunger and malnutrition

Freedom from discomfort

Freedom from pain, injury or disease


Freedom to express normal behavior

Freedom of fear and distress


How could you?


When I was a puppy I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child and despite the number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was “bad” you would shake your finger at me as ask “how could you?” – but then you’d relent and roll me over for a belly rub.


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, listing 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 and stops for ice-cream (I only got the cone because ” ice cream is bad for dogs” you’d say)  I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.


Gradually you began to spend more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patently, comforted you through your heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided 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, and 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 banish to another room, or to a dog crate.  O how wanted to love them but became a “prisoner of love”.


As they began to grow, I became their friend, they clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on their wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears and gave me kisses on the nose.  I loved everything about 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 hade been a time, when others asked if you had a dog, you produced a photo from your wallet and told them stories about me.  These last 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 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 paper work 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 ones 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”. I worried about him, and the lessons you had just taught him about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.  You gave me a pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leach with you.  You have a deadline to meet, and so have I one too.


After you had left the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to time me another good home.  They shook their heads and said “how could you?”


They are 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 changed your mind- that this was all a bad dream …. Or at least someone who cared, 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 quite room.  She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to worry.  My heart pounded with anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief, the prisoner of love had run out days.  As is my nature I was more concerned about her.  The burden which she bears weights 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 the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago.  She expertly slipped 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 dog speak, 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 won’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 for you.. My beloved master I was thinking of you. I will think of you and wait for you forever.

May every one in your life continue to show you so much loyalty?