I’m not sure why I felt compelled to read the story or why I was drawn to read it to the very end.
I do not want to be judgmental. I really strive to live by the words “live and let live”. I am sure people look at my life and my stories and think I am totally bats. Perhaps in some ways I am. I learned early on to turn a deaf ear to my critics and hold my tongue when I observed behaviors that grated on me like fingernails across a blackboard.
The post I read a few days ago was a subtle tale of tragedy. When I finished reading it my hands hovered over my keyboard waiting for me to form the words I wanted to use to comment. No that’s not true. I did not want to comment I wanted to criticize, to lash out. The angel on my right shoulder pleaded with me not to, and thankfully ruled the day.
The story has stayed with me. I carry it in my mind like a heavy burden. I will not go into details. I do not want to publicly denounce the post, after all the writer was well within her rights to post her feelings and no harm was being done to anyone (person or animal). It was a deeply felt lament on the mistake she had made in getting a dog, her thoughts about abandoning the dog and the conclusion that she would keep it. There was no indication that the dog is being abused or neglected, in fact it appears the dog is well cared for, however it is tolerated rather than loved.
I misled you. I do know why I read the enter post. As I read I kept thinking this is a put on, any line now the truth will come out. The story will have a heart-warming ending. You know how dogs have a way of working their way into your heart with a wag of their tail, a tilt of their head. The writer would show that she was not immune to her dog’s charm. She too would be won over. So I kept reading and reading and this did not happen. I felt it, deep in my soul, as my heart broke a little. Here was a dog that had been adopted from a shelter and was now in a home where it was not loved and not wanted. As dog owners we know how important it is for our dogs to be part of the pack. They freely give affection and they deserve a least a little love and affection back.
We all have regrets. There were countless times when my son was young that I wondered to myself “What have I done?”and thought “I can’t do this.” Yet I did do it. Ask me what it’s like having four dogs and I would say it’s hard and advise “Don’t do it.” These thoughts in no way reflect the love I have for my son and my four dogs. They are simply brief reflections at a difficult time. Ask the same question on a different day and I would wax elegantly on the accomplished young man my son has become and regale you with tales of the four characters in my pack.
My advice to any parent, dog or animal, is stop looking at the glass as half empty. See it as it is – half full. For dog parents the daily walks do not have to be a chore, they can be a quiet time, a time for inner reflection. Forget the vet bills, rejoice with your healthy dog. Fall deeply into the big brown eyes, let the wagging tail lift your spirits. Take comfort in the weight of the head resting in your lap. Laugh at the antics of your four legged friend. Keep happy memories close at hand, ready to take out an examine when life is about to overwhelm you.