First, there is the recently retired gentleman with his little Westie. He tells me he originally brought home the dog as a gift to his teenage daughter. Much to his surprise, the puppy immediately bonded to him and showed no interest in playing with the young girl. The two became inseparable. As he looks down at the pretty white canine, now six years old, the love between them is evident. Funnily enough, he’d never lived with a dog before.
Second, there is the quiet man with his two mixed breed dogs, one a shepherd mix, one a boxer. I have seen him around since I started walking Shiva. Never was a man more devoted. He is out there every day, braving the elements. Often he is the only other person I see at six in the morning in the pouring rain. We’ve never spoken – the man seems very shy. But we nod to each other as we pass, an action full of understanding. His dogs are as quiet as he is. I smile as I watch him pause to allow them to check out a bush. His demeanour is all patience. There have been no leash corrections in these dogs’ lives.
Third, and my favourite story, is the cranky old man with his wee chihuahua. Before he brought home the teeny little girl, he didn’t have much to say to anyone. I would see him sitting out in front of his apartment building, glaring at the world. After a few failed attempts to say hello, I started scurrying past, feeling his hard gaze. But then he got a dog. Too little for even the smallest sweaters, he carries her around in his coat to protect her from the cold. He smiles now as I say hello and will even stop to chat. He worries greatly over his dog’s exposed ears. Normally reticent around chihuahuas, I don’t hesitate to give her a little pat. The dog is as sweet as the man has become.
When people scorn the amount of money put into animals, I never know what to say. In harsher economic times, they declare, they would rather give their donor dollars to charities that fight human problems. I understand that. I certainly would never tell someone the life of a dog is more important than the life of her grandmother who died from cancer. We spend our money on things that matter the most.
However, animals are human problems. Just look at those three stories above. Those four dogs have changed three lives in very meaningful ways. Our pets often fill holes we never realized were empty. By saving an animal, we just may be saving a human life. We never know where that rescued dog may end up.
That’s why when I heard about the Holiday Blogging Event for Pets in Need, created by Two Little Cavaliers, I had to join in to do my part. Naturally, the chance to win some extra cash didn’t hurt either. I encourage you to enter the contest by checking out the other bloggers using the Rafflecopter below. You just never know who’s future rescuer you might be saving.
What animal welfare organization is dear to your heart? If you win the big prize, who will you share your money with?
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