As a young child all I wanted was to be a dog. Dogs have it made, they’re always so happy, well-fed, and loved. I thought by acting like a dog I would in turn, become one. I spent many days mastering the climb up and down the stairway on all fours, and attempted to eat my cereal with no spoon and no hands, my dad quickly put a stop to my poor table manners. It only stopped me when he was in the room. My mom never allowed me to sleep outside in the dog house, though I attempted this nightly.
My dad has always told me, “To be reincarnated into a dog you must live a good life as a good-hearted person.” You know, I believe him.
The realization that I was not turning into a dog didn’t thoroughly dishearten me, I decided the next best thing is to be a veterinarian. My mission from that day forward was to volunteer at an animal shelter and eventually graduate from UC Davis, known for their veterinary school. In my day, children played outside. We rode bikes around the neighborhood and explored the “unknown” territories. I found lost dogs and brought them home, my parents were always so upset whenever a random dog would come bolting through the house, yet their disapproval never stopped me.
Eventually, time does its usual thing, and moves on. I became less involved with animals and more involved with liking boys and high-school football games. My life goal of UC Davis and becoming a veterinarian sifted through my fingers like sand at the beach. One second it’s there, the next it’s gone. My love for animals has never diminished, though my advocacy was placed on the back burner.
I still visited animal shelters quite frequently, a little secret of mine that I never shared with anyone. I would go and talk to the dogs and puppies, I felt like they could understand me. I apologized for the people who have done them wrong and I’d feel glum that I couldn’t do anything to save them. Each visit left me with a softer heart and less love for mankind.
People see cute little puppies and buy them like they’re toys. Puppies are difficult, they’re cuteness is a survival technique. If puppies weren’t cute we wouldn’t want them, they attack us and chew on us! My puppy had something called, “shark mode,” he had razor-sharp teeth and a taste for blood. To stay on track, people adopt animals without any real knowledge of what responsibility they are really taking on. Then, when the puppy is no longer in his tiny cute stage, about 1-2 years of age, the “owners” dump them in the shelter. These poor dogs have no idea what they did wrong, why they deserve these concrete walls, and why no one loves them. All they were ever guilty of was loving someone unconditionally that didn’t love them enough.
I’m not saying every person that has had to put an animal in the shelter hasn’t loved their pet, but we must admit that the majority outweighs the minority.
There’s a group in Los Angeles that is fighting to make Los Angeles animal shelters no kill, which entails every pet owner to become more responsible. Spay/neuter your pets, save a life.
Help the cause. Check out their site: http://nkla.org/
*I love all animals, not just dogs. I respect all living creatures.