The years go so
very fast and before you know it that romping
pup is old and grey muzzled and they have sat by
our sides while we read, watch TV, and work on
our computers. Every so often they come and lay
their heads in our laps, toss our elbow with
their muzzle or gaze into our eyes and wait for
us to notice them. Take a moment now to commune.
I am your dog, and I have a little something I'd
like to whisper in your ear. I know that you
humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some
have children to raise. It always seems like you
are running here and running there, often much
too fast, often never noticing the truly grand
things in life.
Look down at me now, while you sit there at your
computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at
yours? They are slightly cloudy now. That comes
with age. The gray hairs are beginning to ring
my soft muzzle. You smile at me; I see love in
your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a
spirit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other
could in the world? A spirit that would forgive
all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a
simple moment of your time? That is all I ask.
To slow down, if even for a few minutes, to be
So many times you have been saddened by the
words you read on that screen, of others of my
kind, passing. Sometimes we die young and oh so
quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your
heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age so
slowly before your eyes that you may not even
seem to know until the very end, when we look at
you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded
eyes. Still the love is always there, even when
we must take that long sleep, to run free in a
distant land. I may not be here tomorrow; I may
not be here next week. Someday you will shed the
water from your eyes, that humans have when deep
grief fills their souls, and you will be angry
at yourself that you did not have just "one more
day" with me. Because I love you so, your sorrow
touches my spirit and grieves me.
We have NOW, together. So come, sit down here
next to me on the floor, and look deep into my
eyes. What do you see? If you look hard and deep
enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart.
Come to me not as "alpha" or as "trainer" or
even "Mom or Dad," come to me as a living soul
and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one
another's eyes and talk. I may tell you
something about the fun of chasing a tennis
ball, or I may tell you something profound about
myself, or even life in general.
You decided to have me in your life because you
wanted a soul to share such things with. Someone
very different from you, and here I am. I am a
dog, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel
physical senses, and I can revel in the
differences of our spirits and souls. I do not
think of you as a "Dog on two feet" -- I know
what you are and who you are. You are human, in
all your quirkiness, and I love you still.
Now, come sit with me, on the floor. Enter my
world, and let time slow down if only for 15
minutes. Look deep into my eyes, and whisper
into my ears. Speak with your heart, with your
joy, and I will know your true self. We may not
have tomorrow, but we do have today, and life is
oh so very short. So please--come sit with me
now and let us share these precious moments we
Love, on behalf of canines everywhere.
"Interview at the Dog Pound"
As a journalist, I decided to go to the dog
pound, and interview some of the "inmates". I
wanted to know what it was like in there from
their perspective. What follows is not for the
faint of heart.
I entered the building, and one of the workers
accompanied me to the holding area. This is
where dogs are kept before they are allowed up
for adoption.IF they are allowed up for
adoption. If the dogs are found to be aggressive
in any way, euthanasia is employed. Fortunately,
if "fortunately" is the word to be used
here.this is a Canadian establishment, and they
use lethal injection, not a gas chamber.
The pound worker led me past a big steel door
that says "Employees Only". "What is in there?"
I asked. From the look he gave me, I knew that
this is where dogs go in, and never return.
We moved on to a row of kennels. The dogs were
barking loudly, there was the acrid smell of
urine and feces, and a feeling of despair seemed
to permeate the room.
"Go ahead," the worker said. "They're all
I looked into the first kennel, and saw only the
back of a medium sized dog who was curled up in
the corner of his kennel, shivering. He was
mostly white, with some black spots. "Hello?" I
said. "May I come in?" He lifted his head, as
though it weighed more than he could bear. When
he looked at me, I could see he was a Pitbull.
His eyes were gentle, but filled with grief.
"Enter," was all he said.
I stepped in, closing the gate behind me. He put
his head back down, facing away from me. I
crouched down a few feet away.
"My name is Pete. Petey my Master called me," he
said, still not looking at me.
"Why are you here Pete?" I asked.
"I am here because Master cannot afford to move
to another province. I am here because someone
with power said I am vicious, and a killer.
Someone who never met me. Master took me for a
walk one day, and some lady started to scream
when she saw me. I got frightened, and barked at
her. The dog police came, and they took me away.
I have been with Master for 10 years. The last
time I saw him, he just held me and cried. He
kept telling me he was sorry. I worry for him.
Whatever will he do without me?" Pete shivered
even more. A tear slid down my face. I am
supposed to remain objective, but this was
"Thank you Pete." I said. He said nothing as I
got up and left his kennel.
The kennel next to Pete's held a very young
looking dog. Pure Border Collie by my guess. He
stood on his hind legs, looking at me through
"Hello. My name's Popper. He tilted his head.
"Are you here to take me home?"
"No, I'm sorry," I replied. "But I would like to
talk with you."
"Sure. What would you like to talk about?"
"Popper, how did you come to be in this place?"
Popper dropped down from the gate, with a
perplexed look on his face. He walked to the
back of the kennel, then back to the front. I
noticed he had one blue eye, and one brown. He
was quite beautiful. His black and white coat
was shiny and thick.
"I am not certain WHY I am here. I think maybe
my family will come back for me. They bought me
when I was only 6 weeks old. I remember they
said how smart Border Collies are, and how it
would be so easy to train me. They were very
excited at first. The little ones played with me
all the time. But the trouble with little
Masters is, they refuse to stay in a group. I
constantly had to nip their heels to keep them
together." He looked confused. "Why won't they
stay in a group?" he sighed. "So I did what I
thought I should do. I am not quite sure why the
little ones screamed when I did my job, but they
did, and the Masters got very angry at me. They
also got angry when I had to relieve myself, and
did so in the house. I am not sure where they
expected me to go. All they said was that I was
the smartest breed in the world, and I should
just KNOW better. Then they left me in the yard
for a month or so. I got bored a lot, and I dug
holes in the grass. The next thing I knew, the
Masters brought me here."
Popper jumped back up on the gate, his white
paws protruding through the links. He looked at
me with his lovely eyes, and asked "Will you
please let them know I want to come home? Please
tell them I promise I will be good?"
"I will Popper," I said.
My heart was breaking. I was beginning to regret
coming here, but their stories had to be told. I
moved along. The next dog I saw looked to be
easily 100 lbs., a Rottweiler. He was handsome
indeed, except for the scars on his face and
back. He tilted his head, and looked me right in
"Hello. Who are you?" he asked.
"I am a reporter," I replied. "May I speak with
you for a little while?"
"Most certainly. My name is Spartan. You can
come in, I won't bite," he said.
"Thank you Spartan. I will."
I entered his kennel, reached out and stroked
his giant head. He made a loud grumbling noise,
and closed his eyes.
"Spartan, why are you here?"
Before he could answer my question, he was
suddenly in the grip of a nasty coughing spasm.
It sounded painful.
"Please excuse me," he said when it passed.
"Kennel cough. It seems all of us who come in
here get it.
"Why am I here? Well, about two years ago, I was
born in the backyard of some person I can't even
recall. I had 11 brothers and sisters. I recall
a day when a big man came and gave that person
some money, and took me away from my mother.
They had to chain her up, as she was very angry
that he took me. They chained her and beat her.
I came to know the man by the name of Jim. I
overheard him telling his friends that I would
grow up to be big and mean like my mother. But
as I grew older, all I wanted to do was play and
be friends with everyone. Jim said I needed to
be taught how to be mean, so he chained me up in
the yard. No more house for me, he said, I was
too spoiled. When people came by to visit, I was
so happy to see them. I wanted them to come and
play. But that made Jim angry, so he beat me
with sticks and chains. When he came near, I
would roll onto my back so he would know I
wasn't a bad dog. That made him beat me more."
Spartan's eyes clouded with grief. "Then he
brought me here."
I reached out and stroked Spartan's massive
gentle head once more. "I am so sorry Spartan.
Some people are just plain evil." I gave him a
kiss and left his kennel. As I walked away,
Spartan called out, "What will happen to me,
I shook my head. "I can't say Spartan. Maybe
someone kind will come and get you. We can only
I walked a little further down. I could see a
shape moving at the back of the next kennel.
"Hello?" I called out. Suddenly the shape lunged
at the gate in a fury, barking and gnashing its
teeth. I stumbled backwards, and crashed into an
adjacent kennel. The other dogs began barking
loudly and jumping at their gates.
"Don't go near her," a small female voice came
from behind me. "She's mad."
I gathered myself back together, and saw a
little Jack Russell Terrier behind me.
"Thanks for the warning," I was still trembling.
Across the way, the other dog, apparently a
Husky and German Shepherd cross, was glaring at
me, lips curled back revealing brown stained
teeth. Her ribs and hips showed through her
dull, matted grey coat.
The little dog invited me into her kennel, and I
gladly went in.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Patsy." The little brown and white
dog held a paw up to the gate in greeting.
"My owner surrendered me. She said she wanted a
cute little dog like the one on the TV show,
Frasier. She didn't bother to look into the type
of dog I am." Patsy heaved a sigh.
"I suppose she expected me to just lie about and
only need a short walk each day, just like
Eddie, but my energy was so high that I needed
to run and play." She glanced at her
surroundings. "Now I am here. I suppose it could
be worse. I could be like.her." Patsy looked
towards the still growling dog across the way.
"What happened to make her so vicious?" I asked.
"From what we could gather," she replied. "she
was found tied in a back yard. She only had a
three foot chain. Some days there was no water.
Rarely was there any food. One day a nice
neighbour came by and brought her some meat. By
then it was too late. She was already mad. She
broke off her chain, and bit the poor man badly.
We know she will be going behind the steel door.
I am sad to say, I think it will be best.
Perhaps then she will know some peace."
Just then, the door at the end of the building
opened, and a woman stepped inside. All the dogs
began to bark wildly, then one by one, they went
quiet. I whispered to Patsy, "Who is that? Why
have all the dogs gone quiet?"
Patsy breathed deeply through her little nose,
and closed her eyes. "SHE is a Rescuer. Can't
you smell it?" she asked.
"Smell what?" I was confused.
"Compassion. Love. Sorrow. It emanates from her
pores. She is here for one of us, but nobody
knows who just yet." Patsy looked hopeful.
The Rescuer moved from kennel to kennel, looking
at each dog. I sat quietly watching. I could see
tears in her eyes as she made eye contact with
each one. She stopped at Spartan's cage and
spoke quietly to him.
"No more beatings my man. No more. You are
coming with me. From here on in, it's all going
to get better." The Rescuer produced a leash,
opened the kennel door, and took Spartan away.
As he walked beside her, his little stubby tail
wagged with delight.
Patsy sighed again. I could see the
disappointment in her eyes, and it grieved me.
They all had the same look, as they watched The
"I am so sorry Patsy," I said in a whisper. "But
you are a little dog, and everyone loves little
dogs. I am convinced you will be rescued soon."
Patsy's brown eyes twinkled at me, a little bit
of hope returning.
I had heard and seen enough. I needed to tell
people how it was for these unfortunate
creatures. They were all here through no fault
of their own. I stood to leave. I passed by many
other dogs I did not interview, looking at each
one, wishing I could take them all home with me
and give them the love they deserved.
I stood by the door taking one last glance back,
when it opened, and one of the pound workers
came in. His face was drawn and sad. He walked
by without a word, and stopped at Pete's kennel.
I heard him take a deep breath, then he paused,
and opened the kennel door. The words were
muffled, but I am sure I heard him say "I'm
sorry old boy."
He came out, with Petey in tow. The old dog's
head hung down in resignation, and they both
disappeared behind the big steel door.