This wonderful and touching piece of writing was submitted to me by one of my readers and friend, Thomas Johnson, with the permission to publish it. Get our tissues out for this one!

I Saw You

© 2003 Thomas H. Johnston

I saw you abandon and try to kill your best friend yesterday. I was sitting on my front porch when you pulled up to the tennis courts and parked under the big oak tree.

I watched as you opened the door, got out and let your best friend get out of the car. He was dancing around your feet with joy at the thought of a run in the park with you.

You let him run over to the softball field, then jumped back in your car and sped off. Your best friend looked after you in consternation, then chased you as far and as fast as his little legs would go. You almost wrecked your car pulling out into traffic. Your best friend almost got killed by the next car to turn into the park as he stood there and stared after you.

I thought you should know that the little dog you abandoned went back to the big oak tree, there he stayed for the rest of the day. When he first went back to the tree, he sat down, threw his head back and howled his grief and fear to the heavens, then he settled down, and loyal to a fault, waited for you to return. You never did, you never intended to return to the little animal who had given you his heart, his soul and his loyalty.

Animal Control was called but never came. Your dog waited there for you through thunderstorms and pouring rain. He never went more than 100 feet from where you left him, never sought shelter and would not approach anyone, rather he ran from them and made it clear he intended to wait for you.

I fed him twice, once before I went to work, once when I returned. He would not come to me.

One child was able to pet your best friend. He went home to see if he could keep your dog and was told he could bring him home long enough for Animal Control to come get him.

I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, so, I took your best friend in. I have seen abused animals before, but he was terrified. He cringed at any sudden movement or loud voice. His expressive eyes told the whole story…desperately afraid, yet so very hopeful that maybe, just maybe, this time he wouldn’t get hurt.

I stayed home from work today. Your former best friend and I took a trip to my vet. He was so scared, his little heart pounding. Afraid that he was going to be abandoned again.

As I expected, he was full of parasites, hook, round and pin worms. He has now had all his shots and is scheduled for surgery next week. The day I take him in for surgery, I will license him. I hope he doesn’t have heartworms, but if he does, I’ll see that he is treated for those as well.

If you should see this article, be warned. If you show your face or vehicle around my home, your license tag number will be noted and I will take a warrant for your arrest for Cruelty to Animals. Should I get the chance to do this, I will push for you to receive the maximum punishment that the law allows.

The Bible says that man was given dominion over the earth and the animals thereupon. If you look up the word dominion, it means stewardship. Stewardship means that man is the caretaker appointed to care for the Master’s property until the Master returns. Your brand of “stewardship” is unacceptable.

The Native Americans have a legend that says that when a person dies, before he or she is admitted into Heaven; they are judged by the animals they knew here on earth. If I were judging you, you would be consigned to the deepest pits of Hell. Knowing the love and loyalty your best friend had for you, I suspect he would forgive you. I wish I could.

Please note that “Li’l Bit” still lives with me. His greatest pleasure now (Besides howling at fire and ice cream trucks) is to sleep at my side. I am now “owned” by 4 rescued “Furry Children.” In my younger days I didn’t want a dog sleeping beside me on the bed. Now I get great comfort from having him beside me and being able to reach out and give him a rub without fully awakening.

Tom is a true advocate for canine welfare. In 1990 he led the fight that got the Federal laws changed so the the military can no longer arbitrarily kill their Military Working Dogs, but now must at least offer them the chance to be adopted.

Now he’s working with his Congressman for an addition to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to make animal abuse (read abuse of dogs) a court-martial offense.

I hope we’ll all hear more from him in the future.

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