I stole your dog today. No, I didn’t set a foot on
your property, but from the condition of your dog, I
can imagine what it looks like…the word “junkyard”
comes to mind.I found her along a road, with a heavy chain wrapped
around her neck, still attached to rotten boards from
her doghouse, with rusty six-penny nails protruding.
Not only did I know that most of the town had already
ignored her, judging by where I found her, but I knew
that if she had gotten into the woods the “cross” that
she dragged behind her would have wrapped around a
tree until starvation or thirst killed her.The local populace is usually deaf to the sound or blind
to the sight of an animal in need, unless they decide to
shoot one for trespassing.That her ribs showed, that
her ears were filthy, that her overall condition was poor
and that her coat and eyes were dull, were good indications
that you didn’t deserve her. But just to make sure, I
checked with the local authorities for a report of a missing
(unlicensed) dog matching her description and to see
if you’d placed a “lost dog” advertisement in the
local newspaper. You hadn’t, which I can only surmise
means that you do not miss her. That’s rather
convenient, because the fact that she is not spayed,
probably unvaccinated, and possibly heartworm positive
means that restoring her health could cost me around a
thousand dollars.

Perhaps it may be some small comfort to know that she
doesn’t miss you. In fact, her very act of escape made
it clear that she’d had enough of your brand of pet
guardianship. It took her about a day to realize that
I’m not you, that I won’t hurt her, that despite our
brief acquaintanceship, I love her. It took two days for her
to realize that the other animals who live here accept
her and that one of the joys she has been missing has
been the companionship of other dogs. It took three
days for her to appreciate the ecstasy of a home
cooked meal and that a couch is meant to be reclined
on, and that she no longer has to sleep outside – in fact,
when the thunder starts, she’ll get a hug and her ears
rubbed, and I’ll make a fool of myself with baby talk.

She has a beautiful name now. Already in the first
week she has come to look more like she should. Her
eyes sparkle and she has learned to wag her tail in
greeting. She has stopped flinching when I make a
sudden movement, because she knows now that I won’t
beat her, in fact, she rarely leaves my side. She’s
even become brave enough to bark at a cat and today I
watched from the window as she initiated play with the
other dogs. No, it’s clear she does not miss you or
her former life of neglect on a chain.

Of all the things that have become apparent from my
brief relationship with her – such as the forgiving
nature of the dog, their wonderful ability to heal and
to trust, the fact that love can work miracles – one
of the most apparent is what a fool you are. She was
possibly the most trusting, loyal and loving being in
your life, and you consigned her to a life of filth and
loneliness until she made the best choice she’s ever
made when she broke free. Perhaps her guardian angel
helped her escape. Lest anyone should mistake me for
an angel, I will admit that one day I hope to be as
good as she; I believe she forgave you within the
first twenty-four hours of her new life for the about
four years of her previous “life,” while I still
wrestle with the part of me that hopes that one day
you will burn in Hell.

It’s not clear yet whether she’ll remain here or
whether I’ll find her a loving home where she can
count on more individual attention than I can give
her, but one thing is certain, this is one bit of
stolen “property” who is never returning to you. So
sue me, prosecute me, plead with
the courts that she is rightfully yours…I’m
convinced this is the best “crime” I’ve ever
committed. Hardly anything has pleased me more than
the day I stole your dog. I need only look into her
beautiful brown eyes to know that she’d defend my
decision with her life. If we have one prayer, it is
that you will not replace her, and if we have one
special day to commemorate together, it is the day I
stole your dog and the day she stole my heart.
Too bad we can pass this along to the hate group
people who accuse rescuers of *stealing* dogs just
like this one..

Copyright Jim Willis 2002

Be Sociable, Share!
Email This Post Email This Post

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!