View Full Version : How Could You?

02-19-2003, 08:52 AM
This is probably one of the most moving stories I have ever read and I wanted to share it with you all. It has quite a message and I wish all who wish to bring a dog (or cat) into their life would read this before doing so. If you are at work, you may want to wait and read it at home as it will be impossible not to cry.


When I was a puppy I entertained you with my antics and made you
laugh. You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a
couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I
was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" -- but
then you'd relent and roll me over for a bellyrub.
My housetraining took a little longer than expected, because you were
terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of
nuzzling you in bed, listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I
believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks
and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone
because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the
sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.
Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career,
and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently,
comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you
about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you
fell in love.
She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" -- still I welcomed her into
our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because
you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your
excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I
wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt
them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog
crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."
As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur
and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes,
investigated my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything
about them and their touch -- because your touch was now so infrequent --
and I would have defended them with my life if need be.
I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret
dreams. Together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.
There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you
produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me.
These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I
had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every
expenditure on my behalf.
Now you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and
they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made
the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your
only family. I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the
animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness.
You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good
home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand
the realities facing a middle-aged dog or cat, even one with "papers." You
had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No,
Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and
what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about
love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a
goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my
collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one,
After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your
upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home.
They shook their heads and asked, "How could you?"
They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy
schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago.
At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it
was you -- that you had changed your mind -- that this was all a bad
dream... or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who
might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for
attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a
far corner and waited.
I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I
padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet
room. She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to worry.
My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a
sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my
nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs
heavily on her and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.
She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down
her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many
years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I
felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down
sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured, "How could you?"
Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said, "I'm so sorry."
She hugged me and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to
a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have
to fend for myself -- a place of love and light so very different from this
earthly place. With my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a
thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not meant for her. It was
you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait
for you forever.
May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

-- Jim Willis <tiergartenjim @ yahoo.com>

Aspen and Misty
02-19-2003, 09:12 AM
I've heard that before. Always a tear Jerker.


02-19-2003, 09:27 AM
I have never heard that before.. It made me cry nonstop...sooo sad. Thanx for letting everyone get to read it. (I can't stop crying)

02-19-2003, 11:20 AM
I KNEW this would be a "cryer" but I read it anyway. Now I just want to go to the shelter and "save someone"!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But y9ou can't save them all, can you?:(

The bigggest problem is that the people that NEED to read this, never will :(

02-19-2003, 06:17 PM
I was in tears for 20 minutes this morning, trying to get ready for work, and of course checking PT "quickly" before I went in. I was so upset, it really made me sad--I forgot to take my medication, and my husband had to bring it in for me.
Thanks for sharing it with us.