View Full Version : How Could You?

08-01-2005, 06:30 PM
How Could You?
By: Jim Willis

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 belly

My housebreaking 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 and listening to your confidences and
secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more

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

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 defended them with my life if need be. I
would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret
dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the

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, 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 good-bye 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, too. 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

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 and 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

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.

And 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 directed at her. It was
directed at you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of you. I will
think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life
continue to show you so much loyalty.

08-01-2005, 06:50 PM
This has been posted several times before. It is always sad.

08-01-2005, 07:07 PM

08-02-2005, 12:18 AM
oh my gosh, that is so incredibley sad...i am in tears...it makes me wanna go love on my dogs....:( :(

08-02-2005, 01:17 AM
I have not caught this before! I am crying for this story! Thanks so much for sharing. It gets a message across to people.

Steph and Jes