How Could You...?


Old school tPFer
Jan 31, 2006
Montreal, Quebec.
helloo everybody~!:flowers:

Given that small pets are a growing trend nowadays, i'm sure all you animal lovers out there can relate to the fact that more and more pets are bred every day to supply the growing demand, more and more pets are bought every day as a fashion accessory, and more and more pets are abandoned at the shelter to eventually meet their untimely death. :sad:

Here's a poem i found online i think every person should read before deciding on becoming the sole purpose of life to another living being.

The author of the poem wrote it with the intention of letting the world read it, so please feel free to share it with the world~! :yes:


p.s u might want to bring out the kleenex.;)


Old school tPFer
Jan 31, 2006
Montreal, Quebec.
By Jim Willis 2001

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 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 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
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, and 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, 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 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 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 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. 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 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.

The End

A note from the author:
If "How Could You?" brought tears to your eyes as you read it,
as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite
story of the millions of formerly owned pets who die each
year in American and Canadian animal shelters. Anyone is
welcome to distribute the essay for a noncommercial purpose,
as long as it is properly attributed with the copyright notice.


Love me, love my cat
Sep 24, 2007
Doll Divas :)

I only read a little at the beginning and skimmed over the end of it. I can't read very much of this sort of thing because it is too heartbreaking to dwell on. It's happening here in Australia too of course - and I don't get how we consider ourselves a "civilized" society when people still abandon pets as if they were of no account. It would be good to see greater public awareness of the plight of abandoned animals - I suspect most people simply do not realise how rewarding it is to rescue an animal. Here's a little story for you:

About this time last year, DH and I were coming back from a day trip interstate - his father's funeral, a very sad day for us. Our flight arrived back at about 10pm. We were in the carpark heading towards our car when we heard a cat howling. Investigation found a kitten about six months old hiding under a car. I coaxed him out only to find he was in a pitiable state - his little paws and tummy were ripped up and caked with dried blood and matted fur. It looked as though he'd been dragged along under a car. His eyes were running and he was filthy and oozing from his wounds. He must have been in terrible pain. He was bewildered, frightened, he was just an injured little tabby all alone in the world with no food, no shelter, not even so much as a drink of water.

So we took him home and fed him - he was badly dehydrated and starving. Heaven only knows how he managed to walk on those poor little mutilated feet, but he plodded his way to the litter trays - he'd obviously been someone's pet. We made up a bed for him and went to bed ourselves.

I took him to the vet the next day. The vet checked for a microchip, there wasn't one so no way we could return him to his owners. He said if we took the kitten to a shelter they would put him down as his injuries would need surgery, and the shelters simply do not have the money to rehabilitate an injured stray tabby kitten.

I took a deep breath and told the vet to do whatever was needed to save him. We already had four cats and didn't need or want another, but the night before, when we brought him home and offered him food and water, the poor little injured thing managed to raise a purr - he knew he'd been rescued. There in the vet's surgery, it was basically up to me to choose whether he lived or died, and I couldn't condemn an injured little innocent to death. For me it was literally a case of have him put down and go on my way ... or do without the next expensive handbag and let him have a chance at life.

There's a pair of big green eyes looking up at me as I type. He's a lovely boy, happy, healthy and playful. He can't jump or climb because one foot was too badly injured, but it doesn't seem to bother him. He knows he has a loving home and that's all he cares about - that's all any dog or cat cares about, isn't it? They don't care how rich or poor we are, how old or young, how beautiful or ugly - all they ask is that we love them and care for them. It's not much to ask for all they give.


"H" is for horses?
Oct 10, 2006
I am so watered up right now, that was so sad and unfortunately very true :crybaby:


Sep 21, 2007
It's so sad, but true. I cried reading it too. I always wonder the story of the animals in shelters and how they all ended up there, esp. when you see a "trendy" breed.


Jan 14, 2007
wow tear rolled down my face. i loved the poem im going to send it to my friends and as soon as i get home im giving lots and lots of besitos (kisses) to my Doggie. Thank you for reminding us about this situation.


Cocktail dress thug.
Mar 12, 2007


Feb 6, 2007
That made me cry too. I felt happy reading the beginning, but half way through my eyes got all watery and flowed.


Sep 21, 2007
OK, I read it. And you know what? I am going to adopt my third doxie as soon as we all get settled into our new home.
That was my reaction as well. I've wanted a second for some time and I know my dog would love it too-I think I'll be taking a trip to the shelter soon.