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How Could You?
January 25, 2011

This story reminded me of Plummy's past, and how she came to be with me. How she most likely would have ended up had I not pulled her from that kill shelter in the summer of '09.

Reading this just makes me want to go right out and rescue another pug who has been abandoned by his family. And another one, and another one, and another. As many pugs as I can fit in my house. I may become a pug hoarder one of these days and you'll end up seeing my sad story on Animal Planet.

Have tissues handy..

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 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, especially 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, 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, 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.


Adopt - Don't Shop

Posted by Lori on January 25, 2011 6:29 AM permalink Comments (6)



Janesca commented January 25, 2011 9:49 AM

Makes me wish we didnt have a no pets rule on our lease!



greg commented January 25, 2011 2:31 PM

So sad, you got me. There should be a test for people who want dogs to see if they qualify as "Dog People" I have seen almost the same thing described above happen before. My brother in law would have gotten rid of his 10 year old collie if he could have sold his house. He told me "We will go visit her" Right. Personally I would live under a bridge with Brutus before I would give him up. He is Priceless to my wife and I.

P.S. You know Brutus would live anywhere to be by us, even under a bridge.



emily the biker pug commented January 25, 2011 5:01 PM

Lori that is a real tear jerker.
There is an old saying if your boyfriend or girlfriend don't get along with your dog give him or her the boot.
I can actually see you doing paragraph #2 in the no so distant future but I think you will only take on what you can properly care for.
I will say it does help to have multiple pugs when one passes.
Lilly was dropped off at the vet with a kill order (skin and bones being starved) because she could not be house broken she was only one year old.
Lori she is the sweetest dog you could ever want, she is a bit rambunctious at times, if your fingers get in her mouth she is ever so gentle a real snuggler and possible Jeanine's favorite.
Yea she does seem to have a problem with #2 in the house easy fix take her out on a schedule and before the others especially if she is anxious.
And then there is Sunshine and you know about her she is a daddy's girl for sure. I love that pug.



Lauren Gaught commented January 25, 2011 9:29 PM

Our Toby found himself heartworm positive and trapped in a shelter before we rescued him... It was touch and go through the treatment, he was so weak... He would freak out, scream, and claw when we would load him in the car, I have no doubt he was taken on "the ride" with his former owners... I don't know why in the hell they would dump such a loving, devoted Pug, but I am glad he found his way to us...

My dogs are my life and my family, there will never be a situation that would not include them... So sad...



Laura commented January 26, 2011 9:44 PM

I bought the dog I have now from a small family breeder, but in the future, I will be adopting. Thank you for sharing this, it made me cry for all those dogs (and cats) who are put to sleep because they don't have a loving home. You do a great thing for your Pug Rescue, and I am so glad you do it.

I've told boyfriends (and my now live-in boyfriend) that the dog and cat are my kids and aren't going anywhere. One ex almost convinced me to give up my cat... but he became an ex before she went anywhere.

((hugs)) Lori, while you deal with your loss of Plummy.



Amber & Mr. Pups commented January 28, 2011 2:54 PM

I would live in a ditch before I let Mr. Pups go. I would have to die to be seperated from him actually.

This story is way too sad!


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