Sunday, March 16, 2014

Of pets

Rescuing a terrified abandoned dog - The transformation

I love this video on many ways. In some,  because I've seen the rise of abandoned/lost dogs in the last few weeks, and it has pained me.

As I looked up the definition of pet, I had a revelation...
pet 1   (pĕt)
 An animal kept for amusement or companionship.
 3. A person especially loved or indulged; a favorite: the teacher's pet.
 Kept as a pet: a pet cat.
 Particularly cherished or indulged: a pet grandchild.
 Expressing or showing affection: a pet name.
 Being a favorite: a pet topic.
I think the thing I have a problem with,  is the definition that a pet is kept for amusement or companionship. A plaything.

That is absolutely selfish.

All those responsible pet ownership campaigns. They are absolutely true.  Choosing to have one,  is a lifetime commitment. It is cruel to get a pet,  and then change your mind just because it doesn't fit your lifestyle anymore. It's not cute anymore. It's not what you wanted anymore. And then just leave.

It reminded me of a passage in The Little Prince, where the Fox was explaining that once you have tamed something, made it your own,  it will always belong to you. Like the rose. It is why we are taught not to feed wild animals, because when you do, they become domesticated, dependant. Needing to rely on you. And when that happens, when that human contact is gone, and the creature has lost its animal instincts it becomes vunerable.

It can't feed itself as well. It becomes a sitting duck for hunters and poachers for instance.

Abandoning an animal, something that you loved and cared for, and loved and cared for you in its own way in return, is one of the most cruel things any one can do.

Watching the clip, I realised that we're like this dog as well. After being abandoned, betrayed, disappointed by another human just vanishing...  we often don't realise the hurt still remains. Maybe we've already lost hope. Think we're better off by ourselves, and become bitter and choose to be alone, rather than hurt again.

The thing is, if you look at the definition of pet, pet also means something deeply loved and cherished. It is why in literature,  "my pet" was often used as a term of affection. Something treasured above all else. And we all, naturally, want to be loved,  cherished and adored.

It's not like this poor doggy did not want love or food. It was ferocious because it was acting on pure instinct putting self-defense mechanisms on. Self-preservation.

The last time it was touched by a human, was probably when it's owner left it somewhere, and never came back. Maybe there was a crowd of naughty local boys who teased the poor dog, tempted the hungry thing with food, and when it came close enough, put cans on its tail, or lit it on fire.

That's why when humans came close again, it snarled. Snapped. Growled.

It was terrified, shaking and quivering with fear. Not having faith or trust that there was good in the world anymore.



A person willing to take that chance and risk being bitten.

And most importantly. .. love.

Look at how the doggy transformed when real, true love was sowed.

She blossomed into a beautiful, happy little dog again. Willing to give and receive love again.

And that my dears, is what so many of us are like.

We're hurt. Terrified. Scared and scarred by our pasts. And sometimes, like these animals, we are unable to speak about them too.

Till we meet that one person, who helps us learn how to trust and brings out the best in us all over again.
I don't know if I've met that person yet. I don't know if that person is you. .. or maybe someone I might meet next week.

But that whoever that person is for me, I know you will have the patience to try, try, try. You won't be scared away by the snapping and the growling. And you won't give up. Because that's what I will promise I will do with you too once you have my heart.

Everyone needs a little rescuing some times. And for all we know,  you might rescue me ... and land up realising, I saved you too.



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