Friday, April 8, 2011

A Dog's Prayer

This was part of an article in Dog Star Daily on grief and the final stages of our lives with our furry four paws. I challenge the view of human as lord and master and dog as servant to do our bidding, but I thought it was a sweet view of our dogs through the lense of our human understanding. Read the full article here

A Dog's Prayer

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.

Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land. You are my god and I am your devoted worshipper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest. I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Open Letter to Animal Abusers

To Anyone Who Has Harmed, Neglected, Or Abused An Animal:

I do not have the energy to wish you hurt. I am exhausted from bathing, feeding, and assessing behavior to determine the extent abuse has effected an animal's psyche.
I do not wish you pain or injury. I am too busy transporting an abused animal to a medical facility, pacing the floors during emergency surgery, taking an animal for checkups, giving medicine at all hours, changing bandages, giving subcutaneous fluids, and feeding them by hand or syringe until they can eat on their own.

I will not use my time or breath to insult you. I am too busy teaching a previously abused or neglected animal to trust again and educating our rescue's foster families how to do the same for the animals I don't personally care for.

I do not want you to experience what you did to an animal. I am too busy trying to heal the emotional wounds of an abused or neglected animal learn those awful experiences won't happen ever again and comforting volunteers who are experiencing this level of abuse for the first time.

I will not give my energy to contribute to conversations that only speak of unethical ways punishing you. My energy goes to solving the problem of abuse through education, awareness, and improved legislation.

I will not use my time to harass you online or in "real life". I really have no more free time left as it is already taken writing to my legislators and congress members, participating in rallies and protests, and lobbying on Capitol Hill.

I will not say I hope that you never have children or that you don't have children in your life. I use my voice instead for the children in humane education courses and helping teachers learn how to help kids speak in safe environments about the animal abuse in their homes before the animal abuse turns to domestic abuse.

What I do want for you is for you to experience the process of acceptance, to acknowledge your actions, be accountable for your choices, and seek whatever help you need to deal with anger management or psychiatric counseling.

I want for you to serve your time willingly, not make excuses, and recognize the redemption found in helping others in need.

I want you to heal whatever it is inside you that let you think it was acceptable to do what you did.

I want you to heal enough that you are able to give back to the community that came together to clean up your mess and fix your mistakes.

Melissa Szumlinski