History says that dogs are man’s best friend. They are loyal, affectionate, caring, kind, loving, devoted, playful, and more. Many people have them for pets for those reasons. While I’ve never owned one, I definitely have had my share of being close to some through my sister’s family, through friends, or through roommates. But as much as dogs are willing to offer so many wonderful traits, they have feelings too just like people.
Over the past few years I’ve had a few people close to me that have mistreated their dogs. The worst was with a guy I knew that was an active drug addict and every time he was on the downside of his addiction, he would kick his dog when it was just trying to get attention and affection. Most dogs won’t defend themselves, especially to their masters. Ironically, the way this man treated his dog was the same way he treated everyone else in his life.
On a more subtle level, any house-bound dog is dependent on their owner to be taken care of. Unless there is an exit-way to the yard from inside the house, a dog is unable to go to the bathroom. As for feeding themselves, I don’t know of any dog that is able to do that. Dogs really can’t show themselves affection with the exception of grooming themselves. While they may chase their tails or run around the house at times on their own, most are dependent on their masters to play with them as well.
My reason for writing this entry is due to observations of people I continue to see that are mistreating their pets. There is one person I know that is completely unaware his animal is being mistreated by him. Neglected is probably a better word to describe it. Sometimes, this person works upwards of twelve hour shifts leaving his dog at home for the duration. They have maintained that their dog is able to go for those periods of time holding their bladder and waiting to eat again. While this may be true, is it really fair? I know I couldn’t go 12 hours without urinating. And unless I’m fasting, I’m usually pretty starving after twelve hours of not eating anything. At least with human beings, most are able to go out, socialize, take care of themselves, and be independent. Dogs can’t do that. And this person’s dog will sit and wait all day doing nothing at the house just waiting for their master to come home. What’s even harder on this dog is that this person doesn’t always walk them when they first come home after all those long hours or even after their master first wakes up in the morning. Just recently, this dog had an accident all over the floors and carpets in that person’s house because of that reason. It was blamed on some medication the dog currently was taking. While that may have been the cause, is it really fair to make a dog wait for their master’s own needs?
I compare all of this to someone who is in hospice care or dependent upon a day nurse. People under care such as this rely solely upon this help to go to the bathroom, shower, eat, socialize, and receive attention. Without it would be disastrous. Should it be any different with a dog who is house bound?
Currently I’m not able to have a dog as a pet because I’m renting. I look forward to the day though that I’m able to. With all the work I’ve been doing on my life to become more selfless and God-centered, I know that any dog I owned would be well taken care of before even my own needs. I really can’t imagine spending 12 hours in a house alone staring at the walls every day, holding my bladder, and waiting to eat again. Most dogs offer so much unconditional love. Don’t they deserve the same treatment that their master might offer their own self? If a dog is truly man’s best friend, then why should any dog be neglected or abused?
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson