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The Animal Person Minute: On Abuse of all Kinds


Our photo today features a puncture on Charles’ schnozzle, care of one of the three labs who live behind me who are never walked, and are turned out a handful of times each day to play in a 50′ by 30′ hunk of St. Augustine grass. They are overweight, frustrated dogs, who are dearly loved by people who aren’t meeting their needs. When their owners go to dinner, they howl the entire time (from their locked kennels in the kitchen). I’ve bought my neighbors books, I’ve volunteered to take the dogs to a sanctuary or find them homes elsewhere, and I’ve asked for a key to their house so I can spend time with the dogs or walk them when their owners aren’t home. . . .

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  1. I couldn't begin to tell you how often I witness this type of abuse—from people who really claim to love and care for their dogs. Witnessing this kind of irresponsible behavior has made me a much more aware dog parent. I really don't think many people know what it really takes to provide a good home for dogs. Almost all of my free time is swallowed up (happily) in taking care of my two dogs—taking them for four long walks, playing with them, allowing them to sit on my lap, giving them lots of attention. And they require this kind of attention each and every day—no "time off" from being a mindful guardian, either. On the other hand, I witness, too, a lot of inspirational bonds between humans and dogs (and cats, too, for that matter)—people who always put their animals first, and as a result, have deep and fulfilling relationships with them. Am baffled that people don't see the connection that giving a dog what she or he needs is also giving so much to one's self: fresh air, exercise, a sense of playfulness and curiosity, a lesson in the value of unconditional love. Animals teach us so much, and what a shame so many are unwilling to listen.

    July 24, 2007

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