I don't remember much from the place I was born. It was cramped and
dark and we were never played with by the humans. I remember Mom and
her soft fur, but she was often sick, and very thin. She had hardly
any milk for me and my brothers and sisters. I remember many of them
dying, and I missed them so.
I do remember the day I was taken from Mom. I was so sad and scared,
my milk teeth had only just come in, and I really should have been
with Mom still, but she was so sick, and the Humans kept saying that
they wanted money and were sick of the "mess" that me and my sister
made. So we were crated up and taken to a strange place. Just the
two of us.
We huddled together and were scared, still no human hands came to
pet or love us. So many sights and sounds, and smells! We are in a
store where there are many different animals! Some that squawk! Some
that meow! Some that peep!
My sister and I are jammed into a small cage, I hear other puppies
here. I see humans look at me. I like the "little humans," the kids.
They look so sweet, and fun, like they would play with me!
All day we stay in the small cage, sometimes mean people will hit
the glass and frighten us, every once in a while, we are taken out
to be held or shown to humans. Some are gentle, some hurt us. We
always hear "Aw they are so cute! I want one!" but we never get to
go with any.
My sister died last night, when the store was dark. I lay my head on
her soft fur and felt the life leave her small thin body. I had
heard them say she was sick, and I should be sold at "discount
price" so that I would quickly leave the store. I think my soft
whine was the only one that mourned for her as her body was taken
out of the cage in the morning and dumped.
Today, a family came and bought me! Oh happy day! They are a nice
family, they really, really wanted me! They bought a dish and food
and the little girl held me so tenderly in her arms. I love her so
much! The Mom and Dad say what a sweet and good puppy I am! I am
named Angel. I love to lick my new humans.
The family takes such good care of me, they are loving and tender
and sweet. They gently teach me right and wrong, give me good food,
and lots of love! I want only to please these wonderful people! I
love the little girl and I enjoy running and playing with her.
Today, I went to the veterinarian. It was a strange place and I was
frightened. I got some shots, but my best friend, the little girl,
held me so softly and said it would be OK, so I relaxed. The vet
must have said sad words to my beloved family, because they looked
awfully sad. I heard severe hip dysplasia, and something about my
heart...I heard the vet say something about backyard breeders and my
parents not being tested. I know not what any of that means, just
that it hurts me to see my family so sad, but they still love me,
and I still love them very much!
I am 6 months old now. Where most other puppies are robust and
rowdy, it hurts me terribly just to move. The pain never lets up. It
hurts to run and play with my beloved little girl, and I find it
hard to breath. I keep trying my best to be the strong pup I know
I'm supposed to be, but it is so hard. It breaks my heart to see the
little girl so sad, and to hear the Mom and Dad talk about, "it
might now be the time."
Several times I have gone to that veterinarian's place, and the news
is never good. Always talk about Congenital Problems. I just want to
feel the warm sunshine and run, and play, and muzzle with my family.
Last night was the worst, pain has been my constant companion now,
it hurts even to get up and get a drink. I try to get up but can
only whine in pain. I was taken in the car one last time. Everyone
is so sad, and I don't know why. Have I been bad? I try to be good
and loving, what have I done wrong?
Oh if only this pain would be gone! If only I could soothe the tears
of the little girl. I reach out my muzzle to lick her hand, but can
only whine in pain.
The veterinarians table is so cold. I am so frightened. The humans
all hug and love me, they cry into my soft fur. I can feel their
love and sadness. I manage to softly lick their hands. Even the vet
doesn't seem so scary today. He is gentle and I sense some kind of
relief for my pain. The little girl holds me softly and I thank her
for giving me all her love. I feel a soft pinch in my foreleg. The
pain is beginning to lift, I am beginning to feel peace descend upon
me. I softly lick her hand. My vision is becoming dreamlike now, and
I see my Mother and my brothers and sisters, in a far off green
place. They tell me there is no pain there, only peace and
happiness. I tell the family, good-bye in the only way I know how, a
soft wag of my tail and a nuzzle of my nose.
I had hoped to spend many, many moons with them, but it was not
meant to be. "You see, " said the veterinarian, "Pet shop puppies do
not come from ethical breeders."
The pain ends now, and I know it will be many years until I see my
beloved family again. If only things could have been different.
(This story may be published or reprinted in the hopes that it will
stop unethical breeders and those who breed only for money, and not
for the betterment of the breed. copyright 1999 J. Ellis)