Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)
TITLE: Not A Pet Lover
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Do not misunderstand. Animals should not be mistreated, used for gross experiments or made to suffer just for our profit or sick understanding of fun. Sports like dogfights, cock fights, bear baiting are not sports, but simply personality throwbacks to the Gladiator mentality, combined with the desire for easy gambling money.
But: animals are not human! We mistakenly ascribe human traits or personality to them. Sure puppies and kittens are easy to love and cuddle like human babies. But they grow up. Then they are not so cute nor display the better human traits. With dogs back yards must be cleaned of doggie deposits; cat litter boxes must be emptied; snakes must be fed live mice; lizards stink; parrots shriek – animal lovers are welcome to them. Just don’t expect me to be excited about their treasures.
STOP. Before you mail me 200 hamsters in an effort to increase my animal compassion, hear the rest of the story.
Six years ago Mayo Clinic diagnosed my wife with a rare brain disease. She would be home bound from that time on. Some of our good church friends raise purebred Golden Retrievers as a business. Learning of my wife’s situation, they came to her and said, “Goldens make great companions. We want to give you the pick of our newest litter.” A substantial and graceful gift. “I like that one,” Karen said, choosing the smallest and reddest female pup of the litter. A wise choice as our house is small. Karen’s choice’s bigger brother was named Two By Four and weighs in at some 60 pounds bigger.
“What will you name her,” our children asked. “You know my favorite Disney movie is Lady and the Tramp. Her name is Lady,” Karen announced. Thus Karen christened her companion Lady Kinu [Kinu being Japanese for golden dog, another story]. Lady had a pleasing personality. Charming. Loving. Seeking to please. Loving to be petted and had attention paid to her. During the winter, Lady will sit on Karen’s feet, keeping them warm. Lady does not rush around the house, but waits patiently for Karen to move. Lady and I enrolled in a puppy obedience course, mostly for my benefit. A few simple rules and commands form the limits of human restriction. The rest, Lady developed on her own. Karen responds with training her in small tricks and encouraging Lady with doggy treats.
Now, years later, Lady continues to be a companion to Karen. Calm and entertaining, Lady dotes on Karen, sitting by her chair. Lady waits for us to come home, greeting us at the door with a doggy smile and a tail that wags at 60 mph. My current occupation forces me to slog through the societal sewer. Lady brings a form of peace and comfort to this sour employment as I sit in my easy chair in the evening. She comes over and lays her head on my lap, looks up at me with soulful eyes as if to say, “I understand and I’m sorry.”
Thus, I will sing the praises of Lady Kinu, for she is the perfect companion and joy giver to the Lady of My Life.
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