As I struggle through my line edits, I (like all writers who procrastinate) occasionally glance at Facebook. On my feed are a lot of postings for urgent dogs, urgent cats, pets someone once wanted and now "no longer has time for." Dogs that were first kicked out of the house and relegated to the backyard, where they were ignored. Some of them were starved or got heartworms because the owner wouldn't pony up the money to give the dog one tiny pill a month.
This saddens me, sickens me, makes me want to weep.
I just read about some dog in Miami who was left in the backyard and ignored for so long his collar became imbedded in his neck. I see starving dogs, sick dogs, abused dogs. These trusting, loving creatures... words fail me.
All of the animal shelters are full around here. Begging for adoptions. The rescue groups are begging for fosters. Young dogs are being euthanized. People are actually dumping old dogs that they've had as a pet for eight, ten years, because they were what - too old? How would those people feel if society treated them like that? Seriously.
I have three dogs of my own. Beloved family members, all of them. I also have a big heart, but a limited budget. If I could, I'd foster. I will, someday. I'd like to save them all, but know I can't.
The North Richland Hills Animal Shelter, the Watauga Animal Shelter, the Humane Society of North Richland Hills, Legacy Boxer Rescue, Austin Boxer Rescue - every day I see these posts. I see these loving animals with their eyes full of hope.
So please, if you're thinking about getting a pet for the holidays, think about a shelter dog or a rescue dog. And remember, having a dog is a for-the-rest-of-their-life committment. They have such short lives as it is. They deserve to be loved.