How Could You? A Dog’s Tale

When I was a puppy I entertained you with my tricks and made you laugh. You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple ripped pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was bad you would shake your finger and ask how could you? But then you would stop and give me a belly rub. My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were very busy but we worked on it together. We went for long walks and runs in the parks, car rides, stops for ice cream and I only got the cone because ice cream is bad for dogs that is what you said. And I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day. Gradually you began spending more time on your work and career and searching for a mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointment.
Never questioned your bad decisions and when you fell in love. Now you have a wife but she is not a dog person, still I welcomed her into our home and showed affection and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy but then children came along and I shared your excitement I wanted to treat them well. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them. I spent most of my time stuck in another room or a dog crate. As they began to grow I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, they poked my eyes, looked at my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their rubs. I would sneak into their room and listen to their worries and together we would wait for the sound of your car on the driveway.
There had been a time where others asked if they had a dog, you would show a photo of me from your wallet told them stories about me. These past few years you just answered yes and changed the subject. I had gone from being your dog to just a dog. Now you have a career opportunity in another city and you will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You have made the right decision for your family but there was a time when I was your only family. I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of cats and dogs, of fear and hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said I know you will find a good home for him. They understand the reality facing a middle aged dog even one with papers. You had to pry your sons hand off my collar as he screamed no dad please don’t let them take my dog and I worried for him about what lessons you have just taught him about loyalty, love, respect and responsibility and respect for all life.

You gave me a goodbye pat on the head avoided my gaze politely, refused to take my collar and leash with you. After you left the two nice ladies, said this is not going to be easy. They are attentive to us here at the shelter as their busy schedule allow they fed us of course but I lost my appetite days ago. At first whenever anyone past my pen I rushed to the front hoping it was you that you changed your mind that this was some bad dream or hoped that it would at least be someone who cared anyone who might save me but I would just give up and sat in the corner. I heard footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I paddled along the aisle after her to a separate room. She placed me on the table rubbed my ears and told me not to worry. My heart pounded at the anticipation of what was to come. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek.
She expertly slid the needle into my vein as I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body. I lay down, sleepily looked into her kind eyes and muttered how could you? Perhaps she understood what my eyes were telling her. She said I’m so sorry and hugged me and explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place where I would not be ignored, abused or abandoned or have to fend myself a place of light and different to this earthly place. And with the last bit of my energy I tried to tell her with a thump of my tail that my how could you was not directed at her. It was you my beloved master I was thinking of. I will think of you forever. May everyone in your life to show you so much loyalty.
The end.

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