While watching Black Beauty, I am again reminded of how important our animal friends are to all of us: dogs, cats, horses, etc. I am reminded repeatedly when I see dogs emaciated, cats hoarded, horses abused and whipped for millions of dollars, that animals have personalities as well as humans do. Let me ask you this question, readers, how would you like your pets to tell you how much they love or hate you? What if your pets could talk? What would they say?
Ok, let’s see: if my dog could talk, I’m sure it would not think first about me. Dogs just live so they can get food, water, and bones and toys and such. If a horse could talk, like in the narration of Black Beauty, I’m sure the horse would tell you lots of things. Now, readers, we turn to Gracie, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy that was raised to breed pup after pup litter in a puppy mill. What would she say? I’m going to try and attempt to make Gracie a voice, I’m going to try and type out her ideas here. They may not be accurate, but I’m going to try my best. Let’s try an interview with the dog. IF I could interview any of the dogs in a puppy mill, here’s what they’d say.
Imagine for a second you walked into a shelter. You saw dogs, cats, and all sorts of animal friends waiting for you. Walk up to the nearest dog in a cage, and here’s what you could ask:
Potential Dog Owner asks: Hi, sweet puppy. Would you like a home?
Dog in Cage says: Yes, I’d love a good home, but I’m nervous. I’ve lived in a puppy mill for x years. (let’s say about six).
We encounter the puppy mill part of the dog’s life, so if you were a vet, would you ask if the dog truly had mange? What about heart worms? Ok, here’s another question to ask Dog number 1.
Vet asks the dog: Are you feeling ok?
Dog number 1 says: My skin is irritating me, my eyes sting like bees repeatedly. I swear I’m pregnant, but I’m not sure. Maybe there’s a puppy inside, but I was forced to breed repeatedly and repeatedly. My master didn’t care how much food or how little food I got, and so I’m kind of hungry right now.
Vet says: Ok, sweetie, here’s a treat. From then on, the vet hands the dog a treat.
Interesting how we learn so much if pets had a voice. Now, here’s something I’d personally want to ask a puppy mill dog:
1. How long have you lived in a puppy mill?
2. What was it like?
3. What would you expect from a new home and family?
4. How do you like your new family?
5. Who’s your favorite person in the family?
Here is what I think a dog would say.
1. I’ve lived in a puppy mill for like six years, and I’m close to the end of my breeding years. Ugh.
2. I don’t want to talk about it. All I can say was that I didn’t get enough food and water, and I had fleas. That’s the beginning. But then, I had babies, over and over again. I lost all my young ones so many times. It’s like the master doesn’t think of the lives of myself or my puppies as meaningful. He just wants products to sell in a market. We lived in a dark basement barn for years, so yeah. It was awful.
3. I would expect my new home to be the same, but then again, I might be able to experience the kindness of human companionship. Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, right?
Now, let’s ask the dog the next two questions after she’s settled in to her new home:
4. I love my new family. It’s hard to adjust, but I dearly love my new family. The master and mistress are great people and they feed me anything I want, pig ears included.
5. I don’t have a favorite I guess. All of the family are good to me, and I get lots of love, hugs, and kisses. I wish I could give kisses back, but it’s like, well, I’ve never given kisses much in my whole life, and now I have a reason to bark, wag my tail, and give kisses.
For those of you dog lovers out there, this is the most basic thing I’d expect pets to say. Now, horses are a different story. I love horses because they are like us women. Dogs have different mating patterns than horses, but horses have a power that can be brought under control. What would I ask a horse? Hmmm. Horses are mistreated as well as some form of dogs. Let me tell all of you what I believe animals are like, and how we must treat them.
1. Dr. Phil once wrote that “We teach people how to treat us.” I have plenty of examples of this, but here’s an extension of this: we teach our God’s creatures how to treat us as well, barring the ones who are wild and aggressive like the crocodiles and alligators and lions and wild zoo creatures. If the animal is domesticated such as a dog, cat, or horse, we basically are responsible for them. God made all creatures great and small, so the first thing we must know is when we feed alligators (illegal in Florida and other states, causing them to bite us of course), mistreat dogs, whip horses, abuse cats, hoard cats, etc., we are writing a lot on their little slates. When we get to Heaven, that is if we can find it, God will know what we’ve done to his creatures. Yes, he told Adam to “till the Earth”, but did he forget his creatures? No. The descendants of Adam are us, and we’re responsible for food and transport animals all the same as our pets. Horses are not as often used for transport but they are in lots of places still. We ought to let those animals know that this is their land. They can eat grass, we can’t. I wouldn’t expect my dog to eat burgers, so feed the dog the food it needs, right? Yes, and cats too.
2. Animals can sense anything. Since animals can smell fear and love, I’d be careful what we say to our dogs. I’m not one to yell at a dog unless the dog is being aggressive, and then again, aggression comes with training.
3. Good training pays off. With dogs and horses, not so cats much, good training pays off. I don’t like the word “break” for horses. Training is a more positive word there. Dogs are trained as well, and for both dogs and horses, it is important to bond with and care for the animal in training. Guide dogs are the most important among service animals. The weirdest thing I learned about service dogs is how they disobey when they know their owner will be in danger. A scene from Black Beauty depicts disobedience in the owner’s best interest well. HE doesn’t go forward when John keeps telling him to go forward, and then John falls. Beauty looks at him like, “I told you so.” Had John trusted the horse, maybe he wouldn’t have fallen into the bridge thing. John could see, and he still wanted the horse to get going. Ugh. Imagine the same dude with a guiding dog blind. Guiding animals such as dogs should be trusted completely. I put my life in the paws of a dog when I walk outside with one either guiding or if I’m walking the dog. Usually, the pet dogs are heeled. To heel a dog is better, but if I had a guide dog, I’d trust that dog with my life, and I’d treat the dog with so much love and care. My friend Rhonda’s German shepherd Mya is a good example of a dog that gets the care she needs. Mya is awesome, has been Rhonda’s best friend for six long years, and knows the people Rhonda hangs out with. Mya tells Rhonda through her actions, “I like Lisa.” “I like so and so.” “I don’t think so and so is good for you.” Basic stuff, really. Mya is Rhonda’s judge of character by her body language. It’s like dogs can do that and we don’t know it. If I had a dog, I’d let her walk up to Blake, and if Blake was so inclined, he’d pet the dog. When a dog is petted, it knows it’s being loved. There is nothing like the genuine love and loyalty a dog shows a human, and same with horses. Horses are so big that you have to be careful. I’ve ridden horses, and the female ones are usually pretty cool. The males and females of this species do not judge me, but still, I got scared of this one that tried to throw me around on a trail. Ugh. Dell was nuts, but still, he was a good horse. I tried him out, but Honey and I had a plan. Honey was the horse I’d ridden previously. I loved her, and I’m sorry for her loss. Honey was my friend Gloria’s favorite. Honey was a funny honey, wanted food and loved carrots. It can be a good and a bad thing, but still, a better way to say “Hey, no food yet” was to take her to the other side of the ring. Positive Parelli training was the way to do it. All of Gloria’s horses had a good sense and brains. I wish I could ride again, and I love horses and dogs. Cats are cool, but they’re just plain weird sometimes. Cats are so weird they can cause problems when meowing too many times. Ugh. Cats can also be big balls of fur that don’t know what to do when called.
This, my friends, is a post about animals. I love my animal friends, and yes, I’ve seen many a dog and cat get loved. Horses as well. So if you want a dog or a cat or a horse or if you want to be adventurous, a toad, please follow the rules and the guidelines and know what animals and people are to do in this life.