Every Pet Rescuer Has At Least One Street Orphan
That Breaks Their Heart When They Find Them
-This Is One Of Mine-
“Compassion is the capacity
For feeling what it is like,
To live inside somebody else’s skin.”
I remember having a home once when I was younger, but it’s only a very vague memory today. Most of my recent memories have become agonizing nightmares for me. You see, I’m one of the now countless throw-away pets these extremely sad days, pets who now very routinely get tossed out of our homes, just like the garbage does.
And, there seems to be more and more of us each and every day now, aimlessly wandering the mean city streets and rural areas of America, desperately searching for scraps of food and sips of fresh water, attempting to survive just one more day, and wondering what we did so terribly wrong to deserve this kind of life, and this kind of abysmal treatment from you human beings.
There used to be a time when I would walk up to people on the street, very hopeful that they would be compassionate, and perhaps offer me something to eat, or a safe place to sleep for the night, or at least a kind word or two. But no one ever did any of those things.
Most of the people I approached on the street acted as if I were invisible, and they rushed right past me, without even a single thought to my plight. And unbelievably, many of these same people were out walking dogs of their own, but even they didn’t seem to notice me standing right there in front of them. Other people were much worse – they cursed at me, they chased me away, and they even threw rocks at me. I just couldn’t figure out what I had done so wrong to deserve all of this hatred and contempt.
I eventually began hiding during the daylight hours, only venturing out at night to search for food and water when there were far less hateful people around. That’s when I sadly realized that there were so many of my kind out here right now – all of us hungry, all of us thirsty, all of us homeless, and all of us without any love of any kind.
This past summer, while out scavenging one night, I sadly came upon many other homeless, starving, throw-away dogs and cats who had eventually just given up. What good was a life without food, without shelter, and without love?
A few months ago, I found myself giving up, too. It was just too damned hot in that alley; I was just too damned hungry and thirsty to dig through the garbage anymore; the fleas were eating me alive, and I had finally decided that life without a home or companionship was just not worth living anymore.
I eventually found myself in a deep dark stairwell in a dirty city alley where I collapsed and I closed my eyes for the very last time - too weak and too sick to go on anymore, and still so sadly wondering what I had done so terribly wrong.
But unbelievably, several hours later I heard a human voice talking to me. This voice was getting closer and closer, and louder and louder, and soon, this human being was actually sitting right there in that deep dark stairwell with me. Even more unbelievably, he now began to stroke my head very softly. What a torrent of old memories that now released in my canine brain – how long had it been since I had felt a gentle touch, or even heard one kind word - from any human being?
I eventually opened my eyes and I looked into his – soon realizing that he was actually there to help me, not to hurt me. I let him put a leash on me, and I let him lead me to his car, and help me crawl into it. As I sprawled out in the back seat of this vehicle with this kind human, I began wondering where fate was taking me now.
Soon, we arrived at a place called an animal hospital, and I again let this human being lead me inside. We were greeted there by a very nice young girl who said, “What should we call this poor street orphan?” The human who had brought me here very sadly replied, “Lonely,” but the girl said: “No, let’s call him ‘Lucky,’ since he is very lucky that you found him.”
And soon, I was being helped by many kind people at this animal hospital – people who fed me, who treated me for my parasites and my wretched skin condition, and, who best of all, were also now being extremely nice to me - maybe all human beings weren’t bad, after all.
I spent the next several weeks at this hospital being cared for, and talked to, and pampered, by these nice hospital people, and then one day I looked up, and there he was again – that same human being who had found me in that deep dark alley stairwell. My heart now raced, and my tail now wagged excitedly at his very sight.
And soon, we were once again in his car, going somewhere that I somehow knew would be ok. I soon began hoping that it would be to his house, since I already knew that he would take good care of me. But I wasn’t that lucky. I soon sadly heard him telling me that his home was already filled with many others just like me that he and his wife had taken in from the mean city streets. I now began wondering how many just like me he already had.
After what seemed like an extremely long ride in his car, we now arrived at a strange new place in the country where another kind, gentle, human being now welcomed me. It seems the place he has brought me to now is called a ‘Foster Home,’ a place where other compassionate human beings care for my kind, until we can find a permanent home of our own.
But I’ve also now heard these human beings saying that there are far too many of my kind right now, and that there are far too few people now willing to adopt us, or even to provide any temporary foster care for us, until we can find a permanent new home.
I whined and I cried when the human who found me lying in that alley eventually drove off and left me here, and I think he cried a little too, knowing in his heart and soul that he just doesn’t have enough room for me in his own home right now because of all the other homeless dogs and cats that he has already taken in.
Unless you human beings start spaying and neutering your own pets, and stop purchasing expensive puppies and kittens from abysmal puppy mills, pet stores, and breeders, many more homeless, unwanted animals like me will soon be born. And, unless many more compassionate people soon step forward to foster, and to adopt, and to assist homeless animals like myself, there will very sadly never be an end to my kind.
And now, here I sit at this foster home, with several other orphans just like me – now waiting, now wondering, and now hoping, with all of my canine heart and soul, that I really will be ‘Lucky.’
Post Script: Lucky eventually did get very lucky; he was eventually adopted by a very compassionate woman who adores him. And when I see him these days, I can hardly believe that this is the same dog I found in that dark alley stairwell that extremely hot summer’s day. Lucky has filled out very nicely; he is extremely happy now; and he has never forgotten me. Whenever he sees me today, he excitedly pounces on my chest, and he very gratefully attempts to kiss me to death.
His story on ‘The Great Animal Rescue Chase’ can be found at the link below, with a picture of Lucky after some much needed TLC.
Please Help Us Help Many More Street Orphans Like Lucky This Holiday Season By Donating Money and Supplies To Your Local Animal Shelters and Rescue Groups. And Please, Adopt-Don’t Shop.
©2011, Mr. Ed