Adopting a family pet (even when it will be only one person and pet) is a big step. The reality is taking on the responsibility for another’s life. Granted this is a pet and not a child or another human being, however this is a life all the same. And there is a certain respect and responsibility which is attached to such an action.
There are many reasons for taking this step, the first and should always be the foremost is love, caring and compassion. Rescuing a dog or cat, lizard or snake, tortoise or rabbit and many other kinds of pets is an opportunity to provide some civility back into our lives. Recently we don’t seem to have too much civility in our lives.
Pets give us so much more than we ever consider. Pets have done something’s people can’t do, such as rehabilitating prisoners and teaching them (prisoners) a trade; which we have come to understand makes it less likely they will reoffend. Pets have moved into the medical role of teacher and companion in safety with children and adults, a role we could fill only moderately well; they seem to have mastered. They have on a daily basis become our friend and companion when so much is going wrong they are with us to help us navigate through the darkness.
Every day I pass a homeless man and his dog at an intersection trying to find work and shelter. And every day I see this beautiful dog, sharing the elements (there is a shelter close by, however out of the sight of traffic), a sandwich and companionship. However, I have never seen this dog in the rain or losing weight. The man has a tarp set up much like a tent, with a stick on both ends and another tarp and blanket for the dog to sleep on, while the man is looking for help. This is an expression of love, untether by money or possessions. Rather it is love for the sake of another living being.
Our pet rescues do the same for animals who have been abandoned, hurt or left for dead. We need to learn from this homeless man, how to care for our pets and then how to care of other human beings. Please provide help to our rescued pets and then to our human counterparts. www.homewardbound.com , www.humanesocietyofamerica.org , www.salvationarmy.org, and www.stvenicentdepaul.org