The power of images. Famous photographs throughout the years have become iconic. A million stories can be written about one moment in time captured by the lens of a camera. There are even pictures that have defined generations, characterized a person, or sparked a cultural shift. We humans are visual creatures and it's no wonder that a snapshot can move individuals who don't know one another to embark on humanitarian efforts that can make the difference between life or death. In fact, it happens all the time on pet lovers pages on facebook. Many dogs have found rescue and forever homes through online communities such as The German Shepherd Dog Community Group on Facebook.
Spring will be here in one week and is usually the season associated with renewal. Farm animals are born in the spring and so are plenty others who go to a good homes. Unfortunately, not all dogs stay with their families for life. In a throwaway society a puppy is discarded as easily as an old tube of lipstick for a new product without much thought. The only difference is, a dog is a living creature, and unlike some people or inanimate objects they love with back unconditionally.
This past week the facebook group Real Men Are Kind to Animals and 600 Million Dogs posted images that say it all without one word. One photo is of a little boy with a puppy the day they met juxtaposed with the grown boy and an old dog when it died. It's been shared over 2000 times since it was posted and has brought many to tears. This picture against the images of abandoned dogs who weren't so fortunate tell a powerful tale. Having a baby and adopting a dog are life long commitments. They are not the same but the share at least that kind of responsibility. Even when your children are grown you will always be their parent. Same thing with a cat or dog.
My Benjie died in July 2011 at the age of 16. He had been with the family since he was 8 weeks old. By the time he passed he no longer growled at strangers, barked, or noticed if his toys were nearby. I needed grief counseling after he was gone because even when Benjie could no longer bite off the hand of someone who would have tried to hurt me, I still loved him just as much.