Chapter 17: Being The Best Possible Dog Guardian
Beth Norman Harris says it well, so I’ll let her do the talking in her beautiful summary of what it takes to be a good dog guardian. You can see me read it in the video to the right (and on the Videos page you can see other clips).
A Dog’s Prayer, by Beth Norman Harris
Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me things you would have me do.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshipper.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to run and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger.
And beloved master, should I be deprived of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather, hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me merciful boon of eternal rest - and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.
Helping All Dogkind
I hope you’ve enjoyed this website, and gained information that has helped you with your dog. I must also add: good on you for reading sites like this to improve yourself as a dog guardian!
However, being committed to the wellbeing of your dog means also being committed to the welfare of all dogs. So here’s how you can help your dog and all of dogkind in your everyday choices:
Again, thanks for visiting this site. I'm happy to chat to you if you have any questions or comments. Please visit the Contact page to get my details and I hope to talk to you soon!
SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS! SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PETSHOPS! SAY NO TO BREEDERS!
Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance
It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.
Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.
Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.
Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.
Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.
If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.
All information and photos are copyright © Despina Rosales.