Do you remember thinking it was time that the kids learned some responsibility and scanning the newspaper ads for a cheap dog for sale? Do you remember bringing home this little ball of shivering fur and putting her out in the yard on a chain that was too heavy on a night that was too cold? Of course you don't remember this. After all, she is only a dog.
Do you remember this baby crying because she was afraid and alone? Do you remember screaming at her to be quiet and finally going out there to kick her to drive home the lesson? Of course you don't remember this. After all, she is only a dog.
Do you remember the many times you noticed her water bowl was empty and her food bowl was covered with mold and thinking that it was the kids' job to take care of her? Do you remember seeing that her coat was dull and lifeless and, in many places, chewed away down to the skin because of the parasites no one took the time to rid her of? Of course you don't remember this. After all, she is only a dog.
Do you remember her first heat and the neighbor's male visiting her night after night? Do you remember thinking that letting her have the puppies would be a good experience for the kids? Do you remember that every one of those pups died because their mother was no more than a puppy herself? Of course you don't remember this. After all, she is only a dog.
I know you remember the animal control officer coming to the house, accusing you of animal cruelty and taking her away because you couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. After all, she is only a dog.
I thought you might be interested in how this girl is doing today. You see, once she found a home that gave her love, attention and proper care, she blossomed into a beautiful, loyal companion. To these people, she is much more than only a dog.
She became a therapy dog and now goes to nursing homes and hospices where she brightens the lives of the infirm and dying. To some of these people, she has given hope. To others, she's given them a reason to keep living. To even others, she's given them the will to die peacefully, with a smile on their lips. To these people, she is much more than only a dog.
Just last week, she helped find a little boy that was lost in the woods. She spent a long, cold winter's night, lying over him to keep him warm and risked her own life to protect his. To this little boy and his family, she is much more than only a dog.
What is the difference? Why did that filthy, flea ridden animal chained in your backyard suddenly become so important to so many? Because she never gave up her trust in people and she never once thought, "After all, he is only a human."
-Author Unknown (Added 2/19/00)