A Letter From the Surrendered Dog: I Thought We Were a Team Forever
By Kim Aranha
Oct 7, 2011 - 7:27:58 PM
Patiently...waiting for a home!
Now let me get this straight…
You wanted me, you bought me, or adopted me (spent quite a lot of money too), you brought me home, and played with me, cuddled with me and laughed with me. In return I would wait for you to get back home every day, at the door, my tail wagging, licking your hand, your face, your feet, to show you how much I cared. I know no other way of expressing my love for you! Sorry I can’t write poems!
Whenever you would go away, I would sit on the garden step, and watch you load those suitcases in the car, head low, tail at half mast, afraid that you would not come back… When you did come back I would celebrate your return with a wild dance, and so many happy squeaks and wiggles…I thought that you too were happy to be reunited with me…I thought that we were a team forever…?
I protected your home, I licked your kids faces when they cried, I brought you my favourite toy…All I ever wanted to hear from you was “Good dog” said in a loving and happy voice…the odd treat and chew bone was an extra benefit.
I was happy to be in a nice dry home, with regular food and water, but that was not why I loved you like I did. I loved you because you were my human and I was your dog and we were a unit and I thought that we were forever such!
I know that sometimes I did something wrong, puddle on the carpet, fought with my canine brother / sister, chewed the rug, demolished a shoe or two, barked too much, scratched too much…but you could have tried to understand me a little more, tried to teach me…. Remember how I never judged you.
When you dropped me off at the shelter, I heard you talking to the lady, she was asking you if couldn’t try and keep me, try and make it work, there are so many dogs looking for homes…”no, no, no, you said, it’s too much trouble, I just can’t cope”. If you had taken a moment to look down at me you would have seen how my head hang down, my body language giving away how despondent I was feeling…You handed her my leash and walked away….Leaving me alone, lonely, scared in a place that I knew nothing of, knew nobody….Maybe you patted my head.
Did you stop to look at your best friend who has been at your side for weeks, months, years, faithful and non judgmental? Did you see how frightened I was? How I did not understand why you were throwing me away? I loved you! Why did you not love me enough to go that extra mile, and help me stop barking, making puddles, marking, chewing, scratching…whatever my cardinal sin was? Do any of those things sound bad enough to literally throw me away…good riddance to a bad puppy?
At the shelter the lady bends down and pats me, she is trying to be kind, her voice is soft….she walks me outside and puts me in a cage….A CAGE ? Where is my bed, my water bowl, my little human coming back from school? Now I am on concrete, wire walls and lots of other dogs all in the same unfortunate situation. Will I ever find a human who will love me again? What did I do that was so very bad? I turn and go into the corner of that little enclosure and curl up into the smallest ball possible, my canine heart breaking. If I could cry tears I would…Maybe if we dogs could cry tears the hard-hearted humans would understand how badly they hurt us…
Maybe somebody kind and caring will come past my cage and see my pain and understand how betrayed I feel? Hopefully that person will have enough insight to know that it may take me a little while before I can totally trust humans again after the abandonment I received at the hands of my previous humans …
If a new and understanding person comes along I will eventually throw myself into their lives, protect and adore them…but, please tell me that I will not be betrayed again….
Sad and lonely….the dog up for adoption
I have written this letter with my five dogs scattered around my den and lounging at my feet. I stopped frequently to brush away a tear when I think of how they would feel if I surrendered them because of some less than perfect attribute…
I have seen the look of utter loss and bewilderment on the faces of dogs who have been given up because of something that annoys their owners, or stresses them, or is too much work, or trouble. I have seen their body language, their sad faces, their drooping tails and lowered heads.
I pledge to those bewildered dogs that I will try and help them find trust in humans again, that they will find a home, and love once more…
It is all too easy for people to just give an animal up and walk away with out a backward glance, no regrets and no guilt, leaving him for a foster or a shelter to deal with….No more worries, no more thoughts of what that animal is going through, dead easy actually, if you don’t have a conscience.
If dogs could talk and people could actually hear what they are going through then the humans would perhaps behave differently, but because an animal cannot speak it is assumed that they can neither think nor feel…how ridiculous is that?…My dogs think, feel and communicate, if mine can then others do too.!
To those thinking of “getting rid of the dog”, please read this and then go back and look at “the dog”…
Additional note: For those of you who will tell me that the dogs are being given up for financial reasons: The Bahamas Humane Society has a food bank programme and after an interview, accompanied by the animal in question, food can be picked up monthly until the financial problems have lessened. For further information on the food bank: Please contact Bahamas Humane Society Executive Director Stephen Turnquest at 242-323-5138. Only legitimate situations will be considered and assisted, in full confidentiality.
Aranha grew up in the Berry Islands with her first dog, a beloved potcake named
“Friendly” (who was anything but!). First educated at home, and then in
boarding school in Switzerland, Kim moved to Rome, Italy in 1974 to pursue a
career in the dramatic arts and ended up working as an interpreter. She moved
back to The Bahamas in 1980, and now lives in Nassau with her husband Paul, and
their two grown sons. Kim has 5 dogs, 2 goldfish, 12 fresh water turtles,
1 Asian box turtle and 3 Budgerigars. Her idea of relaxing is being home to
take care of all her pets. Kim is President of the Bahamas Humane Society, and
serves on the board of BREEF, and is co-chairman of the Bahamas Sea Turtle
Conservation Group. Kim can be contacted at
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