Love and Respect
By Kim Aranha
Nov 1, 2010 - 4:50:15 PM
Potcake / Pitbull who was surrendered to the BHS
commitment, warmth, friendship, companionship, these are but a few of the
emotions and conditions you experience when you own a pet… Never again are you
alone, always a friend at your side waiting for you, unconditionally accepting
of you, as you are. When you put your key in the door at the end of the day
there is a furry face delighted to welcome you home, no worries if your make-up
is smudged, your hair a mess or your clothing less than designer label…They
want to greet YOU, the real YOU under all those trappings that we have grown to
think are essential…They want to be with their friend, mentor, protector, and master!!!
“master” is now politically
incorrect when used in connection with pet-ownership, but, in essence that is a
term that is still widely used).
The pet in your life
can see through those artificial adornments and improvements that we all
use. In some ways the fact that an animal can actually see beyond the
artificial side of things and get to the real person, makes them almost
superior to us in that area, doesn’t it? I mean, how many times have you met
somebody, and your dog’s body language is telling you beware, invariably months
later, your dog turns out to be right.
A future guard dog and protector!
I’m afraid that I am
one of these people who are very cautious about fellow humans who do not like
dogs (or like children for that matter either)…How can you not like
dogs? It is like: Not liking a sunset, or the breeze blowing off the sea, or
twilight over the English countryside in summer, or a clear blue sea with
starfish under the boat as you skim across the banks…It is impossible not to
like dogs, in my eyes it is impossible not to respect dogs…Look into their eyes
and it is like looking into their soul…And whilst we are on
THAT subject, I do believe that dogs have a soul, they were created by the same
God who created us…They were created to be OUR companion animals, our friends
and helpers…They are too important not to have a spot near their masters in
heaven…. A heaven without my dogs would be a hell for me!
friends that we hold so dear to us, canine and feline…are the lucky ones. Daily,
as President of the Bahamas Humane Society, I encounter poor dear animals who
have been kicked out of their homes for crimes as small as not barking enough,
chewing the carpet, digging up a plant or knocking something over…they have
been beaten, locked up, chastised and then brought to us in disgust for
surrender or worse in some cases to be put down, killed, for a crime so small that
it brings tears to my eyes. At the shelter we use all our energy to find loving
and caring homes for these poor animals, we try and restore their faith in
mankind… So often, in spite of the disgraceful treatment that they have received from
man’s hand, they still come up with a wagging tail, ever hoping to receive a stroke
instead of a slap from your outstretched hand…
How can man be so
different I ask myself? How can, on one hand, there be people like myself who
love and nurture their pets and other animals, and on the other hand there be
humans who couldn’t care a toss for animal life, who mistreat and hurt
intentionally…yet we were all created the same…what went wrong with those who
hurt, starve, kick, torture and maim?… Why do they do it?
I am so often bemused
and confused with other people and their attitudes. I cannot understand why
some people will not and do not want to ever own a Potcake. Potcakes have two
ears, two eyes, a nose and tail, and as far as I can see are like any other dog
except that each and every Potcake is quite unique, unlike a “breed” dog who is
identical to thousands of others of the same breed. Why not own a Potcake? Why
does a “breed” matter so much? Friendship comes in all shapes and sizes,
colours and fur – length.
A highly intelligent and unique face!
We need to become more
like dogs and see through the trappings, the breed specifications, and see the
dog beneath the fur, the wet nose, the waggy tail and the heart of gold…all
good dogs possess those qualities and do not need a fancy name, or a pedigree
or high price tag to give love, comfort and friendship to their owners.
A good friend of mine
Fina Johnson, who is a great lover of animals, and owner of a very beloved
Potcake “Figie Valentine” a rescue dog himself,sent me the following
prayer. I cannot read this
tears coming to my eyes.
God, please send me somebody who'll care!
tired of running, I'm sick with despair.
is aching, it's so racked with pain,
dear God I pray, as I run in the rain.
someone will love me and give me a home,
cozy bed and a big juicy bone.
owner tied me all day in the yard
with no water, and god that was hard.
chewed my leash, and God I ran away.
rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
God, I'm tired and hungry and cold,
so afraid that I'll never grow old.
chased me with sticks and hit me with stones,
run the streets just looking for bones!
really bad, God, please help if you can,
have become just a "Victim of Man!"
wormy dear God and I'm ridden with fleas,
that I want is an Owner to please!
find one for me God, I'll try to be good,
won't chew their shoes, and I'll do as I should.
love them, protect them and try to obey....
they tell me to sit, to lie down or to stay!
think I'll make it too long on my own,
I'm getting so weak and I'm so all alone.
night as I sleep in the bushes I cry,
I'm so afraid God, that I'm gonna die.
I've got so much love and devotion to give,
should be given a new chance to Live!
God, please answer my prayer,
send me someone who will REALLY care..
is, Dear God, if YOU'RE REALLY there!
read this prayer to yourself a couple of time. Close your eyes and imagine the
animal in question. Imagine being without friends, no-where to call home, no
warm dry bed, no safe place. Imagine being hungry, tired and sick, and have
people chasing you and throwing things at you. Imagine being all alone and
frightened, and never hearing a kind word spoken.
is the plight of many dogs and cats in this country…they are receiving some
help. There are many groups here and in the islands, who do their best, and do
very fine job, helping these poor unloved animals, but, we need more people to
is not enough, we need action…We need help. We need people to raise their
voices and condemn neglect and cruelty. We need help in teaching people what it
means to care for and respect an animal’s life…We need to show people what they
are missing by not having an animal friend in their lives.
my humble opinion, no child should grow up without a pet, a little boy and his
dog (or in my case a little girl and her dog) should be best friends. I have
very fond memories of seeing my sons asleep with a Potcake friend curled up on
the bed with them, providing all the protection and love a little boy could ever
ask for at bedtime.
are already making a difference, but let’s raise our voices a little higher. Let’s
do just a little bit more, let’s save a few more animals every
week and care a little more deeply… Lets
put the happy back into their faces and treat them as the Good Lord intended us
to treat the COMPANION animals He created for us!
About the author:
Kim 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 4 dogs, 2 goldfish,
11 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
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