I am not a pet owner. I've never had a dog or cat. Wait ... time out ... I take that back. My brother and I catnapped a black and white kitten from our neighbor when we're about four and six years old. We put the little guy in our basement while our babysitter was not watching us. When my parents came home from a wedding they were dj-ing, my dad found out and we had to give Oreo back to the owner. =( My dad and I are both allergic to cats, so I suppose that was a wise decision. Good lookin' out, Papa!
I had a fish named Brad who only lived a couple weeks. I took that pretty hard. RIP Brad!
Once I had a hermit crab and a turtle. The hermit crab was dead when my brother gave him to me, but he failed to inform me of that minor detail and my turtle didn't have any eyeballs when I found him frozen in the ice that covered my yard in my very first house back in Ohio on Lisbon Street. I think he may have been hibernating ... Do turtles hibernate?
Anyway, my track record clearly shows how amazing I am with pets ... Ah hem!
I've always been a dog lover, particularly Boxers & Pitbulls because of the way they are built and because of their interesting fur colors. But to like a Pitbull or Boxer and to own one are two different things. Today, however, I had the opportunity to interact with dogs, particularly Pitbulls and American Bulldogs at the Delray Beach Pet Expo at Old School Square, and my entire perspective of owning a pet changed.
These dogs needed homes. Needed shelter. Needed food and water. Were beaten. Battered. One was even burned with battery acid, yet they all interacted, played, licked and brushed up against me as if they had never been hurt before.
What they had been through made me question humanity. How could someone be so cruel to something so loving? And I realized that's the world we live in... We take our anger out on people or animals who don't deserve it. We don't give enough love or teach each other enough about love as a society, so when we are shown love, we question it. We push it away. We act wrong. If humans can't love one another properly, how we can expect them to love animals?
And that's where second chances come in. We all need second chances ... To do right, to be right and to get an opportunity to be treated right.
I learned today that animals are beautiful. They are living, breathing, interactive beings who just want love... That's it. Love and a back rub and maybe a bone here and there.
When I saw the look in the dogs' eyes and was told what they had been through, my eyes filled up with tears because I can relate. Abuse comes in several forms and when an animal is abused, it's evident in their eyes ... Just like humans.
Fortunately, amazing, selfless organizations like The Freckles Freedom Fund, Inc. and Little Paws of Love, Inc. give dogs and people a second chance... To love and be loved in return ... unconditionally.