Be the One
This week’s Pet Project features a very moving piece written by Billie Minshall from Dogs For U. If you want to contribute to Pet Project then please get in touch via our website http://www.petprojectmallorca.com where you will also find all the details of animal rescue groups on the island.
By Billie Minshall
Imagine you are a dog. Nothing special. No breed papers, no certificates. A German Shepherd/Husky cross-breed perhaps. Imagine being with your human family from puppy-hood till old age. Nine years of loyalty, given willingly, simply because this family is YOUR family and you would lay down your life to protect them. Your legs are getting a bit stiff now, and you’re not quite as quick on your feet as you used to be, but you do the best you can for your people. You keep them safe and you love them; you accept the occasional beating and the days of being rejected and ignored, because sometimes, more infrequently of late, someone gives you a pat and a kind word and that makes it all worthwhile.
Then one day your owner loads you up into his truck and you go for a drive. You are so pleased that he is giving you some attention. You drive for a long time and then stop in a country lane. You smell pine forests and strangeness. Your owner helps you down on to the road, smacks your rump and climbs back into the truck. You watch him drive off in bewilderment, unsure what is expected of you. You run after him, as fast as you can, but you can’t keep up. The truck disappears from view. Panting with the exertion, you sit in the road and wait for him to come back. You wait for hours, until it grows dark. You are cold, thirsty, hungry and, above all, terrified. You nestle down in some leaves at the side of the road and try to sleep.
When the bleak winter dawn breaks, you stagger to your feet and wander up and down the road, criss-crossing it again and again, trying to pick up a familiar scent. The fear grows, along with the emptiness in your belly. Finally, with heavy heart and limbs, you start to walk downhill, sniffing the air. After hours of walking, you arrive in an unfamiliar village. People stare balefully at you and, if you approach, they throw stones or wave sticks and shout. You plod on, exhausted, until the cold dark night arrives, forcing you to find shelter once more. You’re growing weak from hunger and cold. You feel like giving up.
In the grey morning, you are woken from your stupor by the feel of something tightening around your neck. You rear back in terror but you can’t fight it. It’s a catching noose. You are dragged to a van and thrown inside and the van drives off with you. You whine and scratch at the cage you are in but you can’t get out. Eventually you are pulled from the van into a building that smells of death. You can hear many dogs barking and crying in fear and frustration. You are thrown into a cage alongside rows and rows of other cages, filled with other dogs. For many days you endure cold hard concrete floors, inadequate food and no human contact, just the constant sound of frightened dogs. Are you in hell? Did you unwittingly do something so wrong as to deserve this punishment?
No. Quite simply, you got old. Your owner did not want you anymore and replaced you with a puppy. He did not want to pay a surrender fee to a pound or pay a vet to euthanize you. He abandoned you to your fate in the mountains, not caring if you starved or died from injury or illness. Your usefulness was at an end and he wanted rid of you.
This was the fate of Aurelio, a quiet, dignified old dog, rescued by Dogs For U from death row in a municipal dog pound a year ago. He came to us bewildered, depressed and unresponsive. Slowly, he has learnt to enjoy being with the volunteers who spend time with him. He has made some friends amongst the other canine inhabitants. But if you look in his eyes, you can still see his pain. He is about 10 years old now and he is sad and depressed to be in kennels. He needs to spend his final years with a loving family – lying at the feet of his special person, giving and receiving love. A few more winters by the fire, a few more summers in the shade: secure, content, and happy. Please be that person. Please take him home and adore him. He needs you.
Please help Aurelio to wag his tail in happiness once more. Contact Billie on 656 448 102 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.