I was stunned when I came across something on Life with Dogs today.
It described a situation that made my blood run cold, and then very, very hot.
Because somewhere in New York, there is a woman who decided that because her son was not keeping up with his homework that she would dump his dog, a pit bull, off at a high-kill New York shelter as punishment.
She was willing to kill his dog to make a point. To teach him a lesson.
First and foremost, I should say that I have not been able to find anything stating whether Jewel, the poor dog, was rescued by anyone. One of the articles that I found after a hasty internet search said that she was scheduled to be euthanized today. I really, really hope that she was able to escape that fate, that maybe she'll once again be able to be happy someday, despite the fact that she was wrested away from her best friend. Because I'm sure that she was best friends with "her" boy. Otherwise taking her away wouldn't have been the mother's threat of choice.
(Happy update: After checking the shelter's website, I see that Jewel DID get adopted. Hooray! That does not change the rest of my post, though.)
To say that I was filled with hatred and loathing for this woman is an understatement. I don't know her entire situation. I don't know what her son is like. I don't know any of that. But I say that what she did went totally beyond what is acceptable.
Like I said, I don't know their specific situation, so because I don't know their situation, I'm going to talk about MY situation. When I was a child, and then later a young teenager.
I've talked about my childhood dog before, a Pekingese that I named Wicket. He was EVERYTHING to me. I was attending a school that, to put it mildly, didn't want me. I was ostracized by many of my peers, and mocked by the others. While I did eventually make friends (after several years) it was only after I systematically killed off all of the parts of me that I felt were socially unacceptable. I was shy...? I became brassy and loud. I was studious..? Not anymore! Homework sucks! I started acting out more and more, in fears that if I did not, I would turn invisible and no one would ever even know that I was there. I was desperately unhappy, and felt trapped. At that age, it is impossible to see beyond the middle and high school years. I had no idea that things would get much better when I finally put those years behind me.
Wicket was my lifeline. I really, really don't know how I would have coped if it weren't for him. He was my one support - the friend that I could always count on. He didn't care that I wouldn't win any popularity contests, that I was made fun of for just about everything. He was just there for me. When I was giddy with girlish enthusiasm about something, he was there, wagging his tail, just happy to be beside me. When I was in tears because of something nasty someone had said (which happened more often than not) he was there, licking away my tears, snorting in my face, playing with my hair, all in desperate attempts to make me smile again. He delighted in me, and I in him, and it was the child-dog friendship that all of the truly good dog stories are written about.
Thank God my parents never used the life of my dog as a bargaining tool. I would have turned into a very different person had they done so. I don't even want to think about it. I can't think about it.
I don't even understand where this woman was coming from. I'm not sure that I WANT to. There are some people who don't deserve my empathy, so I'm not going to give it.
I've made some posts about kindness in the past. And this brings around another side to my philosophy on kindness. That is, those that are incapable of showing it are undeserving of receiving it.