The kinds of rude things people say about animals never ceases to astound me.
A Case In Point
On seeing my geriatric dog Jake in a stroller, one woman said in a bitter voice: "Lazy lump!" as I walked by.
I told her: "Thank you for your judgemental comment. My dog is not lazy, actually. He's very old and very unwell. Maybe next time it's wise to ask questions before making nasty comments in ignorance."
Treating Jake As I'd Want To Be Treated
I wheel the elderly Jake around in a stroller while Jasmin walks, because I refuse to leave him at home just because he can no longer walk very far. I figure that I wouldn't want to be left at home if I were less-than-able-bodied, so I don't leave him at home because he's less-than-able-bodied.
The woman who made this comment was being both mean and thoughtless, and she's not alone. I hear similar comments (as well as pointing and laughter) all the time when I take Jake out in the stroller, and it's entirely unpleasant: It’s difficult enough to see your beloved dog fall apart due to old age, without insensitive people being judgemental of your attempt to keep his quality of life as high as possible.
I Beg You, Be Considerate!
Please, if you see a dog who's not being walked on lead as dogs usually are, be sympathetic. Be the type of person who kindly asks why the dog needs a stroller, rather than making an off-hand comment. For more on this topic, click on: Would You Laugh At A Person In A Wheelchair?
SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS! SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PETSHOPS! SAY NO TO BREEDERS!
Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance
It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.
Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.
Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.
Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.
Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.
If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.
All information and photos are copyright © Despina Rosales.