Dear Annie: It’s ‘Be Kind to Animals Week’
Dear Annie: I’m hoping you’ll print this for Be Kind to Animals Week.
While traveling, my daughter saw four dogs lying beside an interstate. When she stopped, two ran off into the woods. With the aid of another motorist, she managed to get two dogs into her car and drive them to a shelter in the nearest city. One was adopted. The other was not.
Sharing her sorrow, I penned the following letter, meant for the person who abandoned those dogs:
Your dog died today, and you don’t even know it. He was young — much too young. I found him lying by the side of the road. I stopped. He lay there, bloodied and unable to stand. I thought he had been hit, but it turned out his wounds were caused by bites from other animals. He allowed me, a stranger, to carry him to my car.
The hospital treated his physical wounds successfully, but his mental wounds were not so easily overcome, and he was put down because he was “unadoptable.”
What did you think would happen when you dropped him somewhere? Or did he run off from a place that held no joy for him — only pain and deprivation?
Did you hope someone would take him in? Did you think, “He’ll survive somehow”? Did you think at all?
Your dog was put to death today. The good thing is that his belly was full and loving hands held him. The bad thing is that he was much too young, and they weren’t even your hands. — Ann in Illinois
Dear Ann: I’m happy to print your letter in honor of Be Kind to Animals Week, which is the first full week of May every year.
Abandoning a pet is illegal in many states and immoral in all of them. But that doesn’t stop people from doing it. Your letter tells a heartbreaking and, unfortunately, all-too-common story.
To anyone considering a pet: Please be sure you’re ready to commit to caring for that animal for the rest of his or her life; spay and neuter so as not to contribute to the pet-overpopulation problem; and adopt from a shelter.
As reported by the ASPCA, 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. shelters every year. Millions of tails, just waiting to wag for that special somebody who will become their person.
For more information on animal homelessness and pet adoption, visit https://www.aspca.org and http://www.humanesociety.org.
Dear Annie: I’ve wanted to address this situation for some time. I’ve noticed that obituaries are often like Facebook (also known as Farcebook) — presenting a version of someone that doesn’t reflect reality.
Why do some people who write loved ones’ obituaries fabricate the truth — or have they not been told the truth?
For example, I sometimes see people mentioning surviving stepchildren as full-blooded relatives. Why not say the deceased had stepchildren whom he loved as if they were his own if he felt that way?
I’ve also seen education achievements listed that are not completely true. Why even go there?
It’s a fact of life that we are going to die. I suggest we all write our own obituaries and be truthful. — Honest John
Dear Honest John: Stepchildren are children. It’s not dishonest to call them that, for the same reasons you mentioned: The person loved the children as his or her own.
As for misrepresenting someone’s education or fudging other details, to me, that disrespects the life the person truly lived. No need to lie about the loved one’s alma mater. What matters is that the person loved and was loved.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out. Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information.
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