Everyone loves puppies or kittens, right? Well, it doesn't seem like it to me, with the way that I see local residents treating them.
Every day on our way to school, I see a dog tied to a tree and its dog house couldn't be further from the family home! It doesn't seem to matter what time of day it is either, there he or she sits, looking at the house, waiting, waiting for someone to come play, pet, or maybe even bring him or her into the house.
With dogs in particular, it seems to be common practice. Or maybe I am more aware because of the way my pets are part of our family. I am not saying everyone should feel for their pets the way my family does, but I wonder why they brought them home in the first place if they just leave them in the yard, hour after hour. It seems cruel; it seems like a very isolated and lonely life for a creature who only wants to be with you.
We've had some very cold nights and even days lately. People probably think they are doing well by the dog by having a dog house, but most of the shelters I see are plastic or thin wood with no door, no insulation, no blanket, straw or anything to help the dog stay warm.
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It breaks my heart.
I wonder how many of us would want to brave the cold nights in nothing but a sweatshirt! Our furry friends may have a coat, but not enough to keep them warm when temperatures drop into the teens or single digits. Pets have feelings too, and they have needs, just like us. They need food, they need water, but most importantly, they need love and companionship.
I think our family feels complete with our family pets. My dog, Bear, is allowed to curl up on the couch with us ,and he loves to be in the room we are in. My kitten, Max, loves to curl up with Bear.
I know, you say, "The kids promised that they'd take care of the dog, walk the dog, feed it, water it, bathe it, you name it, if they can please have that cute little puppy." But once you bring it home and the newness wears out, there it sits, outside with a plastic dog house and two bowls that have almost surely tipped over and are now empty.
Why have a family pet if you aren't going to give it some love?
I've heard some people say they feel that if it's a hunting dog, then it doesn't mind being outside. Have you looked into that hunting dog's eyes?
Many use the excuse he's an outside dog. While that may be true, that doesn't mean you can't give your animal all the love that it deserves. Animals that are adopted into a home from the pound or humane society are longing to have a loving family that feeds them, walks them and gives them a lot of love.
That's not too much to ask, is it?
So as you read this, please take a second look out back at that dog house. Would you want to sleep there? Would you want to be tied up out there day after day? Could the dog house use a little straw or a blanket to snuggle into to help fend off the cold? And don't even get me started on the hot temperatures of summer!
Do you stop and say hello and play with your dog? Do you bring him or her inside to warm up after a long day outside while you were gone? Or do you go inside, have your dinner and have to remind yourself to go feed the dog? How much time do you spend with this innocent creature that is so devoted and loyal?
Just being in the house with the family would make any dog happy. There is a reason they call dogs "man's best friend."