For the past week Facebook has been inundated with a video of a young boy interacting with a bull terrier in a way that can only be described as abusive. I couldn’t watch more than a few seconds. I wanted with all my heart to slap whatever adult was actually filming the assault. The dog was putting up with behavior no dog should be forced to endure. But how long before he has had enough? How long before he finally is scared and/or hurt enough to snap at the boy, in an attempt to get him to go away? And what do you think is going to happen then? That poor dog, who was being treated with gross disrespect, in front of adults who should be protecting him, will probably be euthanized. That dog doesn’t have a chance in hell of having the life our companions deserve.
This morning I went to a placement ceremony for my 5 year old grandson’s kitten. Mr Kitty had an embolism, that severely damaged a lung. In 3 days he had 4 major surgeries, trying to save his life. In the end, the situation became too much for him, and he was humanely euthanized.
Mr. Kitty only lived with Foster for 3 weeks. Three weeks. And my amazing boy knew in his heart that his little friend deserved a placement ceremony. He asked that Mr. Kitty be buried at Angel’s Overlook, where so many of our furry/feathered family members are placed. During the ceremony he broke my heart when he said “Mr. Kitty was just a baby. Babies aren’t supposed to die. They are supposed to grow up, have fun, get old and then die. This wasn’t right”. At the end of the service Foster gently placed a container of Mr. Kitty’s toys on his marker.
The difference between these two boys is glaring. One treats his “pet” as if he were a toy to be manhandled at will. The other gently and lovingly showed his companion (not pet) the care and respect every living creature deserves.
Granted, Foster has spent his whole life around people who work at an animal sanctuary. In his world, everyone treats other species with respect. His mother is vegan. He has been raised that animals are not food. So he has a head start on compassion and caring. From the time he was tiny he has been taught to be gentle and respectful. But that’s not a video you are going to see on Facebook. And that is really too bad.
This morning one young boy honored the life of a little kitten. And several adults joined him to support him and show respect to the relationship. That’s why I live here. That’s why I work here. Little lives matter just as much as big ones do.