By Annelie Becher
Many dogs suffer hardship through no fault of their own:
• lose their homes because their humans don’t have enough money to buy food.
• lose their homes because their people need to move and can’t find a new home where dog keeping is possible or permitted.
• are put in shelters because their owners need to go to hospital and have no one to look after their friend.
• are euthanized because they are not wanted anymore.
• are being abused because their people don’t know how to control their anger.
• are being abused because their people think that beating a dog up is a good way of training him.
• are left alone all day long without any means of exercise or communication because their owners are at work from 9 to 5.
• are treated with steroids and antibiotics before a proper diagnosis is given.
• are being stuffed with unsuitable foods which create havoc in their bodies and ruin their health.
• are being used in all sorts of ways without concern.
The list could go on and on and on…
Most of the hardship a dog suffers is caused by a human who dearly loves him. Isn’t that sad?
Can you help a dog in need?
• Could you donate some money or food to some dog owner who without help from friends would have to give his dog away?
• Could you adopt a dog who needs a new and perhaps even better home?
• Or could you give a helping hand to someone who is struggling to find someone who would look after his dog whilst he himself is in hospital?
• Could you teach someone how to properly train a dog? Perhaps run a charity dog training class?
• Could you volunteer to take someone else’s dog for walks when you take your own pooch out?
• Could you donate some money at a regular basis to an animal shelter?
I think we need to ask ourselves whether we are dog lovers or just in love with our own dogs.
As true dog lovers we could try to do our best every now and then to selflessly help an unfortunate canine – just to shine a little light for those who are less fortunate than our own and our friend’s dogs.
You never know what life holds in store for you – maybe one day it is your own dog who needs someone to protect him from harm and make him feel safe again.
Annelie Becher is a registered psychologist, trainer and author who specializes in helping dogs and their owners get along better.