No, my dogs are not my children

01-17 Payton, bootsLast night my boyfriend made a comment about how my dogs are my children. Certain things he says resonate with me, & I found myself still thinking about that statement today.

My nephew is almost 4, & I’ve had the privilege of watching him grow up from pretty close. When I look at my nephew, I see some of my own blood in a walking talking miracle who I’ve convinced must hold his ears to keep his brains inside his head if he eats his ice cream too fast & gets Brain Freeze (yeah, I got an earful from his mom for that one).

Human children, it should go without saying, are much more complex than dogs. They go through way more stages of life. They might obey a command now, but they won’t next year. They make their own decisions. And one day, they become independent of us. And I won’t even go into how much college tuition is. But they are our own blood, our teachings, flaws, & strengths, our immortality. We live on in them.

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The iconic Bait Dog, Gypsy

GypsyThis is mostly screenshotted from a website called Animals Are Always Innocent (I think that’s the title… it could also be Against Dog Fighting, Pitbulls, Dog Cruelty, Dog Meat, Dog Rescue… that’s what’s on the browser tab but not the top of the page). I had always wondered about the most horrific dogfighting facial mutilation picture that constantly popped up when I was reading about dogfighting. Sometimes this dog was attributed to Michael Vick’s operation, but in actuality she was found on a roadside in North Carolina in April 2005.

As far as I can tell, her torturers were never caught.

Gypsy was found, patched up (extensively – her sinuses had been punctured, the meat was rotting off her face, ears torn off, mouth full of pus. It’s hard to imagine anyone, anything, still holding on to life in that state. She seems to have all her teeth but it’s assumed that she was a bait dog. One of her front legs had also been damaged to the extent that it required amputation.

Once healed up, Gypsy underwent facial reconstruction as well as a spay, & (I think) was eventually adopted or at least found a permanent home in foster or sanctuary care. She passed in 2009. Learning about her made me smile & cry. Anyway, here are screenshots of the abovementioned website’s entries that tell the story of her progress from broken pile of meat to beloved pet.

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Maybe I’m being judgmental. I don’t know why they are giving away their dogs. But it still makes me feel like punching them in the face. This looks to be a family; a group of people. I kept my cats with me for 19 years, all by myself, from rental to rental. I didn’t ditch them when it became inconvenient & when they got old & sick, I cared for them & was with them until each of their final moments. No sympathy for these people. But great sadness for these dogs who thought, mistakenly, that they had a family.