Written from a dog’s perspective, this story is what we’ve all needed to share with that person in our lives who loved their pet dearly then it all changed when their lives evolved.
I have a sister who adored her dog, William. She brought William everywhere she went. She even got him doggy massages and called them “spa days”. In the blink of an eye, everything changed. She got married and had kids by the time William turned 4. Her once spoiled puppy was now screamed at daily for asking for too much attention or getting underfoot.
It broke my heart. I tried speaking with her. She didn’t want to hear it, she was too busy and I was nitpicking. I instead shared the story below.
It helped. A lot. She made a conscious effort to be kinder to William. They now have park days and she involves her kids in his bathing and teaching him new tricks. It was a wake-up call she needed.
The reality is most of us have busy lives with jobs, responsibilities, and children. Our lives are everchanging. We may have initially adopted a pet when it was just us. We were able to focus on that adorable little critter with little else in the way.
Then we met our significant other. Then we got a promotion. Then we got married and eventually had kids. That adorable critter that was once our number one, is now not so much.
Many pet owners are able to balance everything and NEVER have an issue. But for many, that simply isn’t the case. This story is for them. This story is for the ones that cherished that pet and now pushes him aside.
Since it is so hard to confront that person and explain how you feel as that pet’s advocate, share this story instead. While its ending may not be the same as what you’re dealing with, it’s a clear reminder of what that pet is feeling day in and day out.
Just like a child isn’t asked to be born, our pets do not ask for things to change. They want us to look at them the same way we looked at them when they were our #1. Remember that.
Here is one dog’s story:
When I was a puppy I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was “bad,” you’d shake your finger at me and ask “How could you?” – but then you’d relent and roll me over for a belly rub.
My housetraining took a little longer than expected because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed, listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect.
We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, and stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because “ice cream is bad for dogs,” you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.
Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.
She, now your wife, is not a “dog person” – still, I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too.
Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a “prisoner of love.”
As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them, especially their touch – because your touch was now so infrequent – and I would have defended them with my life if need be.
I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams. Together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me.
These past few years, you just answered “yes” and changed the subject. I had gone from being your dog to “just a dog,” and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.
Now you have a new career opportunity in another city and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You’ve made the right decision for your “family,” but there was a time when I was your only family.
I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said: “I know you will find a good home for her.” They shrugged and gave you a pained look.
They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog or cat, even one with “papers.”
You had to pry your son’s fingers loose from my collar as he screamed “No, Daddy! Please don’t let them take my dog!” And I worried for him and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.
You gave me a goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.
After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked, “How could you?”
They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you – that you had changed your mind – that this was all a bad dream…or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me.
When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.
I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief.
The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her and I know that the same way I knew your every mood.
She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein.
As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured “How could you?”
Perhaps because she understood my dog speak, she said: “I’m so sorry.” She hugged me and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn’t be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself – a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place.
With my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my “How could you?” was not meant for her.
It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Good and watch the video below on all the amazing things he’s doing for unwanted pets.
h/t LuvMe Pet
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A man had finally settled into his new town, but something still felt missing from his life. He thought getting a companion in the form of a shelter dog might help. So he did just that. He went to the shelter where a black Lab named Reggie needed a home. But they didn’t hit it off right away.
The man gave it two weeks (the amount of time the shelter said it may take for the dog to adjust to his new home), but it just wasn’t working out. Maybe it was the fact he was also trying to adjust to a new situation. Maybe they were too much alike. But then the man started going through Reggie’s stuff, and that’s when he was reminded of a letter the previous owner had left with the dog. That’s what would end up changing their lives dramatically.
What an amazingly beautiful story. It’s all going to work out for Tank and his new owner. 🙂
You’ve read this far… you need to watch this short BEAUTIFUL video clip.. It will touch your HEART! Enjoy!
Reverse Sneezing In Dogs – What to do…
Does this sound familiar? Your dog suddenly starts making loud snorting sounds—over and over again, in quick succession.
Do you start wondering, did they swallow something they shouldn’t have? Can they breathe?!
Chances are, you’re experiencing the infamous “reverse sneeze.”
Veterinarians often see dogs whose owners rushed them in for an emergency appointment after finding them standing with their elbows apart, head pulled back, and eyes bulging as they snort or gasp repeatedly.
Yet for the vast majority of these dogs, a vet visit was unnecessary.
Reverse sneezing looks and sounds scary the first time you encounter it. However, it’s a fairly common and harmless respiratory event for dogs.
Read on to learn how to identify reverse sneezing, what causes it, and how to tell the difference between a harmless reverse sneeze and something else.
What is reverse sneezing?
A reverse sneeze is pretty much what it sounds like: a sneeze that happens in reverse! The above video is a good example of what it looks and sounds like.
In a regular sneeze, air is rapidly pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is rapidly, and noisily, pulled in through the nose.
It occurs in spasms lasting anywhere from a few seconds up to a minute and sounds like snorting, snuffling, and even gagging. See the above video for an example.
Because of the sounds their dogs make while reverse sneezing, many people mistakenly think their dog is choking. However, a reverse sneeze is almost as normal and harmless as a regular sneeze.
What causes reverse sneezing?
There’s no single cause for a reverse sneeze. Like regular sneezing, it’s often triggered by an irritation or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses.
It often occurs when dogs wake up from a nap, or after eating, when their breathing pattern may have rapidly changed. It’s also caused by irritants in the airway—anything from dust to an inhaled hair!
Some dogs experience more frequent reverse sneezing in springtime when the air is full of pollen and other allergens.
Others reverse sneeze more in the winter, when sudden temperature changes between outdoors and indoors cause the nasal passages to contract.
Another common cause of reverse sneezing is pressure on the throat and neck. A too-tight collar, or straining against the leash, can irritate the throat and lead to a reverse sneeze. That’s just one more reason to consider a harness for your dog.
Finally, some dogs reverse sneeze after exercise, or when they’re overexcited. This is particularly common among brachycephalic, or short-nosed, breeds like pugs and bulldogs.
When they get worked up, they may inhale their elongated soft palates into the throat, triggering an episode of reverse sneezing.
How to end a reverse sneezing episode
Reverse sneezing is super-common, and it won’t hurt your dog. However, some dogs become anxious during a reverse sneezing episode, and a lengthy episode may be uncomfortable.
You can help your dog recover from a reverse sneezing episode by remaining calm yourself. If you get anxious, your dog’s anxiety will increase, too. So, stay calm, and show your dog there’s nothing to panic about.
If your dog is experiencing a particularly long episode of reverse sneezing, you may be able to ease or end the episode by:
- Gently massaging your dog’s throat
- Briefly covering their nostrils, which will cause them to swallow and potentially stop sneezing
- Depressing their tongue with your hand to help open airways
- Some vets suggest gently blowing in your dog’s face
In the vast majority of cases, there’s no need to intervene. Reverse sneezing doesn’t last long, and your dog will be perfectly normal after it stops.
When you should go to the vet
As mentioned, reverse sneezing rarely requires veterinary treatment. As soon as the sneezing episode stops, the situation is resolved. However, if episodes increase in frequency or duration, you should call the vet just in case.
You should also seek treatment if your dog’s reverse sneezing is accompanied by other respiratory symptoms or if they have any unusual discharge from their nose.
Occasionally, chronic reverse sneezing can be a symptom of more serious issues. These include nasal mites, foreign objects in the airway, respiratory infections, and tracheal collapse.
If you’re concerned about the intensity of your dog’s reverse sneezing, take a video to show the vet. They’ll be able to determine potential causes.
Most dogs experience episodes of reverse sneezing at some point in their lives. For the vast majority of dogs, it’s a common, temporary, harmless reaction with no lasting aftereffects.
Of course, it still sounds unsettling to our human ears! But now that you know what reverse sneezing is, you’ll be less likely to make an unnecessary vet visit.