Shall we talk about being human and feeling like nothing more than an animal. Shall we talk about looking up at our masters hoping they are in a good mood today. Shall we talk about the fear of the boot, the hand, the lonely exile of the cold outside. Shall we talk about being a human dog careful not to bite the hand. Shall we talk about the longing for the gentle pat on the head signifying a job well done. I am an animal and there is nothing I can do.
I have been chosen. I pressed my cold wet nose against the glass that is the working force. I wagged my tail and cocked my head to the side, lifting my floppy ears in curiosity. I am cute and young, desperate for love and eager to please. It was the force that drives all masters that sent mine for me. They wanted a mindless thing to do what it was told. No questions, no straying, a simple yes sir and on with my task. They wanted a young ambitious pup to teach how to guard the gates, pull the sled, entertain the children. With the promise of undying affection, three meals and a warm bed they drew me in close. I snuggled close to their bosom and felt the warmth of their body, finally someone to take care of me. No more lonely nights wanting a family to call my own. I am a house dog now.
They gave me my shots, took me to obedience school and patted my head “good girl.” They taught me some tricks and gave me treats when I did everything right. My master is good to me, my master feeds me when I sit. I am a good girl. They took me everywhere with them and I gazed out the window of the fast moving car. They loved me, hugged me, kissed me and gave me everything I could want. They were pleased, I was indeed a good girl.
But what is this? Has the animal done something wrong? You left your shoe out and I chewed it and now you are angry at me. Bad Girl. Now you left me in the house for ten hours alone and I pooped on the floor, you are so disappointed in me. Bad Girl. You left a tasty snack on the low table alone with me and I couldn’t resist a taste, you did not teach me that. Bad Girl. You bring me a new place to meet new people and I get scared and snap, that’s not how we act. Bad Girl. I go with my nature, uncontrolled by the complexities that make the master who they are. I am an animal and you don’t like it.
I am a trouble maker. Now I am no longer allowed to sleep in the room. Bad girls sleep in the hall alone. I am not trained correctly. I no longer receive the love and affection of well mannered dog. Bad girls get no treats. Now I can’t be trusted outside. I am no longer given the liberties of the past. Bad girls stay home while we go out. I am a uncontrollable. I am no longer allowed out when company is around. Bad girls get locked in a room.
But I am still your animal and I still need to do the job you bought me for, and so I work. I get no treats, no pats on the head, no love. I have become resentful and I growl at my mean owners. I have become bitter and I try to fight back. I am a rebel and I will do what I want. If you will not treat me like a good girl, I will not be a good girl. My rebellion does not work, bad girls get punished. I have become sad and I avoid my owners. I do not look you in the eye. I try and hide my simple mistakes. I am too afraid to admit what I have done. I am a scared girl.
Now you are angry. Your animal no longer listens. It gets the hand. You are frightened, your animal is a danger. It gets the boot. You are scared for your children. Your animal snaps at all the humans. It gets the cold bitter chill of the night air. Your animal is so frightened it no longer preforms its job.
Your animal is useless. It will not do what you bought it to do. Your animal is unreliable. It will not work when you want it. Your animal is unpredictable. It is not the animal you thought it would be. Your animal no longer serves it’s purpose.
If the sled does not get pulled, what’s the point of a sled dog? If the house does not get guarded what’s the point of a guard dog? If the children are scared of the animal what’s the point of a play thing? I am an animal that disappoints its master, I am pointless.
Shelters are for bad girls who are uncooperative. I am alone in a cage for hours. My family gone, never to be seen again. What did I do wrong? It is ingrained in me now, I am a bad girl, so I bark at the people looking for an animal. I growl at the kids and snap at the adults. I am aggressive and will never be taken home again. I am pointless and I know it so I become angry and scared. It’s time to put me down, an animal that will not do what is trained to do cannot be in this world. I don’t even get to explain myself. I am an animal and I am gone.