Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another heart broken needlessly

A friend of mine just had to put her young dog down.

A wonderful bulldog with a great heart and loving nature, he was plagued with so many physical maladies I think even his veterinarian could not list them all in one breath.

The pup was sold to my friend at a considerable cost by a "qualified" breeder in another state. When my friend told the breeder the puppy was excruciatingly sick, had bone problems and more, the "qualified" breeder didn't return her calls.

Nor the desperate emails.

The pup continued to cost my friend considerable money in vet bills she really didn't have.

It takes only a few hours to bond with a sweet puppy, doesn't it. The veterinarian felt badly for my friend; the bills were so massive a discount was given.

Friends and the vet told my friend to get an attorney. At the very least the breeder should pay for the thousands of dollars worth of bills encountered for the pup, and return the purchase price.

Even with a lawyer, the breeder was difficult to deal with until another breeder - well known among breeders with an excellent national standing - agreed to look at the dog to see if my friend was in fact the cause of the pup's problems.

She examined the dog and declared he should have never been sold. Filled with so many genetic conditions, the breeder should give my friend her money back and help with the medical bills - there would be many more to come.

Which led up to yesterday.

When the pup of just a couple years, so beloved and well cared for over the short and yet forever time he was with my friend, was at last freed from his pain and miserable medical treatments meant to extend his life - a life intended to be happy, carefree and overflowing with affection.

The dog is now free from the agony he endured for every one of those many months; free to run and jump and do cartwheels or whatever dogs do in doggie heaven.

But my friend? She's left with a heart broken beyond repair because a (fill in the blank - merciless?) breeder sold her a dog he should not have considered giving away.

Excellent breeders would never allow such a blighted pup out of their care - they'd be sure he had as good a life as he could have for as long as possible; they would be responsible for the pup's care since they brought him into the world and something went wrong in their breeding practice.

Excellent breeders would also take a dog back if it were the case that genetic conditions created such medical misery for a dog. Or any animal sold by a reputable breeder.

My friend will someday miss her pet less. I still miss pets I've had who died in my arms many years ago.

But I'm left to wonder how many thousands of times this same crushing scenario continues because of uncaring, unethical breeders. PETA would say all breeders are the same, in it for money, believing none genuinely care about the animal whose numbers they continue to increase in our world.

I would not go that far, but I do know this is a scene replayed all too often with tears that do not cease, with arms that go empty missing the enthusiastic reception and cuddles that came no matter how short a time you've been away.

There's the absence of that special soul with whom doing nothing is perhaps even more noticeable than doing something, whether it's a walk, a trip to the dog park or a weekend to hang out with your out-of-town family, where the kids play with your affectionate pup - the pup they adore.

Kids who won't understand why he can't ever visit them again.

Rest in peace and play your heart out in heaven, little guy.

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