I marvel at our urge or need to share our lives with animals of another species. I really think it’s part of what makes us human or what makes us good human beings. I also think the death of a pet brings a unique and particularly painful form of grief. For me, the “language barrier” between me and my pets, meant I couldn’t know with certainty that they knew they were loved and that they were spared fear or pain at the end. That uncertainty is brutal.
Remember that gut-wrenching video, Just One Dog, about the dejected white pitbull with mange and eye infections in California shelter? (The video was made by Cathy at CampCocker.) Well, a bunch of good things have been happening to Stanley since then and he’s doing so much better! He’s now being fostered in a home by the Respect-A-Bull rescue group in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. His skin and eyes are improving, he has more energy, he’s playing, sleeping in a snuggly bed, and giving out lots of kisses.
Stanley’s story is great, but here’s the thing I think we have to remember—Stanley isn’t special, at all. He really is just one dog out of thousands and thousands of dogs. I think we tell ourselves the fiction that Stanley is special so we won’t feel so bad about the millions of dogs destroyed every year in the US alone. The majority of the dogs destroyed in shelters are no different than Stanley. They just never got a chance. Tons of people have offered to adopt Stanley. I hope so much that they will instead adopt just one other dog.
Please support your local rescue groups. If you want to help out Respect-A-Bull, you can donate on their site or purchase a Stanley shirt.