Thursday, February 21, 2013

To Live Without Love

NaBloPoMo February 2013
Do you think people can live without love?
Of people- including the self? Sure. Of ideas- faith, knowledge? No. Of things? Yes, but then I think that leads you back to a love (or a belief, if you will) of ideas. I initially thought of this prompt as someone living without giving love, which I believe can happen. I don't think that it's completely absent from people, but there are those who don't/can't/won't give love to other people. However, then I thought about it from the other perspective...Can someone live without receiving love? What an awful thing to think about! Yet it happens, over and over, minute after minute all over the world, throughout history. And while I could (should?) make the case for unwanted children, I'm actually talking about pets. Dogs and cats and bunnies and... Un-neutered, un-spayed, breeding too young, given away, given up, donated, un-adopted and eventually euthanized. I don't make much of a case for how people treat their animals. In a perfect world your dog or cat would be as much a part of the family as your kids. Taught to be polite, trained to be obedient and encouraged with positive actions. After all, you're the one who feeds them, cares for them, interacts with them on a daily basis. But each person, each family, has a different outlook on their pets- just as you have different outlooks on how to raise your kids. I find it so disheartening that so many litters are bred accidentally- puppies and kittens with a bleak future and a short life. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have land or resources to raise an unexpected influx of animals. Even with social media outlets (Facebook, craigslist, Ebay classifieds) to let people know you have adoptable pets, once you pass a certain point those cute baby animals are less attractive and harder to get rid of. 
Rule of thumb, babies get adopted faster. 
It doesn't have to be like that. The strays on the street and the poor unadopted donations to the shelter could be prevented. 
     1. Unless you plan on breeding your animals, get them fixed as early as four months. Cats can get pregnant this early, and dogs at 6 months. That's barely out of babyhood and already a mother. 
     2. Adopt from shelters or reputable sources. With so many mixes and "-poos" being bred there are bound to be animals similar to what you're looking for at the local shelter. 
     3. Help out! Encourage others to spay and neuter their animals. Puppies, kittens, bunnies and the like are fairly dependent on people- for food, for space, for care. Animals who run wild have a greater likelihood of dying (poisoning, sport, hit and runs, wild animals) or being caught and euthanized (after a short trip to the shelter). 

In fact, we adopted Ripley through the local shelter! We had been talking about getting a small dog for almost a year- going through the motions, mapping out who would care for her at what times during the day, pricing food and toys and vets. When our landlady agreed to something small, we ran drove to the local shelter that day with a list of animals to see. We walked through the pens and found our sweet little girl: such a waggy-tail-happy-dog!
She was energetic and demanded attention, alert, clean and soooo loveable. She was the only dog we asked to see out of the pen and after a few hours of deliberating, we took the plunge. The OC Animal Shelter requires all animals to be spayed or neutered before being adopted, so we had to wait an agonizing week to bring Ripley home. But she was worth every second and every penny. 
Take the time to avoid accidents. Don't let your animals get into something you aren't prepared to take care of. 

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Mrs. E