What is a dog’s life worth?
Hours of time and thousands of dollars?
Or something else?
People are mean. Do you agree? I’ll tell you a story.
The Chihuahua puppy had no home. He was left to starve in the streets of Kansas City. He had a thin dull coat. He shook from the cold with winter coming. He shuffled and hurried and huddled along the concrete walls hungry and alone. His ribs grew sharp and gaunt. His eyes crusted over. He was afraid.
People are mean. They turn away from need. They leave the little ones alone in the cold to fade and go hungry. They walk past suffering.
People are kind. Do you agree? I’ll tell you a story.
Nettie, a volunteer with Paws Crossed took him in as her foster puppy. She fed him and he got his strength back. Within a week he transformed into a lively, tail-wagging puppy. She put a sweater on him when it was cold. His coat took on a shine. He ran with joy.
She named him Mufasa. She showed him love.
He came when she called him.
Then as he was getting stronger, they brought him for medical care.
Bad news. He had a fatal heart condition. He survived starvation, cold and the streets, but now he wouldn’t make it without surgery.
The surgery would cost thousands of dollars.
Paws Crossed started fundraising to save him. People donated for him to get the surgery. The vets at Mizzou fixed his heart so he could have a long life.
People are kind. They give lavishly and freely. They see suffering and offer healing. They open their homes. They teach the little ones what love is.
We were looking for a new second dog to live with Cookie, our Chihuahua mix. We lost our beloved Mercy in January.
We looked at a beautiful, bossy female dog with blue eyes, a chocolate coat and a faraway look. She wasn’t the one. Another bossy female wouldn’t be a good match for our current bossy female.
We looked at a young hound (Vincent, so sweet! someone should adopt him). He wasn’t the one. Too big to be a good match for our Chihuahua mix.
My friend, Kristen, sent me the link to Mufasa. Ears for days. A happy look. Friendly with other Chihuahuas.
He was the one! I applied for him. Then I wrote my husband an email: “What do you think of this dog? I applied for him.” Yes, that is how strongly I felt. I couldn’t wait!
I learned his story that I am telling you now.
We also learned he still has a problem. He’s so active running around that it’s hard to get a clear photo of him!
We picked him up on Saturday.
People are mean.
People are kind.
Is it worth nothing? Is a dog a piece of trash scuttling along the streets in the cold?
Is it worth thousands? Is a dog a symbol that brings out the best of our power to give, to care and to heal?
Is a dog’s life worth this and more?
Is a dog’s life worth a lifetime commitment? Yes, I say, yes.