Dogs are not a usual topic on my blog but my proud mama heart inspires me to write. I am simply in awe of the young woman my daughter is becoming as I witness her ever deepening compassion for animals.
New Mexico is perhaps the dog friendliest state in the country. People bring their dogs everywhere here, even restaurants. Santa Fe dedicated 135 acres in the wild foothills so dogs could have a park. That kind of real estate in New York is worth millions.
Not all dogs here lead a care free life though. Many dogs spend their days tied to three-foot chains or locked in crates. I pass them as I enter the homes of the patients I see in rural Northern New Mexico. They are usually pit bulls or shepherds with sharp teeth and menacing growls. If they were to break free from their tortured captivity their unleashed rage would rip me apart. Who can blame them?
Whenever I see a dog in chains I am terrified and heart broken and helpless. All at the same time.
I am not here to pass judgment on the ones who own these animals. They are lovely people and I know there is no intentional harm in the way they treat their dogs. It is just a different mind-set.
As I entered one home recently the dog was chained so close to the house that his lunge stopped right at the front door. I walked in sideways to avoid his contact. Noticing my trepidation his owner told me, “You don’t need to worry about him. He’s too friendly” he lamented.
“My last dog would have bit you” he said proudly.
“How come you want a dog that bites someone?”
“So I don’t have to lock my doors. Keeps people from breaking in,” he said as if the answer was obvious.
I understand the need for protection. Crime is a part of the landscape. Resources for fancy alarm systems are in short supply.
Dogs can provide that role as protector.
My daughter shared her news with me that she and her boyfriend had applied to the New York Bully Crew to foster pit bulls. At twenty-one her compassionate action touches me deeply. If she could, I know she would rescue every animal in the world.
I was sharing my experiences with the dogs I see here and it didn’t make sense to her. If someone broke into your house how is your dog going to help you if he is chained up outside?
Dogs can alert us to intruders and offer more help if they are in the house should someone break in.
Many who have their dogs in chains don’t see this logic. How can we change what we cannot see?
I cannot break every chain but if one person sees something different, if one dog is unleashed, a prayer is answered.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings,