I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.
Dogs Belong With Their Owners
If Someone Steals My Dog
Every time I read an article about a dog being stolen, I feel a little sick to my stomach. I just don't get why anyone would steal a dog, or for that matter, a family pet regardless of species. I want to talk about dogs, however; I'm a dog person, and it just drives me crazy when I see stories on the news about someone stealing a dog and a family being heartbroken.
The latest story I've read is about Atlas the dog. According to CBC, a Kelowna, British Columbia family has just released footage of what appears to be an unknown member of the community luring Atlas out of the family back yard and Atlas following this unknown person. One of the family members has said "it's hard to breathe" without their beloved pooch around, and I don't doubt that this is so.
I remember one time several lifetimes ago I was housesitting for a friend of mine. She had a beautiful black lab, and I was the proud owner of a Dalmatian/German short-haired pointer mix. It appears that a well-meaning neighbor hadn't quite closed the back gate of the backyard properly - given it was winter at the time, there are sometimes inherent challenges, such as snow, that can make such ordinary feats a little bit of a challenge. Anyhow, not only did my friend's dog somehow go missing, so did my own, and thankfully, my boyfriend (now husband) knew enough about tracking that he was able to successfully round up both dogs and secure the back gate tightly enough that you'd almost need explosives to get it open again. Even though the two dogs had gone missing for a comparatively short time, it was one of the most agonizing experiences of my life.
I understand that pets sometimes go missing, but to see stories that suggest somehow that there are individuals which purposefully steal a family pet is upsetting in the extreme. It's difficult for me to conceive of someone who would think that stealing anything, let alone a four-legged family member, is okay, but there's more to how I feel.
We live in a world where people are getting dogs for the purposes of having them as a service animal. There are individuals who might be disabled, or struggling with a mental illness, or coping with any one of a number of conditions for which having a service dog makes their lives infinitely safer and easier. Yes, these service animals become family members, but they serve a critical purpose in these cases that ensures the owner's continued good health. They become valuable lifelines for individuals that allow them to function more effectively in society, and while a dog thief may not know a family's unique situation, he or she is most certainly setting up the family for a world of heartache.
I can only speak to my experiences with dogs, as while I've known some great cats, dogs have been a more significant part of my life. When a child has a nightmare, the family dog is more often than not the one who curls up at the foot of the child's bed to help them feel more secure. When you're feeling lousy, either by virtue of illness or injury, the dog is the first to offer kisses and cuddles until you're healed. When you're suffering heartbreak, the family dog is the first to curl up next to you for hugs until you've cried yourself out.
I truly don't understand people who would do something as low as stealing a beloved pet, and maybe I feel the way I do because I am very much a dog person. I also understand that we live in a world where we can't always afford something like a dog, so sometimes, we might consider illegal action in order to get what we want. I don't understand people who steal as a general rule, and when it comes to the family dog, that's just cruel. In stealing someone's pet, you're robbing someone of their best friend - the thing they turn to that will never judge them and will always be there to comfort them in the worst times ever.
I would absolutely lose my mind if someone stole my dog.
I sincerely hope that those individuals who have had their dog stolen are reunited happily with their beloved pooches soon, and I hope that those who lured the dog away face charges.