I was so surprised and even disappointed on how hard some people came
down on President Obama because the family had not chosen a shelter
dog. As though we need to follow anyone's example for doing the right thing.
We need to be people of character who don't need to follow but rather instead
recognize that choosing a shelter dog is the right thing to do.
It is shameful that there are so many unwanted dogs and cats in our shelters
and that is due to our irresponsiblilty when it comes to neutering and spaying
them. I remember when I worked for the City of Cleveland - I was talking
to a contractor about his dog and asked if he was neutered. No, was the
reply. Of course, then I went into my spiel of how his dog would be less inclined
to roam and above all -not be the cause of unwanted progeny. He would have none of
it. He wanted his dog in tact. How sad. He and others like him are responsible
for the bulging shelters and the millions of dogs and cats who are euthanized
each year across the land. I wish that people of his ilk would visit the killing rooms.
They may change their minds in this regard if they do.
Just this week-end I was walking my 10- year old Casey who is spayed. Out of
nowhere appeared a rambunctious young Boxer who was enamored of her. No
one of the family- including the dad could corral him back into his fenced yard
which he had jumped. Casey and I had to walk him home! Thank goodness
she was spayed.
Back to Bo - if any one is to blame for this choice - it probably is the First Lady
who said she favored a Portuguese Water Dog and then probably convinced the
girls this would be the right choice. At any rate, I did not fault the President.
I'm sure he would have taken to a shelter dog as quickly as he has to Bo who is
after all at least a rescue dog.
Going through some of my saved articles, I came upon one written by Connie
Schultz of the Cleveland Plain Dealer originally written in February 2008. I was
very touched by it and I felt the story of Chris and his dog can very well be
titled - "And a Child Shall Lead."
Chris was very special because there wasn't anything he wanted so much as
"a plain brown dog." He knew that the fancy breed dogs would have no problems
finding a home. No, he just wanted a plain "ole" brown dog. And he promised his
mother he would save every penny he could to buy a dog bowl, a leash, and a collar.
And he also promised he would train her too and make sure he had time to play
His mother was proud of Chris because he was a conscientious student who
made A's at school. Knowing that they didn't have much money, he really said
that all he really wanted was a dog. But she told him he'd have to wait until
she could afford to buy a house because they were not allowed to have pets where
they were renting.
Karen's dream of home ownership happened in 1993 when she, Chris, and sister
Nikki would finally have their own house in Lakewood. After moving in, she
asked Chris if he still wanted that plain brown dog. Oh- did he ever.
Together Chris and his mother went to the Animal Protective League in
Cleveland. There they passed the lost or abandoned orphans who pressed
wet noses through wire-caged doors - pleading with their eyes to be chosen.
It didn't take long for Chris to focus on Cricket -a mix of boxer, terrier, and beagle.
She was brown with patches of white on her chest and paws. She was scooped
up and set down for Chris to get a good look at.
Karen noted that she was bow-legged- but that didn't faze Chris nor did he care.
She was perfect in his eyes as he put his arm around her- accepting the wet
puppy kisses she was giving him.
Everyday -true to his promise, Chris frolicked with Cricket in the yard and they
became best of friends. Truly, Chris was someone who loved animals. His heart
broke one day when he found a sick kitten who had to be put down. He wondered
how she felt about this.
Then the unthinkable happened. After a year and a half after getting Cricket,
Chris went with his friends to try out his new mountain bike. It would be a
day which changed the lives of Karen, Nikki, and Cricket forever.
This day -Karen received a call from the police that Chris had been hit by a
train. Overwhelmed with grief, Karen could only scream for Jesus as she fell
to the floor. At the hospital she saw a body still perfect but Chris' head had
such serious injuries that there was no hope that he would recover from them.
Hooked up to life support, Karen allowed his organs to be donated. He died
three days after the accident on August 12, 1995.
The only part left of Chris was Cricket, and Karen did indeed feel his presence
with her near by. She and Cricket felt some solace as they walked together-
sometimes for miles -remembering the boy they had both loved. And Cricket
needed to be close to her as much as she need to be close to her -now that
Chris was gone forever.
So for 12 years Chris' presence was felt through Cricket. But now it was Cricket
who had to leave because one day -having been taken to the vets -an X-ray
confirmed that she was dying. When Cricket was given the injection which
would end her suffering, Karen felt the pain deeply because now another piece
of her son was gone.
On Chris' birthday - April 13 Karen placed an "In Memorian" ad with a photo of
Chris and Cricket in the newspaper. A beautiful tribute to a boy and his brown
dog. She hopes that they are together now but doesn't know.
If they are not together now Karen- I know they will be one day at the restoration
of the world in end times- because so many of us who have also lost our best friends
are banking on that happening. We can't imagine that a loving God would not
re-unite us with those animals we loved and who loved us back in such great and