"Our lives would be unfilled without Animals as they help us with our solitude,
teach us how to smile and to love also unconditionally"~Sam Dias
October 7th, 2015
for a reason!
We meet people all the time in our lives.
We can say hello and get a hello back, or we can just say and hear our hello.
At times we do meet people who make a difference to our lives, and whether they know or not the fact is that meeting them brought us so much true Joy and although just a another person that we met that someone for sure will be included on our album of Best Friends.
We were driving around Deerfield Beach over this past weekend and we spotted a magnificent, huge, and so charming Newfoundland, also known as Newfy. Although we could not stop our car we just wanted so much to be able to somehow see that Dog again.
While sitting and watching the sea waves, rough that Sunday, the corner of our eyes once again spotted that wonderful black giant creature! Yes, it was the Dog we saw while driving!
We jumped out of our seat, not too comfortable at all, and really desperately run towards that Beautiful Dog! It was a wonderful moment and may be not noticed that encounter brought some tears to our eyes of emotion to be able to be so close to such glorious Animal.
His name is Zeus, and here is his story kindly e-mailed to us by his proud companion owner, or better his dad,
Ron Watson, who is now as said above listed on our Best Human Friend Roll of course along with his beloved Service Dog.
As you of course already figured out Ron is a True Animal Lover, and not only him, but also his wife who wrote about their rescued Turkish Von Cat, named Aruba, found many years ago, and their other two Siamese Cats who are fully potty trained in her article on “How to Potty Train your Cat”.
Let’s read it together
… and thank you so much from our heart dear Ron, for taking the very special time to share with us the immense Love for Animals deeply nurtured by you and your wife.
Only Wonderful Humans like you both use the free Trait of Loving Animals given to all of us at birth!
is a certified service dog who is both a loyal and faithful friend and truly is a “Gentle Giant“. He is a Newfoundland (Newfy). He is nearly 5 years of age and weighs in at a healthy 120 pounds. He loves to swim and to pull my wife on her rollerblades. His breed is known to be the strongest of all breeds with the strength to pull up to 1000 pounds. They are a noble breed, will not beg at the table, but will gently and graciously accept an offer if extended.
They are known for their powerful swimming skills and are one of the only known breeds who utilize their powerful back legs when swimming, not the usual “dog paddle“utilized by most every other breed. They are natural rescuers of people in distress in the water and will instinctively save a drowning person and bring them to shore. His mother has saved two peoples lives in Palm Beach who were drowning without a command. Zeus has acquired a large vocabulary of commands and they are known to think for themselves which gives them an ability to figure things out and act in accordance with the situation at hand.
Some interpret that as stubbornness, but that is because they don’t understand the breed and respect their high intellect. Our family also is home to 3 cats who Zeus loves and respects.
Zeus has blessed our lives for the past 4 1/2 years and is the most devoted and faithful friend a person could ever have.”
our Turkish Von, swimming with our late German shepherd. They are skilled swimmers and in their natural habitat are skilled at catching fish. They are a fearless breed and are capable of holding their own against any opponent, dogs included. We rescued this cat from Aruba many years ago and brought him home with us upon our return.
He is a rare and expensive breed and was left to forage for himself on the Island where we vacationed. He and our other two Siamese cats are all “potty trained“and he has been featured in two publications in England called Vantasia where my wife has written on “How to Potty Train your Cat. “
As said: " Everything happens for a reason! "
It was wonderful and terrifically rewarding
and of course your Dad too!
August 7th, 2015
Photo: Undated family handout photo of Lennox, an illegal pit bull terrier-type dog in Belfast. Credit: Associated Press.
Remembering our do dear:
Lennox – Northern Ireland
Eliminated by a discriminatory law against a specific Breed
The World will never forget Him
Lennox, World Hero!
A letter from all of us that Love you.
Dear Lennox we loved you since the day we heard about you. Our heart beat stayed with you all the time, pumping both of our so contagious feelings of Hope. We followed your story, day in and day out, and we prayed for you. We felt your despair alone on a cell thinking of the times of joy you shared with your beloved Family. You are our Hero!
We felt the cold of the cell that the Injustice of a few locked you in. We lived the darkness of the environment you were subjected to, and we knew that you could not understand the many “whys” of such uncalled for strong-minded cruelty.
Do not think Lennox that we are all the same. Thousands of Good People in the World Loved You, Love You, and will forever Love You Lennox! You are our Hero!
Although on those two years you only saw the cruel part of the human race we are sure Lennox that within your Heart You knew that we were all thinking about you, and questioned for sure why those cruel people were mistreating you for no sane reason.
Life Lennox is not an easy task, not even for us called Humans. Life is a challenge and the strength we have determine our success or our failure. You had the Strength all along, the Courage, the Kindness, the Genuine Unconditional Love Trait, and the Respect. All of these were enslaved on the dirty place the “other humans” put you in. You felt Hope. We felt that with you!
Justice was sought by the ones that Loved you from their Hearts, and that You Loved the same way, but the uncalled cruelty of a few decided in the end your fate. Blessed be you Lennox for your Love and Cursed be those who maliciously punished you.
We will remember You as long as we live, as we will fight to change the laws which punished you!
They created the fake thought that you looked like another one, but we know in our Hearts that you are A Real Angel.
Now that you no longer share with us the place on this complicated Earth of ours we know in our Hearts that We will meet you someday up there Lennox, in a World where all Humans and Animals will live side by side on an Everlasting Happiness.
Sorry Lennox that we failed you and we also apologize for those that did not let us help you, and we assure you Lennox that we will forever be devoted to you!
Rest in Peace our so Dear Lennox. We know where you are now. Just watch from there, keeping all of Us strong so that We could keep fighting for the well being of all animals.
“Hoping is a Feeling that Never Fades” ~ Paws
Lennox, we do Love you!
Please kindly e-mail your stories and pictures to email@example.com
July 27th, 2015
Our utmost and most sincere condolences to all of you for the passing of this so Wonderful Soul. His heartbreaking story was deeply touching since day one and we all together cried millions of tears.
We all were rewarded when that wonderful family adopted him after the efforts of a Team of Committed Animal Lovers who did not stop until JJ was finally Free, taken care of, and ready to find His forever Home.
From all of us at PAWS and in behalf of all Animal Lovers who knew his sad and then happy story and the ones that know it now our sincere Thank you to the Family that had the wisdom to give JJ the Love that he so much sought night during 4,745 days and nights alone chained to a tree just waiting a door to open, or a person to pass so that his eyes could reach out to say: "Hey I am here, I just want you to Love me!"
JJ is not the only one; unfortunately, many are still chained and will die right there!
It is up to us to continue to fight for their freedom. It is up to us to demand, and repeating, demand laws that will consider chaining a dog as animal cruelty and that will carry severe penalties to punish anyone, anyone, and anyone who keeps his dog attached to the end of a cruel chain.
May JJ life, suffering, quick happiness, and noble death be the inspiration that you are missing to join this fight, like him, day and night, so that we "Together and Strong" will prevent this from happening again to any dog, any animal.
When people put their minds, soul, heart, commitment, energy, and voice into achieving something believe me that it will be achieved. So without delay lets us unite as a single powerful force to demand laws that will consider chaining a dog or any animal as a crime and as such really punished.
May JJ rest in peace and from Heaven look upon each one of us Humans and Animals to give us the Strength to keep fighting and the Hope to be free!
We all Love you JJ.
Please be sure, dear JJ, that our
relentless fight against animal cruelty will never end.
July 11th, 2015
Another wonderful story which will glue your eyes and mind to the screen until the last word, kindly shared with us by PAWS Friend and Genuine Animal Lover, John Preston Smith, author of The Bog, The Legend Of Man’s Best Friend that is a available on Amazon. Thank YOU John!
(Click the page tab "Books you will never forget")
It will reinforce to you what Love for Animals truthfully mean and how magnificent and rewarding is the bond that can exist between a human and a furry creature!
We would do appreciate if you could read it and kindly pass it on as it so important to share with others what brings so much Love to our hearts.
While you read this story keep in your mind that Millions of Dogs and Cats are begging inside shelters for a Cozy, and Warm
Home, hoping to find a True Human Being that could provide Them Their most basic need
which is something so simple and so easy to be given = LOVE!
Adopt and teach people to never buy an Animal!
“When the man waked up he said,
What is Wild Dog doing here?”
And the Woman said,
“His name is not Wild Dog any more,
but the First Friend,
because he will be our friend
for always and always and always.”
Life had been tough for Sammy. Not that he expected better, more that he didn’t know that there was better. He was one of seven at birth, born on a wintry night under a farmer’s chicken coop. Two of his sisters, weak and sick, were thrown into the snow by his mother.
At six weeks of age, his mother died and the others were taken away. For two years, tethered by chain to a rotting Maple tree, his world extended thirty feet. His protection against the elements was his tightly curled body and determination to survive. His nourishment consisted of table scraps, his table was the bare ground, and his drinking water puddled in holes when it rained.
He did, however, have a friend. The boy from the house came to see him late in the afternoons. The boy would watch and laugh as he ran in circles, jumping and barking. Then the boy would untangle him from the tree and sit beside him while he set his head in the boy’s lap. The boy would pet him and tell him that he was a good dog. It was the greatest part of the day. Life could not be better.
When the snow fell, the boy stopped coming. Sometimes, it would be days before anyone threw scraps to him. He began to lose weight, and it was difficult to stay warm in the dropping temperatures.
He saw the boy one more time. The boy did not run out to play with him; instead he walked slowly. The boy talked to him in a voice he had not heard before. The boy stuttered in a soft, whispery tone. He saw water on the boy’s face when the boy bent over and patted him. The boy fed him cookies and made whimpering sounds before leaving. That night, there were no lights in the house.
The next day, the house was silent. No one brought him food. He had wrapped himself around the tree and could barely move. The cookies were gone, he could not reach the frozen water, and he was colder than he could remember.
He knew—knew he had been left alone. Left to fend for himself or to die.
That night the fire warmed him. It melted the snow that covered his lean body, and he lapped at the droplets of water. But the heat became intense, and he sensed fear. When he looked at the house, he saw flames flying into the air and disappearing into the night.
Trucks came and sprayed water onto the fire and the old house crumbled to the ground, spewing hot coals that burnt parts of his coat. He yipped and barked until one of the masked men in a heavy black coat came running at him with steel on a stick. He wanted to fight him, but his weakness pulled him down and he waited for the sound of death.
The rusting chain broke free from the tree with one swing of the fireman’s axe. The man removed his glove, offered his hand for Sammy to smell, and then patted him on the head. “Come on boy, let’s get you outta here.” He dragged the chain and followed the man out of the fenced yard that had been the boundaries of his world. People grabbed at him and he knew they would tether him to another tree, in another fenced area. He fought to get away.
“I got him,” one man yelled, but then yelled again when the hot chain burned his skin. Sammy ran. The scent of water drew him in the direction of the river. His chain rattled on the bricks and blood trickled down his chest as it dug into his neck. He was hungry and thirsty and weak. But he did not stop. His run slowed to a jog, and then to a labored walk, but his heart raced. He was almost there, he could feel it, could almost taste it…water.
He stumbled into the stream that fed into the river before he knew it was upon him. It was cold, freezing, and it rushed the sting of adrenaline throughout his body. He laid in it, letting the wintry water cool his burned skin and singed hair. He stood and shook as hard as his drained body would allow.
At the edge of the water was a gutshot groundhog. He ate until the pains of hunger left his stomach.
He walked a short distance along the creek bed until he found an outcropping of brush that formed a lean-to. Dragging his chain, he burrowed through the scraggy bush into a small area that was both dry and sheltered from the wind. He meant to rest only momentarily, still sensing a need to get further away from the tree that had staked him to the ground. But his stomach was full, his exhausted body demanded rest, and fatigue overcame his desire to run. He walked in circles, patting the weeds into a nest, dropped to the ground, and curled tightly, sharing the heat with all parts of his body.
The morning after the fire, I felt like someone had beaten me with a stick. I awoke with a start, the sound of sirens still ringing in my ears, my vision still blurry from the smoke, my lower back reminding me to let the younger firemen unfurl the hoses next time.
But the old ways were gone, never to return. It used to be that after we had responded to a fire, I would come home and Betty would be waiting to take care of me. She would have drawn a warm bath, laced with Epsom salts, and I’d soak for an hour of more, washing away the dirt and grim of burning buildings, of legacies lost, of lives changed forever. Fire does that. Then over cups of cocoa, I’d pour out my feelings about what I had encountered. It was a ritual as necessary as breathing.
My dad and granddad had been firemen. Granddad died in the line of duty. Dad fell from a ladder and broke his back. Miraculously though, he was not paralyzed, but it was a career-ending injury.
I was a fireman when Betty and I were married, and I admitted my weakness the first day we fell in love. I still remember exactly what I had told her. “After we respond to a fire, I will need to talk,” I had said.
“About what it does to me, inside. I love being a fireman, but the death and destruction is sometimes difficult for me to handle. It might be something you won’t want to deal with.”
I remember that Betty smiled and kissed me, kinda like she was proud of me. “We’ll see,” she said, “we’ll see.”
For twenty years, she was always there when I needed her. Always a warm bath, always cocoa, always waiting to listen. That ended two weeks ago, when the flames of cancer took her away. Last night was my first fire without her.
When I got home and closed the door, I almost called her name. There was no aroma of cocoa, no bath, no one to talk with.
The next morning, I fought the urge to stay in bed. In our town, first responders to a fire are given the next day off. It may sound strange, but you would understand if you were a fireman.
Personally, I have never used that time for rest and relaxation. Instead, I have always visited the scene of the day before. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it’s to reaffirm what I do, trying to save property and lives from destruction. Mostly, it makes me feel better, especially if lives have been saved.
Today, however, I had to return to the scene because I had left something behind, and I felt guilty about it.
Only smoldering embers remained of what had been a three-story frame house in the lower-income section of our town. Investigators sifted through the ruins, attempting to find the cause. I was told the house was both empty and vacant, meaning that no one lived there and all personal property had been removed.
Firemen attending the blaze had knocked down most of the wooden fencing surrounding the property. I approached the tree where the dog had been chained and removed my axe, hoping no one had noticed I had left it behind. I had taken a mighty swing knowing I had to cut through a thick chain that had imprisoned a dog that would surely be burned alive. I had embedded my axe deep, and the heat from the fire had not allowed me to remove it. Now the handle was black; having been singed by the heat. All reasoning aside, I felt like a cop who had lost his gun in a fight.
Axe in hand, I returned to my car, embarrassed, under the smiling faces of the inspectors. Some things in life go best unsaid.
Before driving away, I looked back at the remains of the house and of the Maple tree. The tree was the size of one of those playground merry-go-rounds with rounded steel bars that kids can run and push and jump on and off. About two inches of the base of the tree was gorged out from the chain that had tethered the dog. There was one rusted pail. If it were for food where was the water bowl?
“Were they coming back for him?” I whispered. “Did they leave him to die?” Lastly, I wondered what had happened to him. After chopping him loose, he ran at my side, alluding the flames and heat. I remember he barked at me when his chain snagged against the fallen fence, and I returned and freed him a second time. When we cleared the yard and I cleared my eyes, I could hear his chain banging against the cobblestone as he ran. And then he was gone.
I thought of Betty and how she couldn’t drive into town without picking up a stray animal, or moving a turtle to the side of the road, or putting a baby chick back into its nest. She had left me. And so had the dog.
Sammy awoke in the early morning of his first day of freedom. He knew nothing about being free, but this was it, and he had to deal with it. It had, however, its limitations, its yoke. The night before, he had been dragging a 15-foot chain that dug into his neck every time it caught on something. He could feel the crusted blood, pinching, itching.
He felt a tug on the chain. He froze. Then something yanked the chain and he yipped as it dragged him. He fought, digging his feet into the soft ground, while the shackle tightened around his neck and broke the crust of blood. The pain screamed at him.
“Got something here,” the man yelled.
“What is it?” someone yelled back.
“A long chain. Should bring a couple of bucks. Must be tied to something heavy ‘cause it’s barely moving.”
“Hold on.” The second man dropped his bag of aluminum cans and ran to help.”
Sammy relented. The pain was too much. His brief experience of freedom would end; another tree would soon dictate his life. He tunneled from under the brush and faced the men.
“Well I’ll be,” said the man who held the chain.
“Has to be the dog from the fire,” said the second. “He’s bleeding and burned.”
Both men knelt down and talked to Sammy. One offered him a piece of biscuit.
Sammy was unsure. Their voice had that nice sound. Like the boy who used to visit. And the chain no longer pulled at him. He was hungry, friendless, and trapped. He scrunched down and crawled to them.
He stretched for the biscuit like an untrusting wolf. He ate while watching the men, wondering what they would do next.
Billy reached out and gently patted the dog on the head, removed the bandana from around his neck, walked to the river and soaked it, and returned and sat beside the dog. He slipped the chain from Sammy’s neck and gave it to Donnie. “Throw it in the bushes,” he said. “We don’t want to recycle something that’s used for pain and torture, do we?”
“Can’t believe someone would chain a nice dog like this,” Donnie said.
“Happens all the time,” Billy wiped at the blood crusts on Sammy’s neck.
“Then why do they get a dog?”
Billy thought about the last two statements that Donnie had made. Maybe Donnie wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he sure understood important things. “They shouldn’t, Donnie. They shouldn’t”
Sammy relaxed as the man cleaned his sores. He couldn’t believe the chain was gone, that they slipped it from his neck so easily. How did they do that? One man chains him to a tree and another frees him. He couldn’t understand how he let that happen for such a long time when all he had to do was back out of the chain. He leaned forward and licked the man’s hand.
“Okay, here’s the deal, big boy. Donnie and I have a full day of work ahead of us if we want to eat tonight.”
“Chunky chicken?” his friend asked.
“Chunky chicken it is,” Billy said to his friend.
Donnie ran to retrieve his aluminum cans.
“You, however, have a decision to make,” he said to the dog, talking to him as he would to anyone else. “Donnie and I live the free life. We scrum for cans and metal, sleep under the bridge, don’t bother nobody…and don’t pay no taxes. We wash in the river, drink rainwater, smoke a little, and on Sundays we treat ourselves to fresh doughnuts.” He paused. The dog cocked his head as if listening, as if understanding. “You’re welcome to tag along if you want. We’ll make sure you have a decent meal, and a warm place to sleep, and no chain. But, it’s up to you.”
Billy picked up his plastic bag of cans, petted Sammy, and walked away on the snow-covered hardpan along the river. He did not look back. He just repeated himself, “It’s up to you.”
Sammy watched the two men as they rambled along the river, their friendly chatter dissolving in the wind—the same wind that brought a familiar scent to his nose. He took one last look at his friends, barked, and then turned in the direction of the scent.
After retrieving my axe, I headed for the city pound. There was a chill in the wind as tiny snowflakes drifted across the windshield, heralding a heavier afternoon snow. I doubted the stray had been picked up and taken to the animal shelter, but I was drawn there anyway. Maybe it was because the best dog I ever had was a stray. Maybe it was because Betty would have wanted me to check the shelter. Maybe it was because I needed companionship.
Or maybe it wasn’t about me at all. Maybe I was worried about him. Was his chain caught on something, imprisoning him again? Was he freezing? Was he badly burned or bleeding and in need of help? Was he thinking that all humans were like his former owners?
The pound was just outside the town limits, at the end of a gravel road, next to the city dump. It was hidden so the town’s people would not have to deal with the scraggly dogs and cats that arrived daily, or the barking and wailing, or the death and disposal.
A chain-link fence surrounded the two-acre field cluttered with outdoor dog runs. Metal or vinyl roofing covered each. A small building housed both office space and reception area. There was no indoor area for dogs. Both the city and county say there was no money for such extravagance.
Not that they would want to, but no one sneaks up on the city dog shelter. At the first crackle of gravel under the tires of an arriving vehicle, all hell breaks loose. I know dogs are not reasoning or rationalizing beings, but it’s like they know this is their chance for a new life, and every dog in the place is barking the same message, “pick me, pick me, please pick me.”
Oscar had run the shelter for twenty years, had found homes for thousands of dogs, and only put dogs down when the facility was over crowded and the city fathers demanded it.
We shook hands. “Richard, I was really sorry to hear about Betty’s death.”
Over the years Betty had been a consistent contributor to the shelter.
I thanked him for his thoughts and then told him about my stray and described the dog as best I could.
“Let’s have a look see,” he said.
Immediately, I knew two things. One, my stray wasn’t here. No matter how many dogs were at the shelter, Oscar always knew about every one of them. Two, he was trying to bait me. And although it was difficult, I turned down his offer of a free dog or cat.
“Gonna try to find the fire-dog, uh?” he mused.
We shook hands again. “I’ll call if he turns up, Richard.”
I thanked him and drove back along the gravel road, listening, but the dogs had stopped barking, as if knowing another chance had been lost. A thought played with my mind. Why had I considered him my stray?
The biscuit had revitalized Sammy’s endurance and his sense of smell led him back into the town he desperately abandoned the night before. Unencumbered by the chain, he had a new perspective on life. The burns on his body and the gash in his neck needed to heal, but mostly, he moved without pain.
He darted from the street when a car screeched its tires to avoid hitting him. A large dog lunged at him, snarling and growling, and would have seriously injured him had its owner not restrained it. Kids on bikes threw rocks and chased him into an alley before laughing and riding away.
He rested in a dark doorway as a truck slid its arms around a metal box, raised it in the air, shook it wildly, and then placed it back on the ground. A half-eaten hamburger rolled up to him and he ate. He followed the truck from the alleyway, raised his nose to the air, found the scent, and continued on his journey.
The downpour of snow thickened and two hours later he was about to loose the scent that layered in the air, when it led him to the red building. He wasn’t sure what to do, but his sense of smell stopped him. Behind the structure, he found a plastic bag, tore into it, and found pizza crusts, old toast, and stale doughnuts. Of course, he didn’t know what he was eating. No matter; it was tasty and filling, and satisfied his craving. As he licked at the fallen snow, he heard the slide of the bolt on the steel door. He found an opening in the lattice surrounding the deck and watched the man as he descended the steps.
“Well, for mercy sake,” he heard the man say as he scooped up the trash and deposited it into a can. “Darn stray dogs outta be shot.”
Fortunately for Sammy, he did not understand what the man had said. He knew it wasn’t the man who had freed and patted him. The scent was different. But the man he was looking for had been here. And although the scent was gone, it had been locked in his memory, and he would recognize it when the man returned—if he returned. He decided to wait. He moved further under the porch, found a stack of papers, pawed them into a nest, curled and napped.
Many coincidences in life go unnoticed, like running out of milk and cereal at the same time, or forgetting keys but finding the door unlocked, or arriving late for work on the day the boss is out sick.
But what about the more obvious ones, like being at the wrong spot at the right time, or finding the love of your life when you’re not even looking, or facing death and being saved by a stranger?
Is it fate, destiny, luck, fortune, doom, chance, or coincidence? Do some things happen without an equal and opposite reaction? If you find happiness because of a right turn in life, would you have faced misery by turning left?
Why are some folks born rich while others live in poverty, some diseased while others live years of happiness? Is a person fortunate or unfortunate to hit the lottery, to gamble successfully, or to speculate on the market?
How is it that some seem blest, gifted, or chosen, while others fight mental, emotional, or physical disabilities?
Why are some saved and others lost, some live while others die, some rescued while others burn alive?
For those who suffer, is there some unseen hand of mercy that finally steps in and declares enough is enough?
None of these thoughts played on Sammy’s mind. The scent of the man who had saved him, the man who had offered his hand, and the man who had patted his head, had led him to where he now waited. And that’s all there was to it.
Sammy woke at the sound of the steel door opening. He was shivering. The wind gusted hard enough that the falling snow stung his frail body.
A man walked from the door with a large can, carrying it towards one of the oversized metal bins.
A wisp of familiar scent teased the dog ever so slightly. He stood, stretched, and raised his nose into the air. There it was again. He stepped forward, whiffed slowly, and the scent strengthened. Nature took over. The dog did not monitor his movement; the scent did. Moments later he found himself inside the building, surrounded by huge trucks, much like the ones he had seen the night before at the fire.
He heard the man returning up the steps, walk into the room, and slam and lock the metal door. He was too exhausted to run, but to where? Again, he was trapped.
And then he saw his out. The door of every truck was open. He picked the closest one, gathered his strength, and lunged.
The scent was as strong as the night before. It came from a coat on the back seat. He scratched at it until it fell. He stood on the coat, basking in the aroma of the man who had saved his life. He walked on the coat in a tightening circle, slowly lay down, and rested his head on his rear legs.
He was hungry; but he felt good. His skin still burned; but he felt safe. He was cold; but warmth was moments away. And so he slept.
After grabbing a sandwich at Kelly’s Diner, I headed for home, my mind in a stupor about the day’s events. “Keep looking,” my wife spoke to me, nudging me more in death than when she lived at my side.
“He’ll be fine,” I said aloud as I passed the still-smoldering rubble of last night’s fire. I circled the block and pulled to the side of the road. One of the investigators motioned to me as I entered the yard behind the house; he was holding a burnt piece of wood.
“You looking for Sammy,” he said as we shook hands.
“What are you talking about, Jimmy,” I said.
He handed me a piece of charred lumber into which the name Sammy had been roughly scratched; the letters irregular and uneven. It was still warm to the touch and I wondered if the child who had whittled it was missing Sammy as much as I.
“It was nailed to the old Sycamore that fell during the fire,” Jimmy said. “Good thing you broke him loose or he’d be a goner.” Jimmy walked back into the rubble, continuing his job of digging it out, trying to find the source of the fire.
“You looking for Sammy?” the same question Jimmy had asked, this time, came from behind me.
I turned to see two men standing on the sidewalk. “Pardon me?” I said back, not knowing which one had spoken.
“After you cut him loose, he high-tailed it thataway,” the man with the pipe said as he pointed toward the river. “His singed hair was smokin’ and he was still pullin’ that chain they used to tether him to the tree.” The man was shaking his head.
“Damn shame if you ask me,” the second man said. “They kept him chained night and day and fed him little more than bread and water. Then they move away and leave him behind like he was a piece of the house they was rentin.’ It ain’t right, I tell you, it just ain’t right.”
“Think you’ll find him?” The man with the pipe asked.
Before I could answer the other man said, “That pup sure deserves a good home.”
With that they turned and walked away, leaving me with the feeling that more responsibility had just been loaded on my shoulders.
“Keep looking,” my wife said again.
This time I didn’t respond. Instead, I started walking toward the river.
Slowly, ever so slowly, as I neared the water, the freshness of the river wavered in the breeze and overtook the taste and smell of the burned house. It was a welcome reprieve. Snowflakes, bigger than silver dollars, landed and disappeared on the two inches already covering the ground. It was the most unusual winter I had encountered. How can you possibly describe the feel of snow and sand underfoot…at the same time?
I walked along the water, maybe fifty yards, before I saw it. It was so out of place I knew it had to be the same one. I picked it up, turned it over in my hands, and could see the crusted blood around the part that had encircled Sammy’s neck. I brought it to my nose; the scent of burning hair and skin scalded the lining of my nostrils.
As best I could, I dug through the snow and sand, put the chain in the hole, and covered it over.
“I set him free.”
The voice startled me and I jumped up.
“Found him this morning, removed the chain, and invited him to join us.”
“So did I,” I said.
“I don’t understand,” said the beach comber.”
“I set him free from the tree where he had been chained,” I explained.
“You buried the chain?” One of them said.
“We didn’t want it either. It’d bring a coupla bucks at the junk yard, but I don’t think God wants us to profit offa something like that.”
“Have you seen him since this morning?” I asked.
“Nah. That’s the reason we backtracked. Hopin’ to see if he was still around. We liked him. Dog been through that kind of hell and still lick your hand…well, that says something about his character…know what I mean?”
I did and I told them so.
“You lookin’ for him too?”
I was and I told them so.
“Good for you, man,” they said in unison. The looked at each other and laughed. “Hope you find him,” the quieter man said. “He’ll make a good pet.”
With that, they waved, shouldered their bags of cans, and wandered along the riverbank kicking at the snow, reveling at the life before them.
I thought about Sammy and his decision not to join these two friendly men. He must have headed back towards town. But where would he go? The only place he knew was where he had been chained and no one there had seen him. Where else would he go, I wondered. Would he try to find the scent of the boy who had fed him? I had heard of stories where dogs would travel cross-country to find a friend. Could this be one of those stories in the making?
And then I heard it. That unmistakable sound that piques the adrenaline, that high-pitched shrill that pierces the night or day with alarm; the station was signaling firemen to action. It was my day off. But, in reality, firemen do not believe in such a thing when the alarm sounds. Instinctively, I reached for my cell phone, but had left it in the car. My jog broke into a run, which broke into a sprint. I made it to the car in less than two minutes. I speed-dialed the station and gave my location.
“The pumper just pulled out, should be passing you in sixty, they’ll slow and you hop aboard,” cap told me.
By the time I grabbed my axe and made it to the corner, I could hear the truck coming. I began to jog in the street so the truck would not have to stop; the air breaks hissed as the pumper slowed and I hopped aboard.
I jumped in the back seat and reached for my coat, and there, curled in a tight knot and sleeping through all the turmoil, was Sammy. “Is this a joke?” I yelled at the guys in the front.
Jasper Billings, my friend of twenty years, turned. “Well I’ll be damned. How’d that mutt get in here?”
“You mean you guys didn’t know?”
“Swear to God,” he said while signaling the Boy Scout sign.
But all was not well. Sammy was shivering and barely breathing. Could he have been looking for me the whole time I was looking for him? That didn’t make sense. Dogs can’t do that! But, still…
I knew he was exhausted. He looked dehydrated. And as I talked to him he did not move. “My God,” I said, “I think he’s dying.”
“False alarm, false alarm,” the two-way belched. “Bring ‘em back home.”
I touched Sammy. He couldn’t even raise his head.
Right when he had found the person who had saved him, right when he might have a new home, Sammy faded. His body had taken all that it could. He couldn’t even muster the strength to respond as his newfound friend spoke to him.
But there was a new feeling taking over his body as his heart slowed. And in the new light, he could swear that he saw many of his kind running towards him from the Commune of All. He had always dreamed of this place, but never in his wildest dreams could he have known it was real.
And then he felt the man’s touch, and a voice calling to him, and the light disappeared.
“You won’t believe this,” Jasper yelled to Richard.
“It’s the County Veterinary Clinic…the false alarm is at the vet clinic.”
Doc James was already outside, talking to the men in the first truck. He had inadvertently tripped, and while falling grabbed the alarm switch by mistake.
Jasper was already out of the truck and running to James, while Richard whisked Sammy into his arms and followed behind. James looked at Sammy and knew the dog was dying. “Follow me,” he said and the three men ran into the clinic.
Two days later, I was driving home from the vet with Sammy lying at my side, his head in my lap.
“Thanks, Betty,” I said. “A false alarm at the vet clinic. Only you could do that!”
And from somewhere far in the distance, I heard her gentle voice speak to me. “Take good care of Sammy,” she said.
“I will,” I said as Sammy licked my hand. “I promise.”
July 1st, 2015
This amazing story was kindly shared with us by our Awesome Friend and True Animal Lover, John Preston Smith, author of The Bog, The Legend Of Man’s Best Friend that is a available on Amazon.
(Click the page tab "Books you will never forget")
"Read on, my friend, this story is for you!"
THE PROPHECY OF CANINE
I cannot verify that the following is true. On the surface, it seems highly improbable, it questions man’s individuality as the only soul-owner, and it may border on lunacy. If, on the other hand, you have personally encountered the blessings of this creature, if you have been touched by God’s most compassionate hand, and this creation of His has entered your life, then for you, the improbable has become a reality. Read on, my friend, this story is for you.
Although it is impossible to identify the exact year, 1000 BC seems likely. At that time, the animal kingdom realized that Man was God’s creature of choice and that the only way of becoming a part of the eternal plan was through an alliance with this two-footed being. And so the Commune of All summoned a representative of every species. All would be given the opportunity to present their case, as to why they should be chosen to approach the Almighty, asking to be the one to stand equal to Man.
“I am king of the jungle,” said Lion. “It is I that should approach the Powerful One. I will demand to be Man’s earthly companion.”
“And how would you present our case?” asked Wolf.
Said Lion, “I will show my power with a roar never before heard in all the land.”
“But that sound was given you by the Powerful One. It surely will not bother Him, but it might strike fear into the heart of the one we want to befriend.”
Rhino, that thick-skinned beast of the wild spoke next. “Who could withstand the menace of my charge? I will challenge the Powerful One with my might.”
“Challenge, you say.” Wolf shook his head. “That is not the approach we seek.”
“He will shrink at the sight of my commanding tusks, the stomp of my massive feet, and the wail of my voice,” said elephant.
“Not so,” said wolf.
For the next seven hours, animals of each species demanded to be heard.
But nothing could be settled. Then, the beasts of size, strength, and supremacy—Lion, Elephant, Rhino, and Baboon—suggested that they be the Committee of Power that would approach The Almighty. “Surely, He will see that we are equal to Man,” said Baboon.
“Absolutely not,” said wolf.
Finally, one alone remained.
“How speak you?” asked wolf.
Canine walked forward, his head lowered by the weight of his thoughts, his body arched in confusion and frustration, his tail submissively dragging the ground. He stood before the assembly, slowly gathering his thoughts before he spoke. “Has not The Powerful One chosen Man as the ruler of the earth world?” he asked.
“That is true,” responded wolf.
“Then, we are not looking to replace Man.”
“That too is true.”
“And since man alone was chosen by The Powerful One, I do not believe we should seek to stand as his equal.”
All of the animals quieted, wondering at what Canine was saying.
“Rather, should we not be seeking a place at the side of Man,” Canine offered, meekly.
The Commune of All quieted, and as each could, reasoned that Canine spoke what they all felt but had not been able to voice.
“What is it that you would do?” asked wolf.
“What is it that you would have me do?” asked Canine.
And then, throughout the night, Canine listened to his friends in order to prepare for his approach to the Holder of All Power.
More humbly than when he had first spoke, the Lion said to Canine, “I offer to share with you the goodness of my strength.”
The Lamb offered meekness.
The giraffe offered surveillance.
The deer offered submissiveness.
The sparrow offered kindness.
The hawk offered his keenness of sight.
The cat offered indecision…it was the best he could tender.
Many others spoke, offering to share their speed, size, compassion, awareness, protectiveness, and companionship.
Canine listened to his friends, humbly accepting what each had to offer.
When morning came, every animal was exhausted, and so they slept—except Canine. He wandered the forest, lost in reflection, wondering at his difficulty. “What is the matter with me?” he asked the trees, and grass, and wind. “Who am I to approach the Lord God? Why would He listen to me? Why would Man listen to me? What is it that I really have to offer that Man needs? I cannot offer wealth, material goods, or success? I can only offer friendship, and loyalty, and dedication…things that Man can get from other Men.”
“Maybe Man is in need of you as much as you are of him?” said Tree.
“But why would Man have need of animals?” replied Canine.
“Did you not just mention friendship, and loyalty, and dedication?” said Flower.
“But his friends?” questioned Canine.
“Man’s friends are not always friends. They are not always loyal. Their allegiance, at times, is weak,” said Wind. “You are the true representative of all species of animals, the true definition of friend. How could the maker of trees, and flowers, and wind not listen to you? And since He made of you what you are, since He is the Knower of All Things, maybe at this very moment, He is anxiously awaiting your knock at the door of the Great Mansion.”
As Wind had been speaking, Canine’s stature grew. The double coat of hair covering his body glistened as if freshly oiled. His ears stood erect, his chest expanded, his tail straightened, its tip barely touching the grass of Mother Earth. His proud figure offered strength, confidence, and humility.
He returned to the Commune of All as all had awaited his return.
“If the Maker of all Things will grant me an audience, I will represent each of you as best I can,” he said. “Further,” he continued as he surveyed the kingdom of animals, “are we in agreement to support, without question, the decision of our King?”
There were no dissenters.
“Thank you,” said Canine. Then, with nothing left to say, he left the forest, his friends, and his home, setting out on a journey that would forever affect the future of both canine and human alike.
Canine had not heard of The Council of Decision. He did not know of anyone who had ever appeared before its Tribunal.
He patiently waited in the vestibule of The Great Hall for what seemed an eternity when the enormous doors swung open and he was summoned to enter.
The magnificent auditorium was packed as far as the eye could see, as were the balconies, which extended to heights beyond sight.
And there he stood, alone. A few Clouds of Comfort had been permitted to float above the proceedings.
“Why have you asked to see the Father?” the voice said.
He pleaded the case of those who had appointed him. His final expression sought consideration for all. “Every species wants to be a friend to the Man. Each is as deserving as is the next,” he said.
“If all are deserving, then why is it that you stand here alone?” asked the voice.
“I have been asked by the Commune of All to present our request to the Father.”
“That you have done, my canine friend, for it is I to whom you are speaking,” said the Lord.
Canine then curled on the floor, fearful of the wondrous sight before him. Every being present took in the beauty of the moment, basking in the light and love of His resplendent presence. It was Heaven’s most fulfilling experience.
The Voice came forth. It was soft and soothing. “Canine, as you have done this for the least of your brethren, so too is it done unto me.” He then called to Canine, “Come and sit at my side, best friend.”
Canine sprang to his master and sat at his feet.
“It is no small thing that you ask,” said the Father. “Man can be pure of heart. But he also can be fickle and forgetful. He does not always spare the rod. He can be vain, vulnerable, and manipulative. If you are to be his friend then you must accept him as he is; you must accept both his strengths and his weaknesses. Is that what you wish?”
Canine just leaned against the leg of his Lord.
“We will see,” said the Father.
Canine was then tested. He had to survive without food and water. He had to endure cold and rain, heat and thirst, and months without so much as a single word of kindness. He was caged, chained, and physically abused.
Finally, in an ultimate test, Canine had to prove his friendship and dedication to Man by giving his life to protect the one he wished to serve.
Therefore, it was not Canine that returned to the forest of the Commune of All. Rather, it was an Angel of the Lord. “Canine has been chosen,” the angel said. “He has proved himself beyond all doubt. It is he who is to help Man through the difficulties of life. He came to the Maker buoyed by each of your gifts.”
The animals milled about. Looking at one another with pride.
“And because of that Community Offering, I bring you these words from your Maker. He thanks you and promises to watch over you, even unto the smallest of his feathered friends. And secondly, it is your love of one another that has touched your Maker. And so, your brother Canine returns to you.”
Having spoken these words, the Angel faded, as did the aura of light that had enveloped him.
The quiet of the moment froze all. No one breathed, nor moved, nor blinked.
And then, what seemed far in the distance was a Call of the Wild. And as it grew stronger, carried by wind whipping through the trees, every animal joined in a cacophony of sound whose beauty surely carried to the ear of the Lord.
And when Canine burst from the forest floor and into the midst of his animal friends, there was, it is said, a celebration beyond imagination.
But then again, maybe it’s just a story!
June 19th, 2015
“Eulogy on the Dog”
The following story was kindly shared with us by our Friend and Animal Lover, John Preston Smith, author of The Bog, The Legend Of Man’s Best Friend that is a available on Amazon (Click the page tab "Books you will never forget")
Here’s the scene. In 1869 a foxhound (named Old Drum) was shot and killed by a Missouri sheep farmer.
Old Drum’s owner sued for $150 and hired attorney George Graham Vest to represent him.
Vest said he would win the case or apologize to every dog in Missouri.
His closing argument made no reference to the charges, did not mention Old Drum, and he did not speak to any of the trial’s testimony. He offered this “Eulogy on the Dog”.
Gentlemen of the jury: The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.
Gentleman of the jury: A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.
Instead of $150, Vest won $500. He won the appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court. And shortly thereafter became a United States Senator.
June 18th, 2015
Follow this example to change the Word
for your Children,
and for the Animals
We say day after day that when we teach our Children to Love Animals we will change the World, not only for that Child but the World of Animals. Please build a new strong generation of Kids that will indeed cherish and love Animals from their heart.
It can be done, but it will not be done without your help.
Let's start now!
Let's wake up the Word that we cannot no longer tolerate Animal cruelty and abuse. It has no place in the World now and it will never have a place in the World we will create for the future. Thank you for anything you do in order to be a partner in this awesome so needed and easy Project of just giving back to Animals the Genuine Love that They give us for free, unconditionally.
June 8th, 2015
Cruelty to Animals is on the news every day,
many times a day.
It is a shocking reality.
Our World is so cruel to them. Humans make Them suffer and inflict upon Them so much evil, so much animalcruelty so much animalabuse. It is time to change this horrific moment which Animals face on this Earth.
In the USA alone almost 4 Million dogs and cats are murdered at animalshelters each year. The worldwide count is shocking. There is no need for so much suffering at all.
Those are healthy and adoptable Dogs and Cats! Why they need to die?
You see the smile on Their Faces and the Cry of Hope in Their sad eyes. They think that when They are taken away on a leash They will be free… - wrong… They will be murdered! Day in and day out!
If each one of us would demand from our Politicians firm laws which would prohibit the existence of puppymills; if each one of us would demand also from them prohibition of sales of Animals at stores ; if each one of us would adopt a pet instead of buying one; if each one of us would claim the need for severe long sentences and heavy penalties for criminals who perpetrate animalcruelty and animalabuse; if each one of us would be responsible to spay and neuter our Pet Companions; and if each one of us would use the Free Trait of Loving Animals given to us at birth there would be no animalcruelty, no animalabuse, no murdering of Pets at each second, no more suffering!
Just take some time quiet time today to reflect on what you can do.
Please do not only watch and read the horrific stories you see everywhere on the media, but rather reflect on them and understand that Animals do need YOU!
They do not need you yesterday, tomorrow or today. They need you NOW.
They need your commitment to do something good for Them. They need you to give your unconditional Love as They always provide to us humans, and under any circumstances.
They need YOUR TRUE COMMITENT and YOUR STRONG VOICE to fight for Their so well deserved simple right which is TO LIVE.
Teach adoption to every single person that you know and educate them on the above.
Teach your children to Love Animals so that you create a generation that will continue our work.
IT CAN BE DONE, but will never be accomplished without YOU, without each one of US!
SO PLEASE, FROM OUR HEART, KINDLY DO SOMETHING AS YOUR SILENCE IS JUST WILL HURT THEM EVEN MORE!
DO NOT CLOSE YOUR EYES TO ANIMALCRUELTY AS IF YOU DO YOU WILL BE OPPOSING THE SO RIGHTEOUS MISSON THAT YOU HAVE ON THIS EARTH.
June 5th, 2015
This is PAWS' very first Blog.
Your Love for Animals and your True Commitment to Their well being is contagious and so motivating to us as we continue our Mission.
Day in and day out we read, type, comment, share, and cry over the sad atrocities committed by humans towards Animals of all kinds.
We extensively talk about Adoption, spay and neuter, no puppy mills, the special need of teaching our Children Love for Animals, and the need of laws which will severely punish Animal cruelty.
As we travel together on this so rewarding Journey of Love and Loyalty to Those so Wonderful Beings which share this Earth with us we would like to continue to count with each one of you so that together one day we will leave for the next generation a World free of Animal cruelty and abuse. A World built on Love, Respect, and Protection towards Those Magnificent Creatures who only want from us a Simple but Truthful Love in return.