Pets are part of the family

Published 8:51 pm Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear editor:

A few years ago, my fiance and I discovered an older, dirty, lifeless dog on the sidewalk downtown. We thought she had been hit by a car, so we took her to the vet. He found nothing wrong with her except malnutrition.

We decided to keep her. We left her there to be bathed and shaved, because her hair was so matted.

I didn’t want a dog in my house; I had new carpeting. We got her a nice dog house and set up a runner to chain her to.

Even though it was May, it was chilly the day I brought her home. She was shivering. I couldn’t stand it. I opened the door and told her to come in. She immediately jumped on the love seat and put her head on the pillow. That was not her bed. We gave the dog house away.

I shutter to think I was going to make her live outside.

Even though she would have had a dog house filled with straw, she would have been extremely cold in that kind of weather. Her fur coat wouldn’t have been nearly warm enough. She could have been frost-bitten.

She would have been so sad and lonely. Dogs are pack animals. They need companionship.

Her water would have frozen when I went to work.

She would have had no protection from people and animals. She would have become aggressive and mean because she would have known she couldn’t escape when in danger.

She would have gotten very little exercise because she was chained, especially in the winter, when it was too cold to take her for a walk.

We could have missed all the joy she brought to us. She loved us so much, as we loved her, if that’s possible.

Domestic animals are not the same as wild animals, who can choose their own shelter and conditions for survival. Pets are restricted to the provisions dictated by you. They are often forgotten, neglected and lonely, living a miserable life of solitary confinement.

If you have a dog living outside, please, please bring it inside to be part of your family. You’ll never regret it.

Patty Clodi

South Bend