Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Last Dog on Earth

The Last Dog On Earth
-- Hildegard Patton (written in 2005)

They were at the door. Her little dog was growling
softly. She tried to hush the sound. She knew what
they wanted. She felt as though her heart was being
ripped from her chest. She had managed to hide her
little friend for years. She shared her food and bed
with her. She had bought her on the black market. It
had cost her dearly but it was worth it.

She had been so alone. Nothing to love her or for
her to love in return. Her children had grown up and
forgotten her. Her husband had died two years
before she found Sweetie. Sweetie had been a tiny
black and tan ball of fur showing her Yorkshire
Terrier background. Of course, she knew that
Sweetie could not been purebred. There had been
no purebred dogs for years. There were few dogs
since the breeders had been slowly and methodically
beaten down.

When this first started, everyone sat back and said
they could not possibly be the breeders they were
talking about. After all, they loved their dogs and
they were not puppymills. They would never let
themselves be overloaded with dogs. Some of them
did not get overloaded nor did they breed more than
a litter or two a year. They were smug and secure in
that only the puppymills were being raided. The raids
were relentless. They would take place in one state
then another. The dog raiders got smarter with every
raid. They learned about warrants, the court system,
the law in different states and they used whatever
means they could to eliminate the breeders of dogs.
Some people thought the raiders were dog lovers
trying to save the poor mistreated puppies. Some of
them were dog lovers, at first. The well-meaning
rescue groups were used. The American Kennel Club
was used. They would revoke the rights of the
breeder who was raided. Kennel clubs were
infiltrated and destroyed from within. The very
fiber of the dog world was silently unraveled
one string at a time.

Everyone would rise to arms against every breeder
raided. Saying things like that terrible person
mistreated those poor dogs; that person had too
many dogs; and that person is crazy. If the truth
were not provoking enough they would lie and say
that person should die. They campaigned by e-mail,
petitioned the courts, and used political pull. Even
when common sense would tell them that they did=
not know the facts or circumstances, they persist.
They would see fat happy tail wagging dogs and
would say abused dogs. They no longer believed
their own eyes. The dogs tried to tell the truth
but no one could hear them.

True, there were cases of abuse, beaten, starved,
and sick animals at first. Then the tide shifted. Good
honest dog loving people started to be raided. Any
reason was used. Dogs were taken and the owners
refused rights to reclaim their dogs. The raiders
started to narrow the number of dogs which were
in violation. Any person with a dog became a target.
Dog grooming became a thing of the past. Veterinarian
services were performed out of back room under the
dark of night until there were no veterinarians. Dog
shows had long disappeared along with the American
Kennel Club. Children were told tales of the days
when every boy had a dog to run with through fields.
The stories of "Old Shep," "Ol'Yeller", "Call of the
Wild", "Lassie" and all those wonderful stories which
would bring tears to the eyes of grown men were
being forgotten except by a few.

But she remembered as a little girl the small dog who
loved her, followed her everywhere, and gave her
comfort like no one on earth could give. She just had
to find her that special warmth, the grateful lick-kiss,
something that loved her unconditional and a reason
for getting up in the morning. She found Sweetie
Now they were at her door to take the life that she
cherished. The warm little black and tan 3-pound
body that loved her as much as she loved it. And
there was no one to stop them.

The old lady with the last dog on earth.

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