Life of a Pet Shop Puppy
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I don't remember much from the place I was born.  It was
cramped & dark, and we were never played with by humans.
 I remember Mom and her soft  fur, but she was often sick,
and very thin.  She had hardly any milk for me & my
brothers &  sisters.  I remember many of them dying, and
I missed them so.   I do remember the day I was taken from Mom.
I was so sad & scared; my milk teeth had only just come in,
and I really should have been with Mom still, but she was
so sick, and the humans kept saying that they wanted
money and were sick of the "mess" that me & my sister made. 
So we were crated up and taken to a strange place... just
the two of us.  We huddled together & were scared; 
still no human hands came to pet or love us.
So many sights, sounds, and smells!  We are in a store where
there are many different animals!  Some that squawk!
Some that meow!   Some that peep!  My sister and I are jammed
into a small cage;  I hear other puppies here.  I see humans
look at me.  I like the "little humans"- the kids.
They look so sweet and fun, like they would play with me!
All day we stay in the small cage; sometimes mean people
will hit the glass and frighten us, and every once in a while, 
we are taken out to be held or shown to humans.
Some are gentle, some hurt us... we always hear "Oh,
they are so cute!  I want one!"  ...but we never get to go with
any of them.  My sister died last night, when the
store was dark.  I laid my head on her soft fur and felt the life
leave her small thin body.   I had heard them say she
was sick, and that I should be sold at a "discount price"
so that I would quickly leave the store.  I think my soft whine was
the only one that mourned for her as her body was taken
out of the cage in the morning and dumped.
Today, a family came and bought me!  Oh happy day! 
They are a nice family; they really, really wanted me!  They had
bought a dish & food, and the little girl held me so tenderly in her
arms.  I love her so much!  The mom & dad say what a sweet
and good puppy I am!   I am named Angel.  I love to lick my
new humans!  The family takes such good care of me... 
They are loving & tender & sweet.  They gently teach me right
and wrong, give me good food, and lots of love!  I want only to
please these wonderful people!  I love the little girl and I enjoy
running & playing with her.  Today I went to the veterinarian. 
It was a strange place, and I was frightened.   I got some shots,
but my best friend, the little girl held me close & said it would be
OK, so I relaxed.  The vet must have said sad words to my
beloved family, because they looked awfully sad.   I heard
"severe hip displasia", & something about my heart... 
I heard the vet say something about backyard breeders, and
my parents not being tested.  I don't know what any of that
means,  just that it hurts me to see my family so
sad.   But they still love me, and I still love them very much!
I am 6 months old now.  Where most other puppies
are robust and rowdy, it hurts me terribly just to move.  The pain
never lets up. It hurts to run & play with my beloved little girl,
and I find it hard to breathe.  I keep trying my best to be
the strong pup I know I am supposed to be, but it is so hard.
It breaks my heart to see the little girl so sad,
and to hear the Mom & Dad talk about 
" might now be the time".   Several times I have gone to
that veterinarians place, and the news is never good. 
They always talk about "congenital problems".  I just want to feel
the warm sunshine, and run & play & nuzzle with my family.
Last night was the worst... pain has been my constant companion now.
It hurts even to get up & get a drink.  I try to get up, 
but can only whine in pain.   I am taken in the car one last time.
Everyone is so sad, and I don't know why.  Have I been bad?
I try to be good & loving... what have I done wrong?
Oh, if only this pain would be gone!  If only I could soothe the tears
of the little girl.  I reach out my muzzle to lick her hand,
but can only whine in pain.
The veterinarian's table is so cold. I am so frightened. 
The humans all hug & love me; they cry into my soft fur. 
I can feel their love and sadness.   I manage to lick gently their hands.
Even the vet doesn't seem so scary today.
He is gentle, and I sense some  kind of relief from my pain.
The little girl holds me tenderly, and in my heart, I thank her
for giving me all her love.  I feel a little pinch in my foreleg.
The pain is beginning to lift... I am beginning to feel
a peace descend upon me.   I can now gently lick her hand...
My vision is  becoming dreamlike now, and I see mother and
my brothers & sisters in a far off green place.  They tell me
there is no pain there - only peace & happiness.  I tell the family
good-bye in the only way I know how, a gentle wag of my tail and a
nuzzle of my nose.  I had hoped to spend many, many moons
with them, but it was not meant to be.  "You see," said the
veterinarian, " shop puppies do not come from ethical breeders."
The pain ends now, & I know it will be many years until I see my
beloved family again.   If only things could have been different....
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This story is reprinted in the hopes that it will STOP
unethical breeders and those who breed only for money
and not for the betterment of the breed.

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  Copywrite 1999 J. Ellis  
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The story tells of a wonderful Bridge, of seven
spectral colours filled with
happiness, yet too with grief.
It is the place where all beloved
companions go after death &
wait patiently for their friends.
Those that were abused
& tortured during their time in
life also do find one, one
as lonely as they are.  And one day, one
of them will separate from their
group of friends, flying across that
scented grass to the arms of a long
lost friend and look into the tears of joy
in your eyes, as you walk,
never to be apart again, in the...

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