Archive for August 2015

Look Closer

August 26, 2015

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Champagne Lady

The following quote is borrowed from the Facebook page of Mark Rashid. From Colorado, Mr. Rashid is an internationally known horse trainer and the author of many books on the subject. While this refers to horses, similar thoughts could be applied to any pet or animal that we have in our lives.

What Do You See?

“I am not your therapist.

I am not sports equipment

I am not a chair

I am not a doll

I am not a vehicle

I am not your child

I am not a toy

Look again. What do you see?”

Reading this made me think about how often we bring an animal into our lives for what they can do for us rather than for what we can do for them. While many animals do provide invaluable services to and for people, how many of us truly believe that they have value beyond this? How many animals have performed their duties for which they were trained, only to be discarded when they were no longer able to do so? From the dog trained for the military or law enforcement, to the racehorse, to the show animal, to the family pet, how many animals when they become too old and inconvenient or are no longer needed, are disposed of because they are no longer of any use to us?

To their admirable credit, many men and women who have worked with service dogs in the military refuse to leave them behind when their tour of duty is done. Many have fought long and hard to bring their canine companions home with them to live out their lives. Law enforcement dogs are often retired with their handlers, and when they pass are treated with the same honor and respect as any other officer. Most pet owners who have had their pets for many years are committed to them until the end. But there are also many senior pets sitting in shelters simply because no one wanted to put up with their disabilities as they aged, as there are horses sent to auction because they can no longer be ridden or worked or shown. Do they not deserve to live out their lives in peace and relative comfort for the love and service they have provided? Do they not have value just for who they are rather than for what they can do? I think that’s what the author of What Do You See? is asking us to consider.

Photo of Champagne Lady was taken at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, a place where you can appreciate animals just for who they are.