This is Apollo and he is the love of my life. He’s been my best friend for nearly a year. He cuddles with me at night, comforts me when I’m upset and loves me, no matter how badly I mess up. He’s my hiking partner, my relaxing partner and the sweetest dog I’ve ever had. He may shed a lot, he may not have the greatest manners and he may destroy things in the kitchen from time to time, but I wouldn’t trade him for the world. He has helped me get through many tough times just by being there to provide a wagging tail when I walk through the door and letting me know he loves me, too. This August will mark the one-year anniversary of me adopting and rescuing him from a home where he was neglected and abused. He was kept with several other dogs in a crowded area and was not able to eat because the cats that lived in the home would scratch him and claw him to keep him away from his food. Nothing was done to rectify this situation and eventually I was able to get him and provide a home where he does not have to worry about being fed or being cared for.
Of course, this entry is not solely about Apollo; it is about any animal who is treated with cruelty, abuse or neglect. We’ve all seen the commercials: the Sarah McLachlan starts playing, the pictures of cats and dogs with injuries appear on the screen, and then, at the end, you are asked for money. Maybe you donate, maybe you don’t. Maybe you switch the channel and don’t even watch the whole thing or maybe you just audibly express how disgusted you are that anyone could do that to another living being.
Well, it happens. Every day. Every single day, animals are abused, left on the side of the road to fend for themselves or given to shelters where they will be put down simply because they lost their novelty, they were outgrown or they were simply just too much to handle. Many people are aware of this, yet still, they shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for “designer dogs”! Why? Why not simply go down to your local shelter where for $100 or less you can get a perfectly lovely animal who already exists and needs help? An animal who would appreciate being taken in and being allowed to live a full life, even though they aren’t the “purest breed” or the “best looking” dog. There’s no reason why not. Every animal deserves a loving home. So, I’m not asking you for money, I’m not asking you to donate your time to a cause. I’m simply asking that if you’re ever looking for a new addition to your family, take some time to visit your local animal shelter or check their online listings and find the best one for you!