I’ve been following the comic strip Mutts. The creator has decided to set free Guard Dog, a supporting character who has been chained out back by his owners since 1995. It’s a heart wrenching story. His owners moved away and left him chained alone in the backyard. He withered. Earl and Mooch found him, got the attention of neighbor girl Doozy who in turn sent Earl to get his human, Ozzy. Go, Guard Dog.
After 27 years, Ozzy freed Guard Dog from his chain and then tenderly carried him to a veterinarian. He’s okay. He’s safe, warm, and surrounded by human kindness. And he’s on a 7 day hold with Doozy’s family ready to adopt him .
And the chain was broken. The kind sweet decent human who loves his own dog freed him from the chain.
I’m sure there will be another twist. But Guard Dog will end up with the little girl who has always loved him. How can it end any other way?
Guard Dog’s captivity has been a harrowing tool over decades to explore freedom, empathy, courage, and the capacity of animals to forgive human beings. Guard Dog was educating the entire world so the creators plans to set him free were on hold.
Still, that work is done. Guard Dog will find love with his little girl and friendship with Earl and Mooch. Bonds of love healing the scars of the chain. Others must pick up the mantle of education.
Too many of us know the cruelty of being abandoned or kicked to the curb with no resources, no support, no explanations. How does someone drive off and leave their dog tethered to a stake without even looking back? No one even knew he was there, languishing to his death until friends showed up on a whim.
Guard Dog (now named Sparky, I think) has had decades to process his feelings about his previous fate of chained captivity, to absorb the cruelty and still accept the kindness offered to him. Guard Dog knows his worth was not tied up in the chain they used to tether him. He had never given up hope that his humans could repent or his circumstances could change.
Being left, kicked to the curb, with such callous cruelty is heart wrenching. We see it every day with animals, children, adults, and even our very earth. We have no further use for a living, breathing creature We just close the door, look away, and leave as if they are trash. Worthless. Without value.
I had a similar experience during my infancy, sadly leaving me in the hands of the worth abuser of all. That decision destroyed my life. I howled at the moon, I called out that I was thirsty or hungry. No one cared. And then I grew up.
And it happened again. Different circumstances, different players. But the same horrible reality of being locked out, disposed of, denied. And saved by friends.
Since I was removed from my home, I’ve been very worried about my resident cats and the feral colony. A neighbor named Marie who is 67 with a FT overnight job, 2 cats of her own, and a sick feral recovering in a crate to care for – Marie has also taken on the Fort Faulsey Cat Colony without any compensation and very little support. For five months.
I can now visit my resident cats and see how they’ve been doing. I have a tentative plan to return, but no guarantees until the judge signs.
For these months, I’ve not really cried, especially for me. I ached and hurt and struggled, but I cried for my cats especially the socially anxious cats. Earlier this week while describing the Mutts story line to a friend, I began to cry. Not for the imaginary characters, not for my cats. But for myself.
I had been pushing down the feelings of abandonment, injustice, fear, and anguish. Like Guard Dog. I was kicked out, hauled away, and left to fend for myself with no resources. Like Guard Dog. I was reliant on my friends who saved me. Like Earl and Mooch. Justice has been delayed. Like Guard Dog.
All along, I was crying for myself but projecting myself onto the cats. But it was me that was left abandoned with a decades old chain around my neck, holding me from moving forward. It was me with the scars and wounds, reliving the worst part of my life again.
Tell me WHY?
Unlike Guard Dog, I can speak for myself. I hope you intend to listen.
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