Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Second Chance For Hannah

This article appeared in the papers a few weeks back. When I read it, I was flooded with a lot of emotions. I was hurt, incensed, relieved and overjoyed. Hurt, because I don't understand why people can be so cruel to animals. Incensed, because I cannot comprehend how someone could just leave an injured dog like that in a hit-and-run accident. I mean, I was once a stray and I know how hard life is out there in the open. How can some humans be so heartless and cruel? Don't they realise that we are also God's little creatures and that our lives are also precious? If you saw a child starving on the street, what would you do? I am sure many of the kind souls out there would buy the child some food or drink and would do their best to help the child seek shelter in a warm and loving home which would enable the child to grow up in a conducive environment. Many angels would do their best to ensure that the under-privileged child would have a fighting chance for equal opportunities in life.

If you saw an injured person lying on the street writhing and moaning in pain, what would you do? Surely, no one who has a heart would turn a blind eye and walk away? So similarly, it is the same for us. What makes us so different from humans that renders us so undeserving of compassion and love? Just because we walk on four legs? Or is the fact that we have fur and tails? Or can it be the fact that we have been unjustly branded as 'pests', 'vermin' and 'a nuisance'? Why? Just because we bark occasionally to communicate? Just because we rummage through the trash cans to fill our starving tummies? Or just because we occupy some space at the void decks in order to get some shelter from the elements? Or can it be because of the fact that we are just homeless strays (not by choice) and have been unfairly classified as 'dirty', 'fierce' and 'flea-ridden'? Perhaps some would even go so far to argue that just because we are not pure-bred pedigree dogs, we are at the lowest runk of this highly stratified society, are labelled as 'outcasts' and thus, do not even deserve a single ounce of dignity, love, kindness and compassion?

We have to be very aware that all of us are God's creatures and just by this fact, all of us have the right to live and all of us deserve our fair share of love, dignity, kindness and compassion from others. Man might have been given the role as a steward from the Creator to protect and to care for His lesser beings, but that does not make him so superior to the extent that he can just dominate and rule with an iron fist and with no sense of social justice or compassion. God loves each and every single one of His creatures: big, small, beautiful, fat, thin, ugly, slimy, scaly, etc...All of us are put here for a purpose and that is for all of us to learn to live in harmony and to love and appreciate one another for the goodness that all of us have in us.

Please do not give strays like us nasty labels like 'low class', 'pariah', 'vermin', 'pests'...labels are all socially constructed and it is all subjective and relative. They are all subject to change and are not supreme. The only thing that is supreme is love and from love, we can derive all sorts of virtues like compassion, kindess and hope.

I am also relieved and overjoyed because a very kind soul by the name of Dr. Maggie Gremli has seen the inner beauty of Hannah and has given her a loving home that she rightfully deserves. It is fantastic when we have such beautiful and touching endings. Please remember that we are not homeless strays by choice. We were just born into unfortunate circumstances. We are all God's creatures and we also have our dignity and pride. We deserve love and care; just like anyone else. Please have a heart and some mercy for us and help us to have a better life. The first small step to take would be acceptance. Please try to accept us. And the second step is even easier! Just open your arms wide to us and welcome us to a loving home. You can be very sure that you will be rewarded with lots of love and loyalty from simple doggies like us who would make wonderful pets and this in itself, is a very pure and joyful reward that money cannot buy. And as Karen always says: The best welcome one could get would be a doggie's welcome when you get home from work!

Remember, the wise Gandhi once said that you can judge a society by the way it treats its animals. Let's hope that we are on the right side of judgment!


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