by Pat Craig

Please Master, I am so tired of hurting. Did you know that I only wanted you to love me and give me lot's of praise and affection? Why did you choose to yell and scream at me when I misbehaved? At times, you resorted to physical abuse. Remember, you were the one who chose to take me home. After you separated me from my mother and siblings, why did you change your mind? Wasn't I the same soft, lovable cuddly puppy? Was I wrong in expecting you to be my new family?

When I pottied in your domain, it wasn't that I was stupid, like you yelled. After all, going potty at any time or place was very natural for me. Did you really think I was just trying to displease you? I just didn't understand what you expected from me. Can you imagine how totally crushed and humiliated I felt when you shoved my face in the mess I made, then threw me outside?

How about the time you kicked me across the room, calling me a dumb, stupid mutt. I, like you, have sensitive feelings and strong emotions. How was I to know that your new boots were not toys? It was so boring, being at home all alone, with nothing to do. I only wanted something to play with and chew on. Did you know that my poor body ached for days afterwards? Yet, you wondered why I cringed and whimpered at your touch.

Those cold winter nights that I stood, shivering, wiht my nose pressed against the glass, softly whimpering to come in, you just ignored me. I learned a long time ago not to bark. I still can feel you swatting me on the head, as you yelled for me to shut up. There you sat, all warm and cozy, by the fire, sipping wine and reading your favorite book. Oh, how I yearned for your companionship! Just to lay at your side, or perhaps curl up at your feet; to have you reach down and touch me every once in awhile. Couldn't you understand I needed your love and affection, just as I wanted to give you mine? Maybe you just didn't care.

Remember how you complained about my shedding, getting hair everywhere, telling me I was nothing but a stinking, grubby dog? Don't you think I would have appreciated being brushed, vaccumed and bathed? My appearance is important to my feelings of self worth, just as yours are.

Not once did you ever take me to have fun. All the times you went hiking in the mountains, I was left at home. Didn't you ever think how much I would enjoy running and exploring new things? I would have been happy if you would have just played ball with me. But no, you didn't have time for me. I felt like I was a millstone around your neck.

How would you like to spend your life alone, with no social contacts, eating and drinking out of dirty dishes? Can't you smell my bed? It should have been washed months ago.

Now look at me! Only 18 months old and condemned to die. They say I'm unpredictable, that I could be dangerous, and possibly vicious. This is not true! I'm not mean like they say. It's just that I'm so scared of being hurt again, that I react without thinking. Later, I am sorry for my actions and regret that I am no longer capable of controlling myself.

If only someone would try to understand me and help me to overcome my fears! I just need someone I can feel safe with, whom I can trust. Someone who will have confidence in me. I haven't changed inside. I'm still the same, fun loving, affectionate puppy I used to be. I need help to express these feelings once again.



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