We Don’t Deserve Dogs

Drawing from my own experiences, dogs don’t deserve the treatment they get

Anika Paulette, staff writer

       About five years ago, in the middle of absolutely nowhere in rural Missouri, a dog limped along the side of a road. He was wounded and his ear had an infection so bad it had ballooned up and looked like a piece of cauliflower. At only two years old, he had been abandoned. It looked like he hadn’t eaten for days. 

       Despite the abuse he had received from some humans, he looked happy to see his rescuers. 

       A few months later, my family and I went to go see a movie. We had arrived early, so we decided to go look around PetSmart — not to buy, just to kill time. It was a dog adoption day, so Upon entering we were faced with dogs spinning in their cages and barking wildly to greet us. In the cage at the very far left of the row sat a big pumpkin-spice colored dog on his haunches, staring at us with huge, mocha brown eyes. He didn’t bark or move.

       He just stared.


More than 6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters every year, and many of them because they have been abandoned.”

— Anika Paulette

       They always forgive. That is both a blessing and a curse for these gentle animals. 

       Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.

       He was a mix, they told us, maybe something with boxer and hound, maybe even bits of pitbull and lab in there, too. But, one thing was certain: No matter what he was, he had stolen all of our hearts the moment we saw him. By November, we’d gained a new member of the family.

       They’d named him Cauliflower. His ear, now healed, was still messed up enough to remind them of the vegetable. 

       Of course, we thought this was stupid, so we renamed him Cicero. His name fit with our cat Socrates and our Welsh corgi Plato. Clearly, my family has a small obsession with Greek and Roman philosophers. 

       He was always a bit of a handful, a very large dog who loved cuddling and crawling into people’s laps. Every time my parents sat next to each other on the couch, he had to shove his way between them. He has to be kicked off the bed that he loves taking up all too much. He runs around the house when he gets his dinner, nearly knocking everything over with his tail because he’s wagging it so hard. Even after what happened to him, he still loves people unconditionally. We don’t deserve dogs, we really don’t. 

       More than 6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters every year, and many of them because they have been abandoned. Thousands of pets come in abused, and even more are still living unreported with abusive owners.  Still, in nearly all the cases, you hear those dogs are still happy to see humans when they find them. 

       So, my small word of advice to all of you out there is, if you’re looking for a dog, go find a rescue! Look around shelters or pet adoption days like we did. It’s almost never a good idea to buy from breeders— well, with some exceptions. If you aren’t looking for a dog or even just a pet, you can donate to trusted organizations like the ASPCA, or even better, local shelters. These dogs need homes, you can give them that. Either through donation or adoption, everything helps.