I recently found on my Facebook feed a story about a K9 officer’s partner (a dog named Bruno) taking a bullet for him. The police that chased the shooter that fired the shots at them, escorted the officer and his dog to the veterinary Hospital, so that the dog could get operated on STAT. Most people would wonder why waste an effort on saving a dog’s life it’s “just a dog” – especially with taxpayers’ money, until the officer could adopt him. In general people question why waste money on sick pets, why not put them down?
Well in the above instance the dog saved the officer’s life. Unfortunately, due to complications, Bruno passed away a few days later. With others one doesn’t know what that dog, cat, etc. has done for the person caring for their pet. It doesn’t always have to be as dramatic as taking a bullet or warding off a robber. It can be as simple as being companion and being there for the person. Elderly people, single people, have them as companion animals, People with mental illness can have pets as ‘therapy’ animals to help with coping with anxiety, depression or other symptoms.
In my instance, as a teenager, my family brought a Golden Retriever puppy (we named him Rambo). When he was caught up on all his shots I started walking him out front. One of those days a neighbor was walking two of his dogs (one leashed and unleashed). The unleashed dog came up on our property, and when he saw Rambo he came up to us with his teeth bared. I acted as a shield by getting Rambo behind me and the front porch. I yelled for someone to get him inside, preparing to fend off the approaching dog if necessary. Some people thought I acted foolish, I digress. They never knew how much Rambo helped me as he grew from puppy to adult. During that time my Aunt was found out to have advanced stage 3 lung cancer, she passed away a bit over a year after being diagnosed with it. I was also brutally bullied in High School. Rambo was my only friend and a comfort to me. He never judged me, he just wanted to make me happy. So he was never “just a dog “to me. I never regretted putting myself in danger to save him as a puppy. I could defend myself better and survive if that dog tried to get through me to get to him, as a puppy, what chance would he have? I saved his life once, he saved mine multiple times. So the next time you think “just a ...” why waste money on them think about Bruno, Rambo and other pets who help save lives just by being there for someone in a time of need, who might be a lifeline for a lonely senior or someone with mental illness.
Blog posts are written by Shore House members and staff.