One of my favorite movies is White Christmas – I love everything about it, but most especially how a general was so loved that he inspired the loyalty and the LOVE of the men who served under him. Consider this song from the movie, sung by Bing Crosby:
We do not live in a throw away society… not really. But you wouldn’t know it. Our military heroes serve and then come home, where they’re welcomed… and then it’s time to move on down the line. Welcome home the next hero, “You did a good job, Marine/Soldier/Airman/Seaman…take your number and head to retirement. Find a job, integrate into the life you served to protect. Yep, even you who lost and arm, your legs, a part of your brain, your emotional stability…”
And we have another segment of our population that society gives a pat on the head to and then moves on to the next “well done.” Dogs. Particularly dogs who have belonged to and served their people well. Consider elderly people who love their pets but can no longer care for their loyal friends. What can you do when an elderly person passes on and leaves behind an older pet who might be set in his/her ways or a little neurotic and sad because he/she misses that person. What happens when an elderly person becomes so frail he or she loses independence and ends up in a nursing home? In the perfect world, a family member would step up and love the person’s best friend. But it doesn’t always happen that way… Sometimes there ARE no family members, and sometimes family members have obligations of their own – at their limits on pets in their homes, etc.
The two most loyal types of “people” I know are military personnel and dogs. I read the story of “Duke” today. He’s being fostered currently by a shelter local to me here in Virginia. For EIGHT YEARS, ever since he was a pup, he was the faithful companion of a loving owner. He was her protector and her motivator. He served her needs. Finally, though, the inevitable happened, and she could no longer motivate enough… no longer partner with her loyal companion to take care of him as he took care of her. This HAD to have broken her heart just as much as it broke his. I know it would have broken mine. This guy has some years left in him. He has some issues – he’s timid around men because he’s not used to them. But doesn’t he deserve more than for society to simply pat him on the back and say “Well done, son” even as they then forget about him and all the years he spent caring for his person?
Please… Share his story. You never know who you might reach – someone who can and wants to help him. Duke’s Story.