How Could You?
Copyright © Jim Willis 2001, all rights reserved

When I was a puppy I entertained you with my antics and made you
laugh. You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes
and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend.
Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could
you?" - but then you'd relent and roll me over for a belly rub.

My housetraining took a little longer than expected, because you were
terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights
of nuzzling you in bed, listening to your confidences and secret dreams,
and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long
walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the
cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps
in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career,
and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently,
comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided
you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings,
and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" - still I welcomed her into
our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy
because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I
shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they
smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you
worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time
banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to
love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."

As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and
pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes,
investigated my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything
about them, especially their touch - because your touch was now so
infrequent - and I would have defended them with my life if need be.

I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret
dreams. Together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.
There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you
produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about
me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the
subject. I had gone from being your dog to "just a dog," and you resented
every expenditure on my behalf.

Now you have a new career opportunity in another city and you and they
will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the
right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It
smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the
paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They
shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities
facing a middle-aged dog or cat, even one with "papers."

You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed
"No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him
and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty,
about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a
goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take
my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have
one, too.

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your
upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another
good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules
allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first,
whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you
- that you had changed your mind - that this was all a bad dream...or I
hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save
me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention
of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner
and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I
padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet
room. She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to
worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there
was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is
my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she
bears weighs heavily on her and I know that, the same way I knew your
every mood.

She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her
cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many
years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt
the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down
sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry."
She hugged me and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I
went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or
abandoned, or have to fend for myself - a place of love and light so very
different from this earthly place. With my last bit of energy, I tried to
convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not
meant for her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will
think of you and wait for you forever.

May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.
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Below you will find a copy of our adoption
contract for your perusal.

This contract is relatively straight forward, and is
required as a condition of adoption. This protects you
as  new puppy/dog owner, protects me as breeder,
and mostly it protects the Pomeranian
Adoption Contract

Mary E. Robbins
5936 Road 52, Box 67
Huntley, WY 82218
LITTER #                            MICROCHIP #:                                 ADOPTION/SHIP  DATE:
DATE BORN:                                                                     TERMS: CHECK                CASH
B (NAME)                                                                           PRICE EACH:
U (ADDRESS)                                                                    NUMBER OF PUPPIES ADOPTED:
Y                                                                                        SHIPPING:
E(HOME PHONE)                                                               TOTAL:
R (WORK PHONE)                                                             GENDER: MALE  FEMALE
(CELL PHONE)                                                                   COLOR:
(EMAIL)                                                                              FAMILY PET:
BREEDNG STOCK:                                                            SHOW STOCK:
declaring  pom as: breeding or show stock is declaring an intention: not a guarantee that said pom will develop as breeding or show stock
Please read the following warranty, as it protects you as the buyer and gives you certain
rights, and      responsibilities.

Warranty: It is the responsibility of Robbins Run Kennel to deliver a clean, healthy, socialized
puppy, free of disease, life threatening defects, and external parasites. When, a puppy (or puppies) is
shipped, a health certificate accompanies it. Robbins Run Kennel will also deliver upon the signing and
return of this contract-warranty, all applicable applications if the puppy is sold for breeding or show. A
puppy purchased as a family pet will be entered as such in the individual records, and with the
American Kennel Club.

The responsibilities of the buyer are: To have your puppy examined by your veterinarian within
48   hours from the time of purchase.  If he/she finds a life threatening disease, or defect, have him/her
notify Robbins Run Kennel immediately. In that event, Robbins Run Kennel will replace the puppy with
another puppy of the same sex and breed, of equal value, as soon as one is available. There are no
refunds. Veterinarian fees, medicines, travel, shipping and any quarantine will be the buyer’s
responsibility. If the puppy is purchased as a family pet, the buyer agrees to have the puppy spayed or
neutered; and it will be entered as such in the individual records. It will also be put on the “Limited
Registration” with the American Kennel Club. If for some reason you can not keep this dog…under no
circumstances is it to be placed in an animal shelter… return it to me and I will find it a home… this is
not a refund offer… it is a dog placement offer. No other terms, provisions, or assurance, stated or
implied, shall apply to this agreement than those stated above.

Notes: In the event that the AKC puppy registration has not arrived at Robbins Run Kennel by the date
of purchase, it will be mailed to the buyer upon its arrival.
Buyer's Signature:
A Dog's Prayer
Treat me kind, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more
grateful for kindness than my loving heart.  Do not break my spirit with a
stick, for I would lick your hand between blows.  Your patience and
understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me
do.  Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as
you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when the sound of your
footstep falls upon my ear.
When it is cold and wet, please take me inside for I am now a domestic
animal, no longer used to the bitter elements.  And I ask no greater glory
than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.  If you had no
home, I would prefer to follow you through ice and snow, rather than
rest on the softest pillow in the warmest home in the land.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach
you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.  Feed me fresh
food, that I may stay well to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk
by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life.
And master, when I am very old, if the Great Master sees fit to deprive
me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you.  Rather hold
my trusting body gently.  I shall leave you knowing, with the last breath I
draw, my fate was always in your hands.