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The Animals That Love Us

BY MICHAEL REISIG –

Animals have a way of filling an emptiness we didn’t know we had. When you think back, you can’t remember missing them before you got them, but when you look forward it’s difficult to imagine life without them.

One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Twain, and it sums up a lot of the nature of man and beast: “If you pick up a starving dog and make it prosperous, it will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man.”

Now with cats it’s a little different. If you adopt a desperate dog, and give it food and shelter, it considers you a god. With cats, if you do the same, it only confirms their belief that they are gods. Let’s face it, thousands of years ago cats were worshiped as deities. They haven’t forgotten this for a moment.

While cats and dogs are some of our closest companions, there is nowhere near as many advocates for their well-being as there should be. I’m always struck by the propaganda involved in pet foods. The smiling faces of fake pet owners in commercials, pointing to a dog or cat as it ravenously consumes their brand of food. (They don’t mention that the animal hasn’t been fed for two days.)

Secondly, we all need to take a moment and consider who’s making our dog and cat food. Nearly 90 percent of America’s pet food is made in China, Korea, and Taiwan. Now, I want you to consider that the people of these countries eat the same animals we have as pets. How much care, do you really believe, is given in the production of these foods? How much concern does a person have over formula and quality of “American pet food”, when they can’t even feed their family? I truly suspect there’s a spoonful or two of bitterness and indifference mixed into the pet food we receive from overseas. I would remind owners that when you’re dog or cat simply won’t eat that can of food (which you’ve been buying them consistently), you might want to smell it, or try another can. (Or try another brand.) Oftentimes I think they’re trying to tell you in the only way they can, that someone’s blatant indifference in Taiwan has manifested itself in an uneatable meal at this end.

I’ll leave you with a few quotes on the animals we care about:

“Cats are smarter than dogs. You’d never get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.” – Jeff Valdez

“Dogs come when they’re called. Cats take a message and get back to you later.” – Mary Bly

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” – Unknown

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