Trust- A Deadly Disease
There is a deadly disease stalking your dog, a hideous,
stealthy thing just
waiting its chance to steal your beloved friend. It is not a new disease, or
one for which there are inoculations. The disease is called "Trust".
You knew before you ever took your puppy home that it could not be trusted.
The breeder who provided you with this precious animal warned you, drummed
it into your head. Puppies steal off counters, destroy anything expensive,
chase cats, take forever to house train, and must never be allowed off
When the big day finally arrived, heeding the sage advice of the breeder,
you escorted your puppy to his new home, properly collared and tagged, the
lead held tightly in your hand.
At home the house was "puppy-proofed". Everything of value was stored in the
spare bedroom, garbage stowed on top of the refrigerator, cats separated,
and a gate placed across the living room to keep at least one part of the
house puddle free. All windows and doors had been properly
secured, and signs placed in all strategic points reminding all to "Close
Soon it becomes second nature to make sure the door closes nine tenths of a
second after it was opened and that it is really latched. "Don't let the dog
out" is your second most verbalized expression. (The first is "No!")
You worry and fuss constantly, terrified that your darling will get out and
disaster will surely follow. Your friends comment about who you love most,
your family or the dog. You know that to relax your vigil for a moment might
lose him to you forever.
And so the weeks and months pass, with your puppy becoming more civilized
every day, and the seeds of trust are planted. It seems that each new day
brings less destruction, less breakage. Almost before you know it, your
gangly, slurpy puppy has turned into an elegant, dignified friend.
Now that he is a more reliable, sedate companion, you take him more places.
No longer does he chew the steering wheel when left in the car. And darned
if that cake wasn't still on the counter this morning. And, oh yes, wasn't
that the cat he was sleeping with so cozily on your pillow last night?
At this point you are beginning to become infected, the disease is spreading
its roots deep into your mind.
And then one of your friends suggest obedience classes, and, after a time
you even let him run loose from the car into the house when you get home.
Why not, he always runs straight to the door, dancing a frenzy of joy and
waits to be let in. And, remember he comes every time he is called. You know
he is the exception that disproves the rule. (And sometimes late at night,
you even let him slip out the front door to go potty and then right back
Years pass- it is hard to remember why you ever worried so much when he was
a puppy. He would never think of running out the door left open while you
bring in the packages from the car. It would be beneath his dignity to jump
out the window of the car while you run into the convenience store. And when
you take him for those wonderful long walks at dawn, it only takes one
whistle to send him racing back to you in a burst of speed when the walk
comes too close to the highway. (He still gets in the garbage, but nobody is
This is the time the disease has waited for so patiently. Sometimes it only
has to wait a year or two, but often it takes much longer.
He spies the neighbor dog across the street, and suddenly forgets everything
he ever knew about not slipping out doors, jumping out windows or coming
when called due to traffic. Perhaps it was only a paper fluttering in the
breeze, or even just the sheer joy of running...
Stopped in an instant. Stilled forever- Your heart is broken at the sight of
his still beautiful body.
The disease is trust. The final outcome, hit by a car.
Every morning my dog bounced around off lead exploring. Every morning for
seven years he came back when he was called. He was perfectly obedient,
perfectly trustworthy. He died fourteen hours after being hit by a car.
Please do not risk your friend and your heart. Save the trust for things
that do not matter.
Please read this every year on your puppy's birthday, lest we forget.
- Author Unknown