Sunday, March 7, 2010

Things are not what they seem, or are they?

One thing that I have learned in life is that there are always two sides of the "story". I may "get into trouble" saying this, but although a situation may look one way to someone, there is always someone else to see things differently, or to bring a new perspective to light.

What we need to remember is to approach people in a non threatening way, seeking to understand, not always presenting what we think about the issue as being the only way. Outright obvious abuse is not what I am talking about here, please let's be clear on that!

I want to believe that those who love animals desire to do the best for them. If we find that their behavior may be hurting their pet, we need to first approach the situation in a way that can help the owner see that they can do something differently, not assume that they are abusing the animal. Find out the reason. Is there something that you can do (we can do) to help this person care for their pet? Do they have health issues that may be preventing them from exercising their dog? Maybe you know someone that would be willing to walk their dog a few times a week.

Let's remember that everyone has feelings, hard times, and deserves to be treated with respect. They also deserve a chance to change. IF they do not respond, seek to find out why, and help out where you can. IF these steps are not enough to bring about change, or the animal is in danger, well obviously we need to take steps to protect them...that is a given!

I am just saying that it is important to give people the benefit of the doubt BEFORE jumping to conclusions, which leads to more problems and pain. Good intentions can sour when our actions and thoughts are misguided, and that doesn't do anyone any good. Getting to the heart of the issue can help all involved bond when we seek to understand rather than regret misunderstanding and hurt each other in the process.

I urge you to be willing to hear a different perspective, be open enough to realize that there are multiple ways to love and protect our furry (or not-so-furry) babies, and you just might make a new friend!

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