This poem by Spencer Madsen does a heartbreaking job of conveying the contradictions inherent in living with a companion animal. We bring home a cat, dog, or other animal because we want to spend our life with them.
And in the best of all worlds, we do, spending time with our new friend, playing with them, taking them for walks if they're dogs, buying them toys, and snuggling with them on the couch.
But the reality is, we also spend a great deal of time away; at work, out with friends, out running errands, on vacation or visiting family. We ignore our pets an awful lot of the time.
What must it feel like to be small, alone among your own kind, and often waiting--for attention, for dinner, for love?
And then imagine how much worse it must be for all those outdoor "pets," the dogs who live at the end of chains, or the rabbits who live in barren hutches? Or for the millions of former pets, once loved, or at least well treated, now waiting in a cage or pen at the shelter, not knowing why you're there, what happened to your family, and what will be your fate?
This is another beautiful example of trying to get inside of ananimal's mind--to try to understand how they think and feel, so that we may better care for them.