I was on the way to the airport today when I spotted a puppy running along the side of the street. Cars were veering to avoid him and a biker was yelling to him to stop chasing him. He was obviously a puppy, maybe 3 or 4 months old, but not a single person stopped to check up on him. All they cared about was getting on with their lives.
I stopped. It took a while to earn his trust but soon he was as playful as any 3 month old puppy. He had scars of abuse and neglect on him but he was also willing to trust me. I took him to the local shelter, thinking that was the best thing to do, but I was informed that he would be put down if no one picked him up after 4 days. The center had too many abandoned dogs and too many of them were pit bulls like this little guy. So I signed up to adopt him.
Because Hitting “Share” Is Just Too Damned Hard
When I got home I shared his story on facebook and tried to find him a permanent home. My wife and I already have one rescue and, since we’re talking about kids, this is not the best of times to pick up a stray puppy. I posted a picture and told his story. I expected my friends to help, to share his story, to try and find him a home. Almost none of them did. Sure, some of them could have missed this update, some could be offline, some might never log into Facebook and some might have me on ignore. All of these things are possible but they still don’t account for everyone.
These people were happy to share videos of babies crying, pictures of funny looking signs, their latest complaints about their life or some celebrity gossip, but only seven or eight put in the effort to help, for which I am eternally grateful by the way. The rest apparently thought pressing the share button was too difficult a task in return for the possibility of saving a life.
Why Don’t People Care?
I’m not even talking about the people who would abuse a little puppy here, clearly there’s something wrong with them and I’m going to just write them off. I’m talking about my friends. I’m talking about people who seem to be perfectly normal, people who should care (about helping me with something I care about even if they don’t love animals) but don’t. Is it really that difficult to share something? Were they ashamed? Did they think their friends would think less of them for trying to help a puppy?
Have we really become a nation of people who are ashamed for their friends to think they care about little things like an abused puppy? Or do we just not care anymore? Have we stepped over one too many homeless people, seen one too many war atrocity, heard one too many pleas for help and just stopped caring? Have we become so overwhelmed with everything that needs helping that we don’t help even when we can?
Do What You Can
I can’t help all the puppies in the world, just like I can’t help all the homeless, just like I can save all the kids in warzones, just like I can’t protect all the rain forests in the Amazon. But there are things that I can do, and those I will do with all my heart. I help the homeless when I can, I volunteer in my community when I can, I donate to various causes when I can and I will save this puppy if I can. I do this because I think it’s not enough to just live in this world and it’s not enough to just sit around and enjoy my little piece of life. I want to live knowing that I make a difference, that I matter, even if it’s just in the life of one little abused puppy.
What about you?
And my eternal thanks to those of you who did share that Facebook post. You restore my faith in humanity with a simple click of a button.