I recently came across a sad and beautiful story about a dog that had lost its legs through the cruelty of humans, then been rescued by an organization and now has prosthetic legs and a loving owner. It is a wonderful story of love and devotion but it has also been making the rounds amongst some chronically ill sites and sufferers… why?
…for what it’s worth, here are my thoughts
I am not sure how this relates to chronic illness or chronic sufferers. What is the message here? Why should it be aimed at people with chronic illness?
Whilst it might illustrate how this darling animal has suffered and is now having to use prosthetic limbs, for me it doesn’t have an all encompassing social context; apart from illustrating how humans and animals can behave.
However, darling animals, as far as I am aware, do not have bills to pay, have judgements made on them, are not body shamed, do not have others look down upon them, are not treated with prejudice or have their family/friends/employers abandon them because they are sick, disabled or injured. They don’t have to spend years with many different doctors and having to go through humiliations, medications, doubts and the search for meaning in this world.
Animals are not prone to feel and comprehend the cruel and callous remarks that human are prone to make.
I am not sure how watching a video of this beautiful animal will change the feelings and struggles that people with chronic illnesses encounter, so I am not sure why it is doing the rounds on support sites and chronically ill groups.
I actually think it could be seen as yet another way of trivializing someone’s experience of chronic illness by comparing to some other living creature’s injury… It just doesn’t make sense to me.
I am not sure what similarities that precious dog share and I share, apart from having an experience that neither of us wanted or deserved.
Animals can’t verbalize the depth of how they feel or how they perceive the world … even though sometimes I dearly wish they could. Would this dog think of itself as inspirational? Would it expect all life to follow its example? Would it wish to go on public speaking events and say “if I can go through this than everyone can just do what I do, never feel sad and make it all look so easy!” Somehow I don’t think it would…Perhaps I have much higher opinions of how animals would behave compared to humans.
Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing examples of human beings showing compassion, and I dearly love animals. I have rescued many animals in my time and I find them one of the greatest joys of living. I prefer animals to a lot of people I have met. I always will. Without animals I would never have found the strength and will to go on. I am forever in their debt.
They don’t judge me, they don’t condemn or criticize me. They don’t make me feel useless or unlovable. They don’t expect me to be anything than what I am and they accept me as I am.
Animals are what humans could aspire to be.
There are countless examples of these inspirational videos and pictures out there on the World Wide Web but are they actually inspiring anyone?
Are they designed to inspire or shame people with illnesses?
As I watched this darling dog chasing a ball I thought to myself what a beautiful soul, I can’t understand how anyone would torture an animal and leave it wounded! Human beings have a lot to answer for!
And that is the extent to which it inspired me.
I am glad that there are some wonderful people out there that don’t think an animal is no longer lovable if it can’t walk properly, if it doesn’t look like all the other animals, or if it has permanent injuries. It’s a pity that all humans didn’t value all life that way.
Sadly, there are many people who don’t see life that like this and don’t value all people this way.
Perhaps that should be the real message… aimed at inspiring people not to harm life but to treasure all lives, regardless of whether they may be sick, disabled or injured.