Trust and abuse

Sometimes, when I look into his eyes, I see the innocence and trust of every single dog on this planet. I see the unwavering instinct to stay with us, to follow us, to be with us as much as possible. I feel his love, the endorphins that rush through him when we meet after a few hours apart, the way he looks at us as if we’re his entire world. I see the innocence of animals, defenseless, pure, afraid in a world built by humans, for humans. I see that naïveté and how easily it can be abused – people who get dogs and don’t let them inside, people who hit or hurt their dogs with painful collars and electric-zapping implements, people who take out their frustrations and anger on an animal that doesn’t know or understand what is happening to it. People who treat their dogs like a toy that just needs to be dragged around the block once a day and left at home the rest of their lives. I see the animals we – as humans – abuse for such pathetic excuses: food, fashion, entertainment. And it hits me all at once, and I cry, and it hurts beyond description. How can we treat each other with love and respect when we can’t even grasp the concept of animals having their own lives, feelings, emotions? How can we live with ourselves as a species after all the pain we inflict on other species, every second of every day?