Saturday, May 11, 2013

An Open Letter to Danielle T.

Dear Danielle,
I am writing you this letter on behalf of Benson, a wonderful St. Bernard that you took into your home just 4 months ago.  Benson is my sister’s dog who she had to give up in January due to circumstances that made it impossible for her to keep him. Giving him up was one of the most difficult decisions that she has ever had to make and now you have made it one that she will forever regret.  She thought that he was going to a good home – you have a son who instantly became Benson’s best friend on the trial weekend plus you are a dog trainer, so certainly you must love dogs enough to know the love, care and attention they need, right? Jody loved that dog from the day he came home as a puppy and she will continue to love him, as we all will. Well, all of us except for you.

As you know, Benson has some health issues; he did from the time he came home. In his 3 short years there have been many trips to the vet and thousands of dollars spent on testing and medication.  Jody did anything and everything she could to give Benson a happy and fulfilling life, even when he was struggling with his health. He has certain diet and exercise regiments that needed to be kept up to help keep him healthy and happy and all of this was disclosed to you before you took him. You knew that the potential was there for him to get sick and you promised that you would care for him. But you didn’t. He got sick and you literally put him out on the street. You didn’t even have the decency to take him to the vet, you just put him out on the street and told him to go away. The worst part is that he is in pain and has difficulty walking so he didn’t even get very far. He simply couldn’t run away from you, although I’m sure he wanted to. I would have.
He was picked up on your street. Someone who cared enough to find his owner took him to the vet clinic on your street and from there Animal Services came and picked him up. Thanks goodness for that because at least he was in a safe place being cared for by people who actually want to help.  But can you imagine how he must have felt? He had come from a family who loved him so much and then he had to change homes which must have been confusing for him. He seemed to be doing well though – sleeping in your son’s bed and having a play buddy every day. And then something happened and he got sick again. What happened? Less than 3 weeks ago was the last time Jody checked in with you and you told her that everything was going great and then this week you there him out like a piece of garbage. He must have felt so terrible, so unloved and you did that to him. I want you to know that I am crying terribly at the thought of this, the thought of this sweet dog who loved you and I, and everyone he met unconditionally, but who was put out on the street to die when things became less than perfect. I hate the thought that he may have felt unloved, even for a moment, because he wasn’t, except by you.

Once Benson was picked up Animal Services visited my sister’s old house because he was still registered to her. You are a dog trainer and you didn’t even have the decency to update his registration information? Well that turned out to be a good thing. The new owners of the house contacted their real estate agent, who contacted Jody’s real estate agent who got in touch with her in Oklahoma. Imagine the surprise of getting that message? By this time Benson had already been at the animal shelter for 2 days. As soon as she got the news we started piecing the information together and it became clear that he was not there by accident – you wanted him to go away and he did. You lied to Animal Services and told them that you had called Jody and told her that you couldn’t keep him and that she was looking for a new home for him. Why did you lie? Why didn’t you call Jody and tell her instead  of taking the cowardly way out? We would have come and got him immediately because unlike you, our family doesn’t turn its back on those in need, dog, human or otherwise.
Jody flew back from Oklahoma today and we had Benson there to meet her at the airport. He has to be put down on Monday because he is too sick to continue living a fulfilling life but we are giving him the best final days that we can. He will leave this world surrounded by people who love him and he will be cremated so that he can always be with Jody and our family, who love him dearly. In a way it’s good that you have no heart because at least we get to be with him and love him in his greatest time of need.

Danielle, I have had to put a lot of bad thoughts about you out of my mind because the bottom line is that if I let myself think or wish horrible things upon you then I will be no better of a person than you are. I think what you did is heartless and disgusting and I hope that you never have to feel unloved for a second like Benson did. I hope that you didn’t lie to your son about what you did to Benson and I also hope that you never get another pet of any kind because you don’t have the strength to give them the love they need.

Please don’t think about Benson anymore, he is our dog again and we so happy to have him back, even if it is only for a couple of more days.


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