“An Ode to A.R.F.” by Alan David Ross

When we were kids growing up during the summer holidays, we knew joy.  Going downtown to the Saturday matinée movies, hooray!  The trumpet sounds as the cavalry charged to the rescue in the very nick of time…or…Tarzan swinging in on his ever handy vine with cheetah the ape to kick some butt.  We always knew that no matter how dark, dismal or scary the scene, someone would come along and make things right for us all.  We would leave the air conditioned movie house and regain the sidewalk in the heat of August.  Our youthful faith in the knowledge that the might of right was always ready to spring into action.  We knew and were assured of safe passage home and tucked into our beds at the end of the day.  Loved, protected and cared for, what could be more natural than all of this?  Some sadness, now to offset some of that joy.  As we grow up and start traipsing around in the real world, away from Hollywood and the Lone Ranger, things change.  Not all of God’s creatures have a white knight waiting in the wings.  For some of the other travellers making this journey with us, love, caring and safety are in rather short supply.

Too many of us have taken on the caring for a pet, namely a puppy or a kitten, all too soon to become a dog or cat.  Therein I believe lays the root problem with some animal abandonment.  I mean, what child in our society today won’t plead, cry and swear on their birthright that they will care for, feed and walk daily the newest family member, the puppy.  In all too short a time and in so many cases the novelty wears off.  Imagine if you can how it would feel to suddenly be ostracized by the family you had grown up with.  The sadness would be overwhelming, as you sit chained up in the backyard so close to the place that was once your home and yet so distant from it.  I wonder which is more cruel… should we torture this pitiful canine with a length of chain and a no trespassing sign? Or maybe take the unwitting animal on a car ride, one way of course.  Just because it has fur and walks on all fours does not make it a wild animal and should not just be dumped off to fend in the wild for itself.  The family pet cannot survive the wild any more than you could.  Dogs are social creatures just like us.  A long time ago they decided at a genetic level to bond with human beings.  Of course in all too many instances it’s not the smartest thing that an animal has done.  There is some good news at the end of this commentary…and there are some good people to be mentioned.

The Animal Rescue Foundation a.k.a. … A.R.F. was brought to Ontario from Alberta by my niece Laurie Ristmae.  Proof positive that there are more heroes at large than I had thought… people that can and will swoop in when humanly possible and restore the day.  The folks and friends of A.R.F. are giving aide, comfort and homes to our littlest allies.  You guys have managed to restore some of my faith in the human animal after all.

Alan David Ross-2012

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