Reflections: A dog named Easter

Salt Lake City, UT (Sept 2014) — Now that we are temporarily back in the USA until we receive our work VISAs, I am going through my field notes and reflecting on stories.  I have a few questions and reflections on this story: “A Dog Named Easter.”

We are drawn to puppies — especially my wife.  We have raised Golden Retrievers throughout our married life, and have raised a three litters of golden puppies.   There is something about the birth process and newborn life that touches a deep chord within our humanity.  New life is fragile and dependent on others for food, protection, and shelter to live.  But, without love and affection, neglected newborn life ceases to thrive and often loses the will to live and dies.

It is tragic to encounter neglected and forsaken animal life, and, even more devastating when we encounter the same in abandoned human life.  Where are the responsible caregivers, both the ones who conceived this life and the ones, who have the compassion and courage to engage when others walk by?  A little love and involvement can make a huge difference.

Questions for another time:

  1. What roles do domesticated animals have in different cultures?
  2. Which animals are pets in some cultures and sources of food in others?  Why?
  3. Is abandonment, abortion or euthanasia of unwanted or undesirable animals and humans really the best solution?  What are the long-term consequences to society?  What and where are the alternatives? How can society make the alternatives cost-effective and the norm?
  4. Does poverty affect and limit compassion?  If you can barely care for yourself, how can you care for others?  Is there a responsibility of those with financial means to care for others?
  5. How does one’s philosophical or religious worldview determine answers to the above questions?

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