Book No. 26 – The Call of The Wild

1 Feb

I remember the day we brought him home. Two gentle dark brown eyes peering out from a white ball of fur. He was an American Eskimo and we had won him in an auction at my pre school St. Annes. He was petrified at the fact that his world was about to change… forever. Sitting at the dinner table that night my mom, dad, sister and I all debated on potential names for him. I can’t quite remember what names I threw out but i’m fairly certain Snowball was one of them. (I wasn’t very creative back then!) Well, being that we are half mexican and the word for boy in spanish is muchacho, the name we settled on was CHACHO. I preferred to called him my little Chachi bunz though! He was a great dog. Cunning, playful, trainable, well behaved, protective and FLUFFY!!

This is a picture of Chacho doing a trick! Something he was very good at.

Our first Christmas with Chacho!

Chacho is the only dog I have ever had that knew how to shake. He was one of a kind.

My sister and I were far too young to fully comprehend what having a dog really meant. It means being responsible for another living being with needs almost as identical as yours. They need love, affection, medicines, vet check ups, proper grooming, exercise, companionship, healthy eating habits. I am sad to say that I was too young to take proper care of Chacho. I was too young to understand what having an animal meant. I always feel sad when I think about Chacho because I know I could have given him a better life than he had. I’ll always try and make up for it with the new animals in my life. Chacho passed away when I was in the 10th grade of cancer that had spread throughout his entire body. I remember my dad calling me to tell me that there was nothing the vets could do to help him and I could hear Chacho crying in the background as he told me they had to put him down. It broke my heart and I cried for hours. And just like that, he was gone. It seemed so surreal at first. I remember several times I would open the back door and call for him to come to me, but he wouldn’t… and then I would remember that he was gone. But I learned a lot from him and from myself.

The Call of The Wild is a classic book and since I love animals, dogs especially, I thought I would enjoy reading this book. It’s about a beautiful St. Bernard/Scotch Shepard dog named Buck who is stolen from his home in California and shipped up to the gold crazed north. In the north he becomes a sled dog where he eventually becomes the leader of his pack. Throughout Bucks journey however, he is mistreated by many humans, forced to lead the sled up to 50 miles per day, and also getting into fights with other dogs over dominance. Buck knows nothing of human companionship and love until John Thornton saves him from a beating that would have killed him. John Thornton treats Buck as a companion, he is gentle and loving towards him and in return, Buck becomes protective and loyal to his new human friend. In a way, Buck is being domesticated during his time with John, but there is always something deep inside of him that yearns to wander and be free. Buck saves John from a near death drowning incident and from then on they are the definition of mans best friend!

This book brought up several important issues to me.

One of which is the ethical treatment of animals. There are so many animals that fall victim to some form of abuse and it is sickening to think that some people can willingly hurt an innocent creature. Some people are even amused by the torture of animals (Michael Vick). I can go on for hours and hours about animal abuse, breed discrimination, animal testing, animal adoptions, factory farms, and the cultural barriers that cause conflict between different countries and their views on ethical treatments of certain animals.

The sad truth:
Over 65 billion animals are used, abused, and killed for food, medical testing, military experimentation, entertainment, clothing, and breeding – as in puppy mills, EACH year. 500 animals die each day due to animal abuse and 300,000 animals die each year because of it.
There are currently about 4,000 to 5,000 puppy mills operating in the U.S. Puppy mills are large dog breeding facilities that house up to several hundred dogs at a time in deplorable conditions.  Most facilities force female breeding dogs to live in small cages and reproduce until they can no longer carry a pregnancy due to age or health. The owners hold no concern for the well being of the dogs and are only interested in making a profit. Sickening!
Each year more than 54 billion cows, pigs, chickens, and other innocent animals are caged, crowded, deprived, drugged, mutilated, and manhandled in the world’s factory farms and slaughterhouses. In the US alone, 10 billion land animals are abused and slaughtered every year.
An estimated 2 million animals are used in scientific and medical research each year.
There are 4-6 million homeless pets in The U.S. alone.
It breaks my heart how many animals out there are suffering, tortured, homeless and alone. My friends often make fun of me because I am a huge advocate for animals and I will constantly talk about the treatment of animals in factory farms or my extreme distaste for Michael Vick, as well as encouraging all of my friends and family to STOP EATING MEAT and adopt an animal from a local shelter. My friends will often make jokes that the only things I ever tweet about are “saving the animals!” But you know what, treatment of animals is something I deeply care about and I am never going to stop talking about it. Ever. I wish more people would take the time to do some research and educate themselves on all of the horrendous things that so many animals have to endure in their lifetimes.
Something that really pisses me off with animals is breed discrimination. Most notably with Pit Bulls. People have it in their minds that Pit Bulls are just born malicious and they deserve to die because of it. WRONG. People that think that way are IGNORANT. Animals are not born vicious the same way humans are not born murderers and rapists. It’s all about the way we are raised. It’s nature vs. nurture, but in the end the way we are nurtured will shape the way we turn out. If you raise an animal and mistreat it, keep it chained in your yard or force it to fight other animals for your own amusement, that animal is not going to be a loving friendly animal. The other thing about pit bulls is that they are what I call “the poor mans dog.” Many less fortunate people end up with pit bulls and these people don’t have the funds to properly care for these animals nor do they understand HOW to properly treat an animal. It’s heartbreaking. There are so many state counties that will euthanize pit bulls on the spot just because of their breed. Ignorance. Ignorance. Ignorance. I can’t stand it.
Something else that I find equally irritating is when I talk to people about possibly adopting a dog and all they talk about is pure breed this, pure breed that. Everybody wants a pure breed golden retriever or german shepard or a husky. And thats just fine and dandy. I had a pure breed American Eskimo and he was a great dog, but there will always be people out there willing to buy pure breeds. It’s the dogs in the shelters that are really in dire need of a loving family and home. I always encourage people to adopt, don’t buy.
The first dog I adopted, Miko, truly opened my eyes to a new world. I don’t think I really new what love was until I adopted him and still to this day I think it was one of the best things I have ever done in my life.
I adopted him from the HSPCA. He was an abused dog and had been at the shelter for several months before I found him. I remember going through the aisle of kennels and looking at all the different dogs because FINALLY after a year of begging, my parents were going to let me get a new dog! I went through the first aisle and there was one dog that caught my eye enough to pause, but I continued on to the second aisle. As I peered into the fourth kennel, I saw a medium sized furry dog laying down… not barking like so many of the others. This one was timid, quiet, isolated and lonely. I took one look at him and I knew he was the one. (I am not making any of this up either. I remember it like it was yesterday!) I looked at him and I just knew. I knew that he needed me, and I needed him.
When I got Miko, I was going through a hard time. Sometimes, I’ll joke around and say to him.. “You better not forget who saved you from that shelter!” But the truth is, he is the one that did the saving, not me. He saved me. And that first year that I had him, I remember feeling like he was truly my best friend. (only people with dogs will understand…)
When I think about how far Miko has come since I first got him, my heart smiles. When I first got him he was terrified of EVERYTHING. Cameras, cell phones, tennis balls, going into the garage, going upstairs, strangers, flies, yelling, newspapers, and much more. Now he goes into the garage and upstairs willingly. He plays with tennis balls and he will let me take pictures of him even though he is still camera shy. He actually lets strangers pet him now (most of the time) and he is starting to trust people more in general. And to think that all of this improvement has happened because of the simple fact that I gave him a loving home is just mind blowing to me. Thats all it takes. One person with a big heart and an open home to change an animals life forever! It’s amazing when you think about it.
The second dog that I adopted, my little ball of energy, is a pit bull border collie mix named Madden. He is the most lovable creature on earth and would lick you to death if you let him! Around the time that I got Madden I was battling with anxiety, insomnia and depression and I felt this need to save something. I guess I felt like I couldn’t save myself from the way I was feeling, but by adopting another dog I could save another suffering living being. I brought the idea up to my parents and just as I expected the answer was HELL NO one dog is enough. But just as every other teenager, I hear no… and take it to mean yes! So I head out to BARK a shelter in a very poor area of Houston and I find myself my little Madden. I didn’t have this instant certainty with Madden like I did with Miko, but as soon as I brought him home I was madly in love.
I am extremely attached this little guy. I can’t leave the house for more than an hour without missing him!
Madden is just about the most insecure dog I have ever met. (Even MORE insecure than Miko) Which is typical of a stray dog. He has never been in one place for too long, he has never had any type of family or consistency in his life before. So it makes sense that he follows me around everywhere I go. He never lets me out of his sight. When I leave the house in the middle of the day he goes ape shit crazy and chews on things to ease his anxiety. And I can’t help but wonder if maybe he thinks that someday I am going to leave him just like everybody else has in the past.
You see, dogs are just like humans. They have pasts just like we do. Some have difficult pasts. They are complex and they act the way they do for a reason. Miko doesn’t trust people because he was abused. People often interpret Miko’s standoffishness as him just not being friendly, but thats not the case. He is careful, hyper aware of everything that surrounds him.. and because of his abusive past, he will always be this way. Underneath that though, he is the best dog I have ever known. He is misunderstood, but given the chance, he will steal your heart.  Madden needs to constantly be with people because he has spent his whole life alone as a stray. He has never really had a family before. He has never had the security of a warm place to sleep, fresh water and food every day. So, when other people get annoyed with his constant presence and need for attention, I don’t… because I understand that he is just afraid to lose everything.
The Call of The Wild is a decent read. It’s not overly exciting or thrilling, but it’s a great story of a dogs struggles and the companionship that can easily be formed between dog and man. Something that I hope you all take away from this blog is that animals are like humans. They feel pain, fear, happiness, anxiety, love. They are smart and they have needs just like the rest of us. It should be every human beings goal to be an advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves. Speak up when you see an animal being mistreated. Support causes that you believe in. Volunteer at your local shelter. Donate money to help save endangered animals from becoming extinct. Spread awareness when you can. Educate yourself and be aware of whats going on around you. When you see a stray dog or cat, pick it up and drop it off at a shelter. Give up eating meat and meat products that come from factory farms that are abusive to their animals. Show compassion. And for goodness sakes, ADOPT don’t BUY!!! Sorry this blog is so long. I’m sure some of you are bored to tears by now, but I really can’t say that I give a sh*t considering how important this topic is to me and how passionately I feel about it!
My mom once told me, “Taylor you can’t save every animal. You can’t save them all.”
And my response was, “You’re right. I can’t save all of them, but I can try.”
And try, I will. As should you!
Taylor Jordan
P.S.– I’m also kind of proud of the fact that this is my longest blog! A little over 2,500 words. AWESOME.
Thought this was so cute and funny so I thought I would share!!
Also this one. Hehe adorable!
Okay, okay…. i’m done preaching.
If I believed in karma i’d say she is a b*tch…. so be kind, show compassion and ADOPT an animal in need!!!!!

4 Responses to “Book No. 26 – The Call of The Wild”

  1. theliteraryman February 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    The CALL OF THE WILD is one of my all-time favorite books! Thx for this important, well-written post.

    • Taylor Jordan February 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      Glad you liked it!! Hope you continue to read my blog 🙂

  2. run February 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Generally I do not read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great article.

  3. Walking Your Dog Gold Coast February 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    Its like you read my thoughts! You seem to know so much approximately this, like you wrote the ebook in it or something. I feel that you could do with some p.c. to drive the message house a bit, however instead of that, that is great blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

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