Pet Sounds

Just read the below poem and it got me thinkin. Everybody should have an animal in their life—even if it's the feral cat out back that you feed the rest of your cocoa puffs milk to—so you can know that you're not the center of the universe, that other beings need care and and love, too. Friendship with animals is, maybe, one of the purist, most joy-giving things in existence, don't ya know?

 

Shackleton's Decision

By Faith Shearlin

At a certain point he decided they could not afford the dogs. It was someone's job to take them one by one behind a pile of ice and shoot them. I try to imagine the arctic night which descended and would not lift,

a darkness that clung to their clothes. Some men objected because the dogs were warmth and love, reminders of their previous life where they slept in soft beds, their bellies warm with supper. Dog tails were made

of joy, their bodies were wrapped in a fur of hope. I had to put the book down when I read about the dogs walking willingly into death, following orders, one clutching an old toy between his teeth. They trusted

the men who led them into this white danger, this barren cold. My God, they pulled the sleds full of provisions and barked away the Sea Leopards. Someone was told to kill the dogs because supplies

were running low and the dogs, gathered around the fire, their tongues wet with kindness, knew nothing of betrayal; they knew how to sit and come, how to please, how to bow their heads, how to stay.