Did you know that under the law pets are seen as replaceable property? That’s right, the law essentially treats losing a pet the same way as losing a table. In honor of Chloe the Mini Frenchie, Loni Edwards’ beloved dog who passed away due to medical error, PetInsider will be featuring a story every Wednesday about pets being family, not property. Please join us by reading the stories and signing the pledge we created with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) to push for change.
After I graduated from college, the only graduation gift I wanted was a dog. I loved dogs, and I loved pitbull-type dogs more. I drove from my school in New York to my new home in Georgia, and within a week found myself at the local pound. When I requested to see the pitbull-type dogs, the workers were slightly taken aback (people RARELY want pitbulls), but they took me to the fullest part of the shelter. Sadly, pitbulls are often irresponsibly bred and then cast out or outlawed in some areas. As I walked down the aisle, I came across a blonde boy with a grey nose. He laid on his belly with his white paws neatly tucked under his flappy cheeks. He had the biggest, meatiest head in the whole pound, and he was perfect.
Max came home that evening. As it turns out, he had been at the pound for a long time. He was a staff favorite, and they were thrilled to see him go. Max has been my constant companion and confidante for the past three years. He had lived in multiple states with me, and he has been my road trip partner. Max was with me when I got married, and he was here for me when I returned home from an Army deployment overseas. I kiss Max goodbye before I go to work in the morning, and I melt into a puddle of snuggles on the floor with him when I return in the evening. When he’s allowed, Max sleeps with his head on my chest.
Max is not perfect; he struggles with anxiety and reactivity towards other dogs. We spent many hours (and dollars!) on training. We worked to find calming methods and learn skills to enjoy our walks and outings. Now, we can enjoy morning brunches and outdoor cafes, but it wasn’t always so easy. We all dream of perfect pets, but the truth is this: like our friends or our children, we have to meet them where they’re at. I have no idea what Max endured before he came home to me. He was estimated to be around three years old when I adopted him. He has a stubborn, strong, loving personality. Strangers often tell me that he is the sweetest, most affectionate dog they have ever met. He is wonderful, and he is my family. Max may be imperfect, but he is perfect for me.
Please join us in pushing for much needed change by signing and sharing the pledge (https://aldf.org/animalsnotproperty). Follow along every Wednesday for a new story, and sign up for our newsletter to receive it in your inbox.
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