A Shelter Dog Asks God – Joan Fremo

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I have referred before to the late rescuer Joan Fremo, a woman still sorely missed in the rescue community, especially among those who rescue Livestock Guardian Dogs. But while Joan’s efforts were focused primarily on those big dogs, those working dogs, any dog that needed help was important to her.

If any member of Joan’s family has a problem with my posting of these essays, please let me know. My only purpose is to make sure they are saved and are available to a new generation of rescuers.
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A Shelter Dog asks God.
By Joan C. Fremo

Dear God,

What is “Time”?

I hear the sadness in the voices of workers here. They say my “Time is up”, that they have to make room for yet another dog.

My “Time” is up.

I don’t know what that means, God. I only know that my new friends are so sad, and the more I wag my tail—the harder I try to make them feel better– -the sadder they become.

I know I have heard that word “Time” before, but I don’t understand.

When I was younger, my people would say “Time to play!” They would throw the ball, and I would run fast. Sometimes I brought it back to them, but other times we’d end up chasing each other having fun.

I remember “Time to eat”. My people would put down a bowl of food, and I would enjoy dinner, wagging my tail in joy.

There was also “Time for your walk”. My boy would put my leash on, and we would go walking together, visiting the neighborhood and enjoying each other’s company.

When I was younger I thought “Time” meant fun. Or maybe Love?

I don’t understand. “Time” must mean something else, but how can it change, God?

Before I came here, I heard my people say, “No time to feed you now, boy. Later, when I get home.” Sometimes my family would forget, and there was no food in my bowl.

Does “Time” mean when my belly hurts?
My people said there was no time for walks. I tried to hold it all day long– but God, I just couldn’t anymore. When I finally had to go, it made my family very angry.

Does “Time” means anger?

Or maybe Loneliness? My family said they didn’t have “Time”. They didn’t have time to play, or time to take me to the vet, or time to go for walks. They didn’t have “Time”, so they brought me here. Maybe I was right… They said they didn’t have time, and if “Time” means Love, how did they lose it?

Did I do something wrong?

God, I think my new friends are sending me to you. Do you have “Time”? May I sit on the couch? Am I a good Dog, God?
Is it “Time”?

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One of the most important things we can give our pets is “Time”. The time to love them, care for them, and train them. Animal Shelters and Humane Societies across the country are filled with pets whose families didn’t have “Time”. Every year, the “Time is up” for 12 million companion pets. Do you have the “Time” to make a difference?
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