Well, I'm more than old enough to remember the movie "Born Free" when it debuted, but that movie is not what this post is about. (However, I can even sing part of the song, but since I'm fond of anyone who takes the time to read my meanderings, I'll refrain.)
Yesterday a friend and I drove to Wheaton--a rural town that's in the middle of puppymill country. Four and a half hours each way. (Missouri is the overachiever of states. We're the top meth state and the top puppymill state. At least I think we still can claim those trophies.) We were headed to pick up two puppymill golden retrievers whose "birthday" was 4/12/15--they day they were reborn as family pets.
On Saturday, the day before, I watched Radar gallop around like a crazy boy--more like a colt than a canine. At least once a day I say, "Up," and he jumps up a little to help me lift him into my lap so we can snuggle. (I know, I know. A dog who weighs almost 80 pounds is not a lap puppy. I just can't help myself.) He has such fun running with the dogs in the house behind us. He so enjoys playing with his squeak ball. And I wondered...
What if the Amish or other heartless puppymill people got a hold of Radar's mom? If they had, once Radar was born, he might be lived out his life in a run or a cage, with very little human contact. He would not have ever known the thrill of running with Teddy, the shih tzu behind us. He wouldn't get to go for long walks in the park. He wouldn't be invited onto the bed to cuddle. (Actually, most of the time we don't invite him--he just jumps up and makes himself at home.)
Radar, Ruthie and the no-name-yet puppy (rescued yesterday) are lucky dogs indeed.