Last week I watched the animated TV show, I Want A Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown.
The show first aired in 2003 and let’s face it, I got sucked into it because it was about dogs!
In this short but shocking story Rerun, Lucy’s younger brother (who until this show I didn’t even know existed – yes – it has been awhile since I watched Charlie Brown), wanted a dog of his own for Christmas.
Rerun's mother and sister didn’t think he was old enough (aka responsible) to care for a dog and recommended he play with Snoopy instead.
While playing with Snoopy, Rerun discovered Spike, Snoopy’s brother who lived all on his own in the desert near Needles, California. Rerun asked Snoopy to send Spike a letter to come to Minnesota to be his dog.
Spike walks with his cactus from California to Minnesota and is immediately taken in by Lucy who is shocked at his skinny frame - stuffing him with treats until he is overweight.
Rerun's mom let Spike stay while he was so skinny but once he filled out, she didn’t want him anymore. Charlie Brown tried to find him a new home to no avail.
Unwanted, Spike picks up his cactus and goes back across the country to Needles, CA.
At this point, a young girl on a skateboard gives him a ride and I have a flicker of hope she is going to take him in... but no.
The short animation ends with Rerun asking Charlie Brown if Snoopy can come out and pull him on his sled.
Rerun finds himself pulling Snoopy on the sled instead, which makes him come to the conclusion that dogs may be too much trouble.
Truly shocking was the underlying theme of this short animation.
The creators had a fantastic opportunity through an iconic dog to teach kids that dogs are a lot of work. They are also family. When you take them into your heart and your home, they are for life.
They failed miserably. Spike returning to the desert on his own was not only shocking, it is the wrong message.
Just a few years ago I learned that shelters get filled up around the holidays as people abandon their older dogs at the shelter so they can adopt new puppies. I had NO idea.
When you adopt a dog, it is for their life. If you are lucky this is about 14-15 years. That time will go by very quickly but it is a massive commitment!
They will have more health issues as they get older - just like you will.
The nutrition you feed them throughout their lifetime and the products you use on their bodies will have a resounding impact on their long term health, just like it will yours.
Animals aren't disposable. They aren't something you trade in for a newer model.
We partnered with 2 Traveling Dogs and took our organic dog shampoo to rescues across the nation, helping to spread the message to Make Rescues the Breed of Choice!®
Last year we adopted a new addition to our own family, Bailey.
Charles Schultz passed away in 2000, three years prior to this animation’s release. I can only hope the man responsible for creating one of the most iconic dogs in society had no part in this horrible display of humanity. It is time for this particular animation to go into the archives.
Our friends took in a new foster this November. His name was Arlo and at 14 years old, he was in VERY bad shape.
He was skinny as a rail from malnutrition. Arthritic. His ears were infected and his rectum was prolapsed.
Arlo didn't have long in his new home as he passed away last week; but, when he passed away he was well fed and surrounded by love. He had a month of good sleeps, plays and loves.
In one month Arlo's new family were better role models than this TV animation that was seen by millions.
To all of the rescues and foster families and everyone who has adopted a dog, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. To our friends who gave their hearts to Arlo... you are 2 of the best humans in the world. Thank you for being the role models of love and compassion and for living "dogs are family - dogs are for life"!
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