My name is Hope. At least I think it is; I haven't heard it in a while. They say they named me Hope because I looked like I had such hope when they came by my kennel. And I did. It must have worked because they took me home--my first real home. I loved very minute of it. A warm bed, lots of food, long walks, hands that never hit. Life was great! For the first time I felt safe and content. When I heard them talking about starting a family, I thought, great! Someone else to love me. I couldn't wait.
Then the baby arrived. She was so cute, I loved her. They named her Bethany Hope. Life couldn't be better! Then it all changed. Life became too busy for them. No more walks, no more sleeping in the same room as them. Then one day, they took me for a car drive, the first in a long time. I thought maybe things were turning around. Then I felt my heart sink. It was the place that was to familiar to me. I thought why is he bringing me here? He dropped me off, and they put me behind bars. I tried to stay calm and tell myself that the people that loved me will be back, I'm still waiting. In here it is hard to have hope.- I am leary of people coming by my little prison. Will they abandon me too?
In here, there are many sad stories. But the one that saddens me the most is the dog down the hall, in a special room. They say her name is Brindi. She is on death row. She cries every night. Like me, she was in a shelter for a very long time before a loving owner came and rescued her. They say her name is Francesca, so I guess she must be named after St. Francis, the Patron of Saints and protector of animals. Brindi loved her new life. She tells of long walks on the beach, cats and dog friends to play with, lessons, great treats, warm bed, car rides. Life was the best she had ever had. Like us all, Brindi has instincts, and some fears. So she ran into a little trouble with some other dogs, but there were no serious injuries and no trouble ever with a human. I heard them say because of a "ByLaw A 300", Brindi was seized and is supposed to die. They say Brindi can still hear her owner's screams as they drove her away in the big white truck. They haunt her at night. Doesn't it seem ironic that my owners would be allowed to see me any time they want but choose not to, and Francesca is denied visits?
I am afraid I do not understand this way of thinking. If only my owners were so supportive of me. Every dog in here would give anything to have such a dedicated owner as Francesca. Francesca will do anything to save her dog's life. My owners don't seem to care if I live or die. Surely there has to be someone out there with compassion who will help Brindi. You know, they take her outside on a rabies pole, even though she has never been aggressive to humans. She knows her owner is trying her best to get her home. But she cries herself to sleep every night. It has been so long, over two months! As I say, it's hard to have hope in here. I can only pray I find a Francesca, someone who won't desert me, someone who will fight with everything they have for me.
I'm thinking about changing my name and giving it to Brindi. She really needs Hope. She needs your help, from all of you that are not behind bars and separated from those who love you. Please speak up, speak up for the voiceless. Hear our cries at night. Let Brindi go home, to a home we can only dream of. Give us all back our HOPE. They say there are almost 2000 names on petitions to help save her. There are protests and people called "Brindi's Angels" trying to help right this wrong. Francesca is also paying thousands to a lawyer, so she can go to court, and this the only thing keeping Brindi alive. Please do the right thing, and help Brindi. Brindi HOPE, that's what I am going to call her from now on. She needs You! We all need you, so maybe we can all have Hope again. Since I gave my name to Brindi, I have changed mine to FAITH, because I have to have faith you will do the right thing.
Faith, The Shelter Dog
(with my most heartfelt thanks to Linda Koekman, an Angel for Brindi, who wrote and sent this to all the councillors and the mayor in early September. She also gave me the St. Francis medal, with the hope that a kind priest would go with me to the SPCA, visit Brindi, and put this medal on her collar with a special blessing.)