Inside this box...
Was a dog.
A dog that was chewing on the flap inside the box trying to make his way out, not realizing that escaping the box would likely mean sudden death on a highway.
The tape was removed, and the dog Matthew could see inside the box was still alive. Shocked, the dog's new caretaker took the dog and the box to Hardin Eldora Animal Rescue Team, aka HEART Rescue. They had no room for another dog, there were no foster homes waiting for another foster dog, they had no funds for another dog, but Heart could not turn him away.
HEART took him in and a foster home came forward after reading the story. The dog was named after the man who dared to stop his car. At the end of that one day, Matthew the man had saved a life, and Matthew the dog was given a new life.
It was discovered that Matthew the dog had a microchip, but it had never been registered by his owner. Tracing the microchip led to a veterinary clinic in Indiana who sold the chip to a local breeder. This breeder used a dog sales broker from Florida to sell the dog to someone and that is likely how he ended up in Iowa. None of this information would help to find the owners of this dog. HEART Rescue ran an advertisement in the newspaper hoping a family might be missing this dog, and would come forward to claim him. No one did.
HEART immediately cared for Matthew's veterinary needs which included burns under his neck caused by the improper use of an electric shock collar. Matthew struggled with fear issues, that he is overcoming slowly with his new adopted family. His fear was predominantly of males, and Matthew's willingness to sit on his new Dad's lap is a HUGE sign of progress.
I cannot help but wonder if Matthew was always in the care of the awful people who shocked him, neglected to feed him, and stuffed him in a box and left him on the highway for dead? Did these people wait and watch after placing the box on the highway, hoping to see the impact caused by the box and an unsuspecting driver so they could laugh at his death?
Was he stolen from the yard of the family who first purchased him, a family that cared yet neglected to register his microchip? Do the original people that purchased Matthew from a pet store or from an internet puppy sale website, really care about him and wonder where he is now?
Was he given by the people who first bought him, to one person, who then gave him to another, and thus worked his way down the "Free to Good Home" chain until he was in the hands of these heartless cruel people?
We will never know.
Matthew cannot tell us.
But the words on that box tell me a great deal more about the people who wrote them, than they do about the dog inside the box.
A person who shocks a dog without training him is stupid. A person who has a dog in their care and neglects to feed that dog is stupid. A person who calls a dog dirty without giving it a bath is stupid. A person who heartlessly shoves a dog in a box and leaves it on a highway to die in a cruel and inhumane manner is VARRY stupid.
Matthew is not stupid. A dog who does not respond to an owner who has not trained him is not stupid. A dog who does not perform tricks when repeatedly shocked with a shock collar is not stupid. A dog who was still willing to love the very people who performed these cruel acts is not stupid.
He is a dog with the gift of unconditional love. A gift that it seems so few people have, and yet animals have it in abundance. Matthew holds no grudges. Matthew does not bite. Matthew lives only to please. Matthew is not angry about the past. Matthew is happy living in the present.
We should all be that stupid.
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