Hate is Not Help

Sarge in Protective CustodyThis was my beloved dog Sarge (R.I.P.) in 2008. Sarge was 14 years old and being held at the Pennsylvania SPCA in protective custody after being seized from an alleged dog fighting case.

I wish Sarge were here with me right now.

I think about him every time people rant about Michael Vick, who came to Philly when we lived in Philly and is coming to NYC now that we live in NYC. I wish Sarge were here right now because the Michael Vick rants are filling my head with poison, and they make me want to distance myself from the ranters.

But I need them. We need each other. And the dogs need all of us.

Sarge’s life — and the lives of other canine survivors of cruelty — got better because of kindness toward living beings, not because of hatred for an individual who committed violent acts in the past.

Sarge’s life — and the lives of other canine survivors of cruety — was spared because we focused on the present, instead of the past.

I did not “forget” what happened to Sarge. (Is that even a question?!) But Sarge taught me to remember that change is about moving forward and paying it forward.

Pay it ForwardI can choose to look back, or I can choose to do my part — no matter how small it may be — to help dogs and the people who love them, both in the present and in the future.

Hate can cripple you. It cannot undo past damage. And hate can trick you into thinking your emotions are leading to results. Hate is so very deceiving.

I’m taking a cue from Sarge. I’m looking forward. I’m doing it because there are too many people and pets out there today begging for our help. 

Hate is not the same as help, and moving forward is not the same as forgetting.

LogoPS: Michael Vick, if you want to move forward with us and pay it forward for our community, please consider supporting our “Ruff Riders” project. We support pets and people in need in New York City, your new backyard. Our door is always open to you, if you come knocking.

Our neighbors need us. We’ve got the time, and you’ve got the money. Call me.