The fall season was beginning and colorful leaves could be seen all around. The rays of the sun still warmed the days but the nights allowed the cool air to seep inside the house. It was a good time of the year to enjoy sleeping without hearing the air conditioner roaring away.
The students in the apartments near the university were back from summer vacations and were enjoying meeting others in their classes. Parents worked very hard to pay for the apartments for their children to say in while attending the university. Each parent praying their child would be educated well and be able to get a good paying job. Education to all parents is the key to having a productive lifestyle.
Students began to take their places and fill their apartments with necessities of all kinds hoping to make the apartment feel like home. In this particular university the students were allowed to bring a dog but the rules for keeping one were quite strict. An extra fee was needed to cover the cost of replacing things the dog may destroy while staying in the small living quarters.
Jennifer lived in New York and stayed in her apartment over the summer months to take extra classes she needed. It was during the summer that she visited a pet store and found a tiny ball of black and white fur. The tiny lump looked up at her with big brown eyes and Jennifer’s heart was captured immediately. She looked up at her boyfriend and pleaded with him to purchase this little bundle for her. Her heart raced as she held the little fellow in her arms as she left the mall.
“I’m going to name him Romeo because he is so filled with love. This little Shih Tzu will be my protector and defender.” She said as she whispered in the tiny ears of her new pet.
“Well it will take a long while before this little fellow can defend anyone. I really hope you know what you are getting yourself into?” Joshua replied as he shook his head in disbelief of his purchase.
The little Shih Tzu dog has long hair and must be brushed regularly to prevent matting. It was a chore Jennifer did not mind at all. The Shih-Tzu is a very small dog. The head is round and broad, wide between the eyes. The muzzle is square and short coming to a defined stop. Romeo was a lively little dog packed with character. All of Jennifer’s friends loved him from the first time they saw him. He was a gentle pet and made friends easily. He quickly became known all over the campus because of his daily walks.
Some dogs are easier to train and housebreak than others. It requires lots of patience for this particular breed of dog. They are so small they sometimes bark repeatedly trying to tell you what they want. Because of their adorable face many owners give in to the wishes of the dog and end up allowing the dog to behave in a way that is not acceptable. Romeo quickly became the talk all around the campus. The attention he received was noted daily by Joshua who soon became jealous of Romeo’s affection.
It happened that Jennifer had to make a trip to New York to visit her mother and could not afford to take Romeo with her. She asked Joshua to take care of her pet while she was away. It seemed like a normal thing to do since they had been together for over a year and Joshua was from a very good family with good family principals.
During the time Jennifer was away Joshua neglected to take Romeo out when he needed to do his daily business. One morning Joshua awoke to a very wet bed because he had slept for a long time failing to get up and take Romeo outside. Anger rushed over Joshua for he had never had this happen to him before. Now he was confronted with washing his sheets, a task he really hated. Before he realized it, his fist punched the tiny dog right between the eyes. Romeo went flying off the bed and onto the floor. His nose and eyes began to bleed as he stumbled to his tiny feet.
When Jennifer returned she asked what was wrong with Romeo’s face.
“I punched him because he was peeing on my bed!” Joshua replied
“Oh my goodness you should never hit a dog. Now I will have to take him to the vet and see if he will be alright.” She protested.
“Just give him a day or so and he will be fine. He is just a dog for heaven’s sake.” Joshua retorted.
Time passed and Romeo did not improve. Jennifer got medical attention as soon as she could. Romeo was not well and his head had taken a brutal punch. It was well noted by the doctor and Jennifer was told Romeo may have brain damage.
“How could you do this awful thing to one of God’s tiny creatures?” She cried as she confronted Joshua about his actions towards Romeo.
“I will never leave him with you again. I have noticed that when you come around him he cowers down and will wet the floor. This is a sign that you have mistreated him. I just can’t believe you would do this to my little pet.” She said with tears running down onto Romeo’s fur.
It wasn’t long until the family discovered that Joshua had become addicted to pain medicines and was out of control. It was a common practice with the students and Joshua soon needed help to overcome his addiction. Joshua’s family could not believe their son’s actions. Every time he came home on the weekends, things disappeared from the house. Jewelry disappeared, medicines and money disappeared. His family stepped in to try and correct Joshua’s problems. Romeo was never left with Joshua again but he was left with extensive brain damage that was irreversible.
The abuse of animals is growing daily because of the lack of wisdom and intelligent actions of mankind.
If you know of an animal that is being abused please notify someone and help rescue an innocent animal. Don’t let another pet end up like precious little Romeo.
Question: “What did Romeo do to provoke Joshua? What should Joshua have done to correct the problem?
Written by Sybil Shearin
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