Readers Moved to Put their Beautiful Thoughts about Dogs/Cats on Paper


Oh, it maddens me so much to see those posts about abandoned dogs. AGAIN, your post of today addresses this issue, yesterday it was the Benji-lookalike dog that hangs out at the gas station. Every other day it’s something.

I love my cats and my doggie so much; I don’t understand why others can’t see the love you can get from an animal.

I was raised to have love for animals, we were always surrounded by them. My mother was and still is an animal lover, and keeps her faithful mini dog Maya by her side, talks to her, argues with her, reasons with her, serves her special meals prepared with lots of love, and fluffs Maya’s pillow before bed every night.

We followed her example and learned to love our pets, to care for them, to allow them a comfortable space, not to throw them outside; they were always allowed to be wherever we were. We dressed our cats up, they slept in our tiny doll cribs, we even saw one give birth to kittens. But that’s the thing: the love of animals came from home. My mother had a heart for living things and we grew up with this sentiment. My grandmother was the same. Her miniature pincher was also allowed in the house, he sat on Oma Tina’s lap, and slept every night in the airco. In return, Djaka Preto adored Oma Tina and was her beloved companion as long as they both breathed. The sentiment was handed down from the generations.

We were a rare Aruban folk however. People around us did not do the same. Our neighbors had a dog that stayed in the yard, its only purpose was to bark if strangers came close, it was fed raw meat to ‘make him aggressive’ and better at attacking thieves, according to our neighbor.

So, my point is: it came from home! Maybe the reason why all these campaigns don’t make a huge impact is because they are not targeting the children. The generation being targeted cannot be touched nor taught anymore. Focus on the correct generation.

From toddler age we need to learn how to love an animal, that they have feelings, that they can turn a bad day into a better day, that they actually understand our language and can give so much back to us and make us better human beings, that they can eliminate our loneliness when we get older and our kids and grandkids abandon us.

So: if your parent didn’t teach you to love an animal,  you can learn this by education, and pass it on. Start in peuterschool, continue the education through kleuterschool, then basisschool, and onwards. Human compassion towards animals should be highlighted many times throughout our youths: handouts, kleurplaatjes, bring-your-animal-to-school day, write a poem about your pet, celebrate Dierendag, study cultures that worship animals and find out WHY, let the K9 unit come 10 times a schoolyear to show how intelligent dogs are. And of course, as an important aside, ALSO teach about spaying and neutering. But focus mainly on the former rather than only on the latter. So that later these kids become a sweeter more loving human being.

Open up your Dog Restaurant; your Crazy Cat Lady Café, get an office dog (I know one local business owner that has the most cordial office dog that greets visitors with polite kisses, and is adored by the staff). Offer dogs a treat at the fast food drive through. Call me crazy but Bopsi gets her own McChicken tenders, and her own mini softie at Ritz. And for Christ sake adopt a mutt before choosing for a pesky  designer dog that is made in a lab and often has health issues that it suffers a lifetime with.


Can we start educating the younger generation now?


One last thing: that quote from Ghandi, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. We should be ashamed of ourselves as Arubians!  We are a disgraceful example.


Written by a 100% Arubiano



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March 23, 2023
Rona Coster