"I Have a Dream" is a 17-minute public speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered on August 28, 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States. Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
These are excerpts from that great speech. Times have changed and we are seeing a new day of acceptance and brotherly love for our fellow man regardless of skin color, heritage, or religion.
Then we look at the progress that has taken many steps back for dogs in our great land of freedom. Dogs who are hated simply because of the way they look. There are always stories in the news of the pit bull who attacked and ravaged its victim but there are also stories of the pit bull who saved someone. Guess which ones get the most hype and attention? The frightening stories have led to bans in many cities and towns ripping these beloved pets from their crushed owners.
Lennox, although living in Ireland, became the universal poster dog for something gone terribly wrong. A five year old dog who never harmed anyone or anything was taken from his family to be locked away from the world. Why? The ONLY reason was because, even though he was a bulldog/lab mix, he looked like a pit bull which are banned. He was mistreated as over time he fell into bad health, he was isolated as he was denied any contact with loved ones, he was prodded to attack as he repeatedly tried to show forgiveness with his body language.
For two years people from all over the world came together to fight for him to no avail. The government in charge claimed the then seven year old dog was destroyed as intended while many believe he died some time earlier under their watch. Was it illness? Was he beaten down? Did he succumb to a broken heart? All questions that we will never have answers.
How many dogs have, and will, face this unwarranted hatred simply because of the way they look? Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is a law that bans or restricts certain types of dogs based only on their appearance because they are perceived as “dangerous” breeds or types of dogs. Do you live in the Untied States and want to know if your dog is affected by this discrimination? Find out here. BSL is slowly seeping into our society eroding the very foundation in which dogs were created and surely must be stopped.
The other evil? The number of animals being euthanized in our country's shelters. The dogs nobody wants, the dogs that are too sick, the dogs that are too expensive to shelter, the reasons go on and on. I cry for these dogs as well because I don't understand the problem. It breaks my heart to think how many wonderful, loving dogs never get that second chance but instead leave the shelter through the back door in plastic garbage bags.
Two of our fosters, Gracie (Sophia) and Odie (Dobby), were pulled from shelters within hours of being euthanized which is a fancy word for murdered. Both of these dogs are now healthy, happy dogs living with families who love them so much. Apparently, they WERE wanted!
Today I also have a dream. One day I pray my dream will become a reality.