Like a dog that has been kicked and beaten all its life, I am approaching her with a wariness that was never there before. She's successfully made me cry three weeks in a row now. She's somehow reached into the deepest part of me and broken my heart with nothing more than her clenched fist. And just when I thought it couldn't hurt anymore, it does. This is fathomless pain, the kind of pain that breaks your spirit, breaks your will, sucks the energy right out of you.
Like a dog that has been kicked and beaten all its life, there is an anger stirring inside, a wild rage that could make it unpredictable and bite because it is hurt, and scared.
Like a dog that has been kicked and beaten all its life, all it ever knows is more of the same. And it expects to be kicked and beaten.
But sometimes, on occasion, this dog gets conned. Because it is drawn inevitably to humans who smile and offer little treats - a gentle pet, a friendly rub of its belly. It knows how good it could feel, it is simply starving for it and for that one terrible moment, it drops its guard and makes itself vulnerable. It does not see the chain being held by the human's other hand. It does not see the blow when it comes. And the stinging pain that suddenly explodes into its consciousness is almost enough to kill it. But it isn't lucky enough to be killed. At least not yet.
It is nothing more than a stray dog anyway. It will be beaten and kicked and would never find a home because inside, it is a wild dog, a dog that was never house broken, never taught to fetch, never taught to play nice with the baby, or the kitten. It would always carry that potential for danger because it is savage. And it WILL devour the baby or the kitten because it only knows things instinctively and knows nothing about connections, or love, or play.
It is a stray, savage beast that needs to be put down.