I am a Mutt
I went to the shelter again today. Got paw prints, drools, and fur all over me. Definitely howlin’ good times.
There was Bonny, this cute little mutt who was found digging for food on pile of garbage before she was rescued and taken to the shelter. Her mix-breed appearance and the fact that she’s not a baby puppy anymore make it less easy for us to find her a sincere and loving family who would take her home and accept her and love her for who she is – a gentle, sweet, calm, loving dog.
Bonny was just one among so many other examples where people still prefer to adopt stray golden retreivers, stray labradors, stray chihuahuas, and other pure breeds compare to these mutts. I have nothing against people having their own personal taste – specifically in terms of adopting strays. But the differences in numbers are just too overwhelming between the success rates of mutts being adopted compare to pure-breeds being adopted. We even have people who contacted us saying that they wanted to be informed when a specific breed is available for adoption. As if being a mutt – being different than what society prefers as a standard of beauty – is a sin.
I know I’ve said to people that one of the reason why I’m so passionate about being active in dogs’ rights activities is because somehow I feel them. But I think tonight I realized that another reason why I am such an advocate for mix-breeds and mutts is because I was one of them.
I remembered back in elementary school I was that kid who always got picked on. I was the one who got labeled as a geek. Not because I was the smartest one but because I looked like a geek, or so they said. I had these thick glasses, I was fat, and I had this ugly thick bangs that fell right above my eyebrows. I was Ugly Betty in real life.
Back then school was like torture. I wanted so bad for friends to accept me. To include me into their little circles. I wanted them to ask me to sit beside them at lunch, to ask me to join them in games during recess time. But most of the time, they made fun of me and only talked to me when they wanted to use me for something. I was so depressed that I started to have physical illness like migraines and vomiting out of it. I just wanted to fit in. I just wanted to be accepted. I would pray at night with my child-like mind and wished that I could wake up with better eyes so I didnt have to wear glasses anymore, to be thinner so they would stop ignoring me, to be smarter so that they would ask for cheats from me – cause at least if they asked for cheats they would have to talk to me, right?
So that’s why I volunteered most of my time with these dogs, trying to be their voice. I understand how they must feel. I feel their pain of rejection every time someone passes them in favor for the tall blonde golden retriever in the next cage. I feel their frustration of why doesn’t anyone wanna have them??
And then I began to wonder, why do I have all these tattoos on me? Why have I grown into a sassy-borderline-bitchy person? Do I have tattoos on me because I feel I am a part of those individuals who refuse to conform to what society thinks we should be? Or because I’m using tattoos to mask the gaping wound underneath and as a costume to hide a weak little girl inside?
I walk around with a I-could-care-less-what-you-think kind of attitude but I cant like to myself that it does affect me. Maybe I have psychological issues that made me overly sensitive. I see these dogs and I see me. I see how I was treated and how sucks it is to be looked over coz they think you’re not pretty enough. It still takes me back to those days at school when I hear questions about how I look, the same pain and rejection as that 10-year old me. Maybe I’m just vain. But I was once those mutts. I still am.