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The Incredible Recovery of Andre the Dog

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The Incredible Recovery of Andre the Dog

I am a rather emotional individual who wears her heart on her shirt sleeve, so I often avoid reading news articles that wail about the worst of humanity. But with the headline “The incredible recovery of Andre the dog: The brave pooch used as target practice found with eyes gouged out and left for dead has a new family,” I knew the horror of this dog’s recent journey would have a happy ending.  So, I clicked on the article and braced myself for another story detailing man’s unbelievable cruelty to animals.

But I did not brace myself enough….the story of Andre was gut-wrenching, tear-spilling and utterly nauseating – so much so, I almost vomited on my keyboard.  I do not wish to recount the details beyond the headline, but if you must read this horrifying story yourself, you can find the full article at the Daily Mail. Be prepared to weep. So, why then do I repost Andre’s horrific story? First and foremost, it does have a happy ending and I am all about happy endings. Yet, it wasn’t the happy ending, but the comments following the article, that inspired me to write this post. Here are a few of the comments:

“Please find the beasts who committed these heinous crimes and execute them.”

“I hope the despicable human who caused this poor animal’s suffering rots in hell. But first, I’d like to shoot their eyes out.”

“Whoever did this you have a one-way ticket to hell.”

“This is horrible. Absolutely horrible. If only we could inflict the same pain to those responsible for this terrible act of cruelty.”

While I appreciate the readers’ comments, not to mention the intense anger directed at the person responsible for such heinous acts, I find my modest Buddhist training emerging and compassion within my broken heart taking flight.

Wait a minute,  c-o-m-p-a-s-s-i-o-n? Seriously?

Yes, compassion, seriously.

Whoever did this to Andre clearly is already rotting in his (or her, but more likely his) personal hell.

A normal person, by definition, would not, could not, inflict such pain on another innocent being. To do so, the individual is either truly a psychopath (having a complete lack of empathy, among other serious anti-social pathologies) or is bursting from their own searing pain within. Either way, this person is not like the rest of us. Can we not extend the deep compassion we feel towards the innocent animal that was harmed, all the way to the person committing the crime, knowing that only a person with great internal wounds themselves could ever carry out such barbaric acts?

At some point, that person we condemn was also likely the innocent victim. Case in point: many child abuse victims will ironically express their intense suffering through cruelty towards house pets or other animals that can be easily controlled. These children often grow up and continue the cruelty as adults. Extending compassion for all who suffer does not excuse the perpetrator, who indeed must be held accountable and often removed from society, but it allows forgiveness — and isn’t forgiveness a healthier place for all of us to be?  An eye for an eye, after all, just makes the whole world blind. 

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.

246 comments

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9:51PM PDT on Mar 20, 2012

I want to kill abusers! They need to suffer the way they cause suffering. I can't wrap my mind around it to understand it.

7:04PM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

I could not read the previous story. This was enough to make me ill. I hope whoever did this has already suffered some pain and will continue to have more suffering in their life. If not physical suffering then emotional, financial more. I do not have compassion or forgiveness to this kind of creature.

11:47AM PDT on Mar 16, 2012

The author doesn't need to try to blame this persons acts on childhood abuse. I personally know several people (my husband and his brothers. who came from terrible homes and have never had a desire to harm an animal or person.. Give me a break it makes me sick to hear someone in a way make excuses for this type of behavior........ NO EXCUSE

11:55AM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Thank God it all ended well.

4:12PM PST on Feb 25, 2012

Awww... I am so glad Andre has his new forever home. He has a new sister to show him the ropes and looks so much better than when they found him. I think he is young enough to go on with his happy new life and not dwell on what happened in the past.

Now, me on the other hand, I believe in an eye for an eye. I would like to starve, shoot bebe's at, and gorge out the eyes of whoever did that to Andre. And I would make it a long and painful process.

What did that innocent puppy do to him that would make him inflict do much pain on that baby?

11:36AM PST on Feb 23, 2012

The Feathers Foundation has now raised $17,000. for Andre and he only needed $5,000. the rest will be used to help other pets in need.

11:34AM PST on Feb 23, 2012

I was in Phoenix for the weekend and read this on the plane home and wept. Thank all the amazing people who rescued this baby and the loving woman who is now her owner. You all rock.

4:05PM PST on Feb 22, 2012

Compassion for an animal or child abuser, sorry, not this one. Compassion for someone as inhumane as this is plain and simple misplaced compassion. Whatever the offender's background is no excuse for taking out their hate, rage, anger and sick behavior on another living being, human or animal.

5:40AM PST on Feb 22, 2012

Agree with Susan G. I can never find compassion to someone cruel.

4:18AM PST on Feb 22, 2012

I haven't read the full story. I take your point about compassion. My compassion would only go as far as humanely putting such people to sleep, forever. Any further compassion, I can not feel for them or extend. I just can't.

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