Through the Eyes of Lennox, the Imprisoned
Imprisoned…locked up, jailed, incarcerated, behind bars, captive, caged, put away, detained, interned, confined, trapped, shut in, etc., etc., etc….
Whatever the word used, this author’s writing is in honor in memory of Lennox. I am afraid that on July 11, 2012, this “bully breed” dog was sentenced to die in Belfast, Northern Ireland because of his breed.
I know now, because of a recent incident in my own life, that the worst for Lennox was not that he was killed, but that he was shut behind bars and kept from the love of his family. His family’s home was his lifeline to any quality of real life.
It doesn’t matter how far you are away or how close in proximity to this tragic event. There are others in your own life that are your love vessel. If there is a wall; a break in the ability to know that love, it is torturous.
It is not simply the care of having a shelter, food and water that a creature needs. Both human and animal, it is the sheer “knowing in your knower” that you are known and acknowledged for your existence and given some physical and emotional touch by someone who genuinely cares, and loves. That is what makes life worth living and where someone or something can truly thrive.
No wonder our prison systems are failing at miserable rates. All of the physical checkpoints- requirements that must be “met” are in no way meant to rehabilitate or rejoin someone into a productive and fulfilled life. There is no purpose in there other than pure animal survival…. the idea of health encompasses the body, soul, mind and spirit.
If a system fails to see this and continues to treat it’s incarcerated beings in a manner that (while meeting “basic needs”) ignores the innate requirement for all creatures to need some connection in body and soul as well as the physical, it will continue to fail.
I am certain now in the later season of my life that the sad truth is that those who serve, the very enforcement officers of our law, do not in fact, strive for the true betterment of those that they are serving. One would hope to have humane treatment at their core basis of being… too much to ask? The truth is that many have the attitude in both animal shelters and human shelters alike, that the ones they are paid to serve are not worthy of the lowest considerations of being acknowledged as valuable, or due any of life’s small kindnesses.
Shelters are cold and unfeeling and not working for a solution or alternative that could truly rehabilitate or produce positive results. Simply keeping one alive is counter productive. While the body lives, the soul and the spirit are left to die. Many will become more bitter, scared and removed from the very desire to be productive within the sterile walls of a prison added to the fact that most of the basic care is given by someone unfeeling and possibly even guilty of the ability to be abusive.
All prisons, while necessary for some that are truly dangerous to society and MUST be set apart for the safety of the community, should be re-evaluated. Much like Temple Grandin has done so much explosive work to change the environment of and the practices in the slaughter industry, so too should the industry of incarceration be looked upon again by high minded and solution driven people who could indeed come up with a better solution to help those that are “locked up” for self perpetrated or “other’s” induced reasons.
In dear Lennox’s case he was taken away from those who loved him and shut away in a system that could not or would not allow themselves to see his true value. I am sad to report that this is true in so many other cases as well. In the animal arena, most are there due to humans that simply didn’t see the worth of a living, breathing, feeling being and they are being killed by the millions. You heard correctly, I did NOT say euthanized. This is happening in shelters/prisons, every year. The very definition of euthanasia is “to kill an incurably ill or injured person or animal to relieve suffering – to stop suffering”.
Most suffering of animals is human perpetrated. And quite frankly, if you knew the practices of most shelters, the procedure is anything but humane by anyone’s standards.
Lennox had a right to life. The Irish family that was his and the world at large pled for his pardon and return to that family. The powers that were in charge of his life chose to ignore his right to exist and be known and loved.
That is one of the saddest things I have ever had to ponder.
And as things would be, when I contemplate all of the unjust incarceration, especially in the animal community, I felt a strange communion with Paul and Jesus that gives me great peace. It is the only hope that I have that by some divine miracle, a group would raise up to truly change this; that we would choose humane human beings who are in control of those behind bars. That they could treat others kindly and with respect and the goal would be the outcome of life, a life worth having and living.
If we continue to live as a gluttonous society that chooses to feed the physical need beyond measure and ignore the soul, mind and spirit, I fear that while we are all standing around talking about how unhappy we are with politics, government, and the general state of the economy we are self actualizing. The very fabric of what holds us together as a working group of creatures will continue to decline to a place of no return.
I am thankful though, for the spirit that lives within me, that is stronger than that spirit of fear, that there is a hope that love is indeed higher. I will end on that note, since my strongest belief is that if love would have been the goal, Lennox would be alive and being loved today.
Good bye sweet dear boy. Love NEVER loses hope, and we will see you again, one day…
If you are not familiar with BSL (breed specific legislation) please continue your research of this horrific topic so that you too can be a force who will spark a change in this world.