Nestled away in a suburban part of Leigh, sits a Park, known to everyone as Lilford. Here you take your children to play, make friends, eat ice cream and simply return home muddier than when you arrived.
As you walk into the park you get a sense of safety, tranquillity and feel at ease with Nature. Lilford is the platform that gives nature life. It attracts beautiful birds, insects which are naked to the eye. Trees are beginning to blossom, show colour and give scent into the air.
Families arrive in groups with smiles on their faces, dogs on their leads and children darting to the play area to take flight on the swings and make castles in the sand. It's the perfect scene set for a wonderful day.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath in. Inhale the sweet scent of flowers. Listen to the children laughing and the dogs barking. Now begin to imagine yourself walking deep into the woods. The sound of bark cracking under your feet, the leaves falling gently onto your shoulders. Your happy, and at peace with ones self.
Now open your eyes, you see a trickling stream in front of you. You squint your eyes as the sun glares down. You notice an odd shape laying still. All of a sudden, that content feeling drains and a sense of dread takes over. Confused and panicked you move slowly to the stilled object. Hairs begin to stand on your skin and your heart begins to crush your chest.
Now imagine yourself as a devout dog lover. A descent of darkness creeps in. You see lying there a once beautiful animal, that craved love and attention. It was born into a world full of evil villains, who roam the earth, taking away such precious life.
You see its innocent body covered in cuts and blood. You see its eyes filled with fear. You take a closer look and see a broken, lifeless body. Immediately you want to help. You rush into the stream and pull this innocent animal out from where it lay.
What you see, will leave an imprint on your memory forever. Now, let me take you back to before this life was sadly taken.
With social media being the primary news gatherer, there is nothing that doesn't get posted on Facebook and Twitter that pushes boundaries of what people would like to see on their wall. I've read some terrible stories on social media that have shook me to my core. What disgusts me more lately, is the amount of videos that thugs are filming on their phones for attention and likes in respect of hurting innocent animals. We have seen boys (and I use the word boys lightly) throwing dogs down stairs, woman burying dogs up to their necks and leaving them to die.
But you need to hear this, the story I'm about to tell you will engrave into your mind. It leaves a lasting ache in your stomach. There once was a beautiful little Bull Mastiff cross called Roxy. Roxy was born innocent. Roxy's life hung on the edge of a precipice and was gruesomely forced over the edge. She asked for nothing, but the love and affection of a human being. Roxy was treated like a slave. A slave to create life. Life after life she created whilst her poor fragile body was abused. The puppies she bore, would immediately be taken away. A mother who lost her babies was brutally beaten.
This takes me to my first question..... Are we human? What human being would actually do this to an innocent animal? What human being could ever imagine hurting such an innocent animal? The fact that in 2016, animals are the victims of abuse absolutely terrifies me. What was going through the mind of Roxy's killer? Clearly the biggest indication is the fact he or she must be severely unstable and may have suffered neglect and abuse from being a child. Psychology suggests that, what should we make of such wanton cruelty in children? Is this a childish prank or sign of deep-seated psychopathology that will someday erupt into far worse violence against people and in this case animals. But why do some people and not others pull the wings off butterflies, toss firecrackers at cats, and shoot the neighbours’ dogs with BB guns? Two recent studies shed light on this question. Both of them explore the relationship between animal abuse and a configuration of psychological traits called “The Dark Triad.”
So ask yourself this..... Why do humans think they can get away without any forgiveness or regret of taking a precious life?
Secondly we have all heard of the phrase " A Man's Best Friend" well lets change this to "A Dogs Best Friend" that's what it should be. A dog offers more than just company. They give you a heart filled with love. They are your missing piece of a Jigsaw puzzle. They are defenceless, they can't nip to the supermarket to get their food, they can't open the door to allow themselves to go out in the garden. It's down to the owner, the 'parent' to do this for them. So who's the best friend here? Its human and not the dog.
Why is it that every time I open a news paper or turn on the news, you hear a story about humans killing them? They can not answer you back, they don't cause any unnecessary trouble. We can not blame any dog, only their owner. This may be too close to the bone, but take ill behaved children. Who do you look at first? You look at their parents and determine who severe of an upbringing they have had. Parents have a duty to allow their children to understand social ethics. It's the Nature vs Nurture Syndrome.
Now we have answered this. Imagine yourself as the distraught person who found Roxy. It's a Butterfly effect. Every ripple of a Butterfly's wing could possibly cause an Earthquake in Japan. In laymen's terms, this killers actions set of a chain of events that will eventually seek justice.
A small Charity called Neutering4paws have made several attempts to save Roxy's life but unfortunately she wasn't found in time. Roxy was lead to her death by some callus individual. Neutering4paws hit the local headlines due to their amazing work. They work along side people who suffer from mental and physical illnesses who own dogs. They take the dogs away and neuter them for the owner. The lady who runs the Charity has such fighting spirit. She wants Roxy's killer found and sent to prison where they belong.
On a Wet and cold Saturday evening, a vigil was held at Lilford, to pay respect to Roxy. Each supporter brought their four legged babies, along with beautiful flowers to lay where Roxy was found. Gathered at the main gates, the supporters were given a detailed story behind poor Roxy's unfortunate death You could feel the emotion from each person who attended.
Taken to the spot, you can visualise the disgusting crime that was committed here. There was an eerie atmosphere in the air. Everyone all became personally involved. Every dog owner keeping an extra eye on there four legged friend.
A rainbow of colour flew into the stream. An array of flowers scattered the mud. Ironic, that this,is the place where Roxy died leaving behind a legacy of hate, eventually turned into a beautiful stream of colour.
Even the four legged friends had a distinction about them. It was such a sad place to be. To think that people, so evil, are allowed to roam free in the world without the thought, or care of getting caught. This killer has nowhere to hide. He or She WILL be caught. If it's not now, then it will happen soon. I'm a strong believer of Karma. Eventually it will come and get them. And god help the person when it does.
Animals are not designed to be aggressive, they are not designed to be nasty. Sadly, we can not rid the world of this evil. As we are aware, this happens across the globe. We see it day in and day out across Social Media. So how do we unite and put an end to it?
If you want to help or know more about this amazing charity please visit Neutering4paws on Facebook.
You need to cherish your babies and keep them close. You need to give them unconditional love, like they give you. The don't expect, they just need. Roxy was taken for no reason other than an evil sport. We need to shine this into the sky, so the world can see. We need to ensure that all animals are treated as "mans best friend".
J. C Usher.