It's been a tough week for a few dogs in Kamloops.
On Christmas Day, an RCMP officer shot a Lab-Pitbull cross which appeared to be defending his family when police responded to a call that a woman at the house was wielding an axe. Askim survived, but was taken to the City pound and labelled as potentially aggressive.
On Boxing Day, a tracking dog named Bust was killed after he helped hunt down a cougar that was getting too close to homes in the Tranquille Valley
Just a few days ago, Wendy Brulotte was driving on the Halston bridge in the dark of night when she found a black Lab lying on the road in a pool of blood.
Disregarding the mess it would create in her car, she got the dog into her vehicle and took him home where she called for help. She drove the dog to the vet on call, and bylaws and the SPCA took care of the rest.
She's been told the dog will be OK, but her faith in humanity - that someone would hit a dog and leave it on the road to die in the dark and cold - was left damaged.
Two of these dogs were hurt or killed defending humans. One was hurt by a human.
All three cases serve as reminders that we have an obligation to take care, not just of ourselves, but of all the creatures we include in our lives. Man's - and woman's - best friend deserves better than to be left to die alone on a road.
One of Mahatma Gandhi's famous quotes puts it in perspective: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
So as we start a new year, let's remember our compassion - for other humans, but also for the other animals we include in our lives. And let's be grateful to people like Brulotte, who obviously puts compassion first.
© Kamloops Daily News