This Loving Soul on His 10th Birthday Today!
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

FROM Seba Johnson
Facebook post, August 18, 2021

Here's to the next 10 years of your life. Love you dearly...

Langston Dog

This loving soul on his 10th #BIRTHDAY today! (I share a version of the following story every year.)

I met him as a three-month-old puppy in an animal shelter in the San Fernando Valley 10 Novembers ago. He was leaning against the brick wall while all the other puppies were wagging their tails vying for our attention. He looked disheveled, as if he had already given up on life. I smiled, for I thought, I have finally found the very first doggy who would become a part of my life. It was HE who I asked to see a bit closer.

Langston Dog

In a private room I looked down at his curled up body resembling an armadillo and gently placed him on the floor next to my feet. He sat. In order to get a better view of what he looked like actually standing on his own, I walked away so I could see him from across the room. By the time I took my last step and turned to see him, he was already standing right next to my feet. I knew he was the one. As he sat with a pensive glare from his eyes, his name was solidified. He would become Langston, as in Langston Hughes.

Since that day he has enjoyed many sunsets over the Pacific Ocean, the mountains of Palm Springs and Lake Tahoe, and experienced thunder storms of the east coast. He was the first dog in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC, where he saw his momma's Olympic skis and experienced the Grand Opening Ceremony from the VIP section.

Langston Dog

He has trotted along (and ridden in my doggy backpack) many miles of hiking trails, watched the tides roll in on the beaches of New England’s Seacoast, and cuddle in the arms of someone who knows he has saved the life of. As little Langston greets each morning with a startling bark that jolts me out of my sleep (alerting the presence of birds and a lone squirrel tussling with the bird feeder suction cupped to the kitchen window) I wish for him and all animals a more beautiful place in which to live. May we as people eventually learn to live from the heart and protect the animals of Earth.

In some northern parts of the world today, Siberia specifically, this is the hottest and driest summer on record. With 10 times more fires than usual, smoke is hitting the North Pole for the first time in history. As the world continues to reel from ongoing heatwaves, flooding and wildfires (in the US, Russia, Greece, Italy, Algeria, Turkey and Canada), a recent report from the United Nations said climate change has been "unequivocally" caused by human activity—and warned that some damage already done is "irreversible."

Langston Dog

The vegan in you, Langston, having never consumed a cow, pig nor chicken, knows that much of the climate crisis/destruction is caused by the unnecessary (ab)use of animals sadly raised to be eaten.

Little Langston, THANK YOU for being born. I shall always love the way you steal my flip flops at the end of our walks. Because of you, I haven't had to take my own socks off once on entering the house, ever since you as a little puppy finagled a way to do it as soon as my foot comes out of a shoe. Your feisty growls caused by the love of food and treats are like music to my ears.

Here's to the next 10 years of your life. Love you dearly...


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