The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 8, 2013

Our View: Happy endings

The Joplin Globe

— We’ve all heard the expression “the world’s going to the dogs.” Maybe, on further reflection, that’s for the best.

Sunday’s edition carried a story about a 6-year-old Seneca boy who wandered away from his home and was lost for several hours. As the sun set, the temperatures dipped into the 20s. When rescuers found him, he was being kept warm by his two dogs.

On today’s front page, you will find the story of a happy reunion between a heart transplant patient and her young boxer, which had been training as a service dog. The dog had gone missing since Jan. 1. Thanks to the far reach of social media, Laila was spotted and was welcomed by her happy owner. The tasks Laila is learning as a service dog make her far more than just companion.

Both of these stories — especially the story about the lost boy — touched the hearts of our readers, many who praised the dogs that stayed by the child. Others recognized the loss the owner would have suffered if the service dog had not been found.

Pets have long been recognized as an important part of humankind’s world. Yet we have shelters full of unwanted animals.

As you read both of these stories, take stock of the need to spay or neuter and to keep your pets safe and out of harm’s way.

The tremendous impact animals have on our lives and the joy they give us should be rewarded by responsible ownership.

Please do your part.