While I hadn't planned to write a blog entry until later this weekend (as I'm taking a brief break from NaNoWriMo tonight and possibly tomorrow), an item in my Facebook stream caught my eye. The main item was from a friend expressing frustration over how some gamers can be so inhuman... That in itself is a story and discussion in itself. What caught my eye was a response from one of his fellow designers expressing anger and disgust over an incident which hit close to home:
"A couple of days ago, Jasper, my neighbor's dog, one of my best friends with my boys... was roped by a man, dragged away and shot dead because he was deemed an annoyance. I just learned about it this morning.
"(Update: The RCMP was contacted and though there were witnesses to Jasper's roping, there were none for his shooting. No witnesses, no arrest. Sigh. But read on.)
"You've seen me post about Oafy the Chaos Muppet before. I'm brainstorming about a way to make Jasper a staple, a recurring aid or NPC, to the HSD and the Marmoreal Tomb. An icon along with Oafy, something that is awesome for the game, and respectful of who this awesome dog was in life.It's no secret to my friends and family that I'm an animal lover. I grew up on a farm with a dog and countless farm cats over the years, and, despite my allergies, will not hesitate to play with a person's pet if they allow it. My wife, who is also allergic to animal dander, is just as much an animal lover as I. Both of us have a burning hatred of animal abusers.
"I also call on whoever would be inspired by this to go ahead and post stuff about Jasper, use his memory as a way to channel your love of all our furry friends, and create awesome stuff for the game. Go ahead.
"Stay tuned. For Jasper."
I never knew Jasper, nor do I personally know the person who posted this sad news. At the same time, I have no connection to or experience with the Hobby Shop Dungeon (HSD) or the poster's project. However, I have known the love of several loyal dogs, all of whom I know would have laid down their lives for me. Despite batting 1 for 3 in that respect, I'm going to write some things in the vein suggested by the poster this weekend for one or more systems under the banner of Project Jasper.
Whether or not you know the poster personally; whether or not you have adventured in the Hobby Shop Dungeon or have contributed to the Kickstarter; if you love animals, I encourage you to spread the word and post something for Jasper on your favorite forum or your own blog. If you can spare the money, buy and donate supplies and toys to an animal shelter or humane society near you. Better yet, if you can spare the time, volunteer there. Both you and the animals will be glad you did. I'm sure Jasper would be glad too.