Monday, August 29, 2011
Learning when to say no to an animal... When I saw the animal control truck, I was immediately depressed. It was not good news...the animal control truck never is. It had been a trying day at work, our kennels and crates were overloaded, and I knew he had another dog needing rescue. I also knew that if I did not take it, its life would be ended with a piece of lead sent screaming through its brain.
After the usual greetings, he informed me that he had a puppy in the crate. It had a run in with a porcupine and the owners did not want a vet bill so they asked if he could "put it down".
When I opened the back of the camper shell, I was immediately struck by the overwhelming odor of decaying blood. After taking a moment, I glanced at the puppy. I did not at first recognize it as a puppy. The quills were so thick it more closely resembled a porcupine. Looking closer, I could see that the quills had penetrated the eyes and a large number were in its mouth. On top of the quill injuries, it had what appeared to be a badly broken leg.
My heart sank as I quickly wondered how we would pay for yet another vet bill, where we would keep yet another dog, how much more our distant neighbors would complain, and, most important, would it be a kinder act to put it down than ask it to go through all of the pain that its rescue would put it through? I had never seen a puppy in such severe shape. I was sadly pondering this little girls' fate when she slowly looked up at me with the one eye that she could still open....and wagged her tail. I don't claim to speak to dogs but I do know that for one moment in my life I clearly heard her, "Jim, I don't want to die...please help me?"
Someday I may be forced to find the words to say no but for her I said yes. The space, the money, the neighbors...these are merely things to work around. We and the animals only have one life...this is what is important...