- Critters Galore and so much More.......
- Greetings and Welcome to http://www.crittersgaloreandsomuchmore.blogspot.com/ and also http://www.gardeneroflight.blogspot.com/ From these spaces I want to share my love of animals and Nature and Life in general. So here you will find stories, information, reminiscences, an occasional bit of advice and a recipe or two. Please check them both out!!!
Monday, September 17, 2012
I Need To Bring This Memory Out Into The Sunlight.
Its the dawning of a new day.... and my desire to start a major Fall house cleaning has made me realize its time to write about a certain dog. I'll post her photo at a later date. Today I know I need to focus on the story itself. The events that happened back then were the reason I stepped away from helping with canine rescue and fostering. Nowadays I just don't have the resources or the time needed.
Anyway, I used to help out a little at one of the local groups that had a spay-neuter program. And, of course, they wound up doing rescue too. Even though it wasn't part of their plan. (I got Rory and Ahulee from 'M' too.) But back to the story, one stray dog that was brought to their attention proved to be a real vexation for the would-be rescuers. She just wouldn't let anyone near her. They tried in all kinds of weather, under all circumstances, with no success. Finally I offered to give it a try. So I was directed to Scheer Industrial park, to look for a pregnant Dalmation mix. I drove out, asked a shop owner if they knew the best place to look, and proceeded to find her with great ease. Went right up to her with dog treats in my hand. She started wagging her tail and let me put a collar and leash on her with no resistance. Then she walked slowly, but very nicely, back to my van. When I opened the side door, she looked in, then climbed on up and laid down. I decided to name her Scheera.
I drove her over to the agreed upon vet, who promptly refused to take her in. Even though he knew she was pregnant, he obviously hadn't thought the details through very well. So after 'M' and the vet stopped yelling and screaming at each other over the phone, I was asked if I could possibly take her home until 'M' could find another vet that would be willing to help. Of course I said "yes", knowing darn well that my dog Rory would NOT like that at all!!!!!
To shorten a long story, Scheera stayed almost a week. Quiet, gentle and very patient. On the day of her new appointment, I drove up to the next county and left her at the office so they could do a complete work-up as time allowed them to. They said to plan on picking her up late that afternoon. So I went home and put together a nice "maternity room" for her in my little art studio.
About three o'clock I got a tearful call from 'M'.... all I heard were bits and pieces... she was sooooo sorry!... they just didn't have the funds for that.... heartworm positive.... not enough money... she'd have to be put down.... to end her suffering, etc. I finally broke in and said I'd take her to my vet and see what he could do. There are other options here. I can medicate her at home for heartworm, just need to check when, because of the pregnancy. All I heard through the phone was TOTAL SILENCE. She was all ready dead.
Once I gathered the pieces of my composure back together enough so that I could speak in a civil tone, I said I wanted to go up and get her body. So I could bury her here on my property. So she'd have a final resting place. If for no other reason, than to show that she was LOVED. 'M' told me "no", that the paperwork had been signed and faxed. Her remains had been signed over like some nameless item. I was in shock. That she and her unborn pups were gone. That it was so cut and dried and callus as Hell! I can't count how many times I looked back on that day and wished I'd gone anyway. Perhaps the people at the vet's office would have been more understanding and kind. But its like they say, "Hindsight is 20-20".
This all happened over ten years ago, but I'm sitting here crying my eyes out as I write about it. I can't even remember the details of what my vet told me when I asked him later about what could have been done. As for having options for her care, his answer had been "yes". I don't remember if it entailed the mom or the pups or both having a chance. I've tried so hard over the years to NOT REMEMBER.
I regret that I didn't know what to do. I regret not being more aggressive in protecting her. She trusted me. And I let her down. My main mistake was trusting other humans to take good care of her. Thats what they were supposed to do. But they chose money over her life. Make that plural... money over all their lives. They couldn't or wouldn't be bothered to take that extra step. Take time and search for other options.
Looking back, that was one of those pivotal moments in my existence. I was too shattered by it then to realize how much it would help me later on. Trust your gut. Be careful of your 'reaction' to events. Always look for options. I know sometimes you can't find any.... but make sure you look first! Avoid that trap of "what if..?". Because its a steel leg trap, and you might have to gnaw off a limb to get out of it alive!
So you want to know if Scheera still haunts me? Well, I still tear up and cry. And the regret still lingers a bit. But I know that some things are meant to happen because I'm meant to learn from them. And I have, even though it was a heartrending lesson. When I think of her I still see that pretty face of hers. With one blue eye and one brown, and her soft little dog smile. I can even feel her lean up against me sometimes. And while I cry, I'm reassured because all their Souls live on. And though my time with her was brief... she was a great teacher for me. I was BLESSED by her presence. And I am so THANKFUL that she touched my Spirit with such GRACE.
To Scheera and her unborn puppies, I thank you for helping me become a better person, and opening my heart.