Something fairly terrible happened today. I’ve mentioned before that the mostly Pit Bull dog that belongs to my neighbors’ guests was acting lethargic. When they came to stay, I was frightened. My previous neighbor had a Rottweiler. They say that these dogs can be kindly if well cared-for, but she didn’t have a care. My elderly neighbor and I ended up building a pen for the Rottie to try to make his life easier, even when my neighbor had a restraining order against me (long story, best left for another day).
Earlier today, I was speaking to my neighbor’s wife (technically my neighbor) and her guests. I asked after the dog, who was lying next to the fence, covered in flies. They said the dog had “parvo”–Canine parvovirus. They said they didn’t have the $70 the vet demanded to put the dog down. They said they might have it by Monday. I forgot it was Saturday, since I don’t work, and tried to call the vet a few times. The old man and I raised the $70 but the vet wouldn’t answer the phone.
I know this is going to sound horrible to a number of people, not the least of whom is me. I’m not doing well. The old man and I agreed the dog needed to be shot. The boy said he didn’t have a gun (thankfully, I think). They agreed to have him shot, but they wouldn’t help. I went and got a (rather nice) fleece blanket and wrapped the dog in it. The old man came walking down the sidewalk with a rifle. I picked up the dog and carried him to the neighbors’ backyard. I told him that he would be happier and that he was a good animal and a lovely person. The whole way, his body dripped blood from his anus onto my shorts and legs.
One thing that people who know me know is that I am not a brave person. They probably also know that I care for animals more than for most people. The dog was fairly heavy for a small dog. As I have said before, he is part Pit Bull. His body was still strong, even though this fucking virus had been killing him for quite some time. Thinking back on it now, I am glad that I was able to be courageous enough to let him hear some kind words before he died. I do not say that in any way to make myself seem good or particularly nice. I just feel that he deserved it and his piss-coward owners wouldn’t do it.
The old man shot the dog once through the heart. He died immediately. Then the old man and I started digging the grave next to an old wild rose. The owners cried but were too lazy to help us. When we finished, we lowered the dog down and the male owner covered him with dirt and I threw some and then gave the female owner a handful and told her to toss it on him. She did. I hugged her.
I came home and threw a god-damned fit. After the fit, I took two Ambien and went to sleep. Fortunately, The Lesbian texted me and woke me around 10 pm and I let Baby Cat inside. I shouted a bit at her for waking me up with text messages. But I needed waking up. I just didn’t need to remember my The Yearling-like day. I saw that film one day at a repertory theater. My brother is named for the character of the boy. I called my mother and cried for awhile. She said we were right to have done what we did and that it was wrong that we had to do it.
I’m not lying when I say that I don’t think this day is going to leave my consciousness any time soon. I’m not sure there is enough booze on earth and so forth.
Please be kind to your pets. Scrounge up the money when they are sick, even if it means selling your god-awful fucking car.
Nah, it’s Beth Orton, my go-to girl. How music sustains, yeah?