It's just a problem I have, Set. Can't cope at all when I see or hear about, or read of human cruelty to animals.
I cried as I hung up the phone. Jake my two year old collie had a terminal illness, hereditary kidney failure, and the veterinarian had recommended that I have him put down so that he wouldn't suffer. Jake had been a lifesaver to me and had became my constant companion. Now I had to tell my best friend good-bye.
I had to ask my neighbor to take him back to the veterinarian's office to be put down since I could not do it myself. I buried my face in his long fur, hugged him, and said the hardest words I had ever said. " Good-bye my friend till we meet again. I loved you as I will never love another." I put Jake's collar in my hand. I clenched it in my hand until it left an imprint in my palm. And so it began
The house was hollow and empty. No clink of license tags jingling on the collar like Jake had as he moved through the house. Bowls sat in the corner, never to be used again. I hoped I was dreaming but the collar in my clenched fist told me different.
About two months later a friend talked me into going to the local shelter to perhaps find a small dog that would help to fill the void that losing Jake had caused. It was almost dusk as I approached the driveway to the shelter. The headlights of the car painted a gloomy picture as the beans of light passed over the bleak cinder -block building, casting long shadows of gray.
From the inside of the small building come the sounds of barking, low at first, but the volume intensified as more dogs joined the chorus. I clenched Jake's collar more tightly in my hand, to remind myself that another dog could never have the love that I had given to Jake. That having this dog was my way of placating others so I could grieve alone.
I was determined with the purpose of getting a similar dog. As I reached each cage door and looked inside, I saw Jake's image staring at me. The tears started again as the empty feeling returned. I moved swiftly down the last row of cages, seeing nothing. Suddenly a familiar voice from the end of the building called my name, urging me to come quickly.
The scene before I left me spellbound. It was a young black and white collie, it was Jake. I know the name written in chalk said, "Sam", but I would know Jake anywhere. The dark eyes of liquid brown seemed to look all the way down into my soul. I actually think that this dog could tell how I was feeling and the emptiness I felt inside. As if on cue that loveable ball of fur turned, rose on his hind legs, and put a paw on my shoulders. Those soft pools of brown looked into mine and it was if the dog spoke. "I know you are hurting, but if you give me a chance I will heal that hurt and love you unconditionally for the rest of my days. Please take me home."
I petted that large head and buried my face in his neck fur, and then I unclenched my fist, took Jake's collar and put it over his head. I had found a place in my heart that was now filled again with love. I listen. The jingling starts. The bowls in the corner are again full, a reminder that love is a circle that never ends.
Nice story, Try. You are a good man.
It causes me horror that I deal calmly every day with stories of horror inflicted by human beings on children, and on each other, (I SO do not mean children are not human beings, but I can't think of how else to put it when I am so tired!) and yet I cannot bear to read about suffering inflicted upon animals.
Tryagain, that is one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read. Reading about the deep, true love some people have for their animal friends is more touching than almost anything I can think of.
Kind hearts like yours, make the world a place in which, just once in a while, life-giving hope can be found.
I was 20 years old and had just gotten my nursing license.
My first job was in a nursing home in a small town outside of lubbock. On a good day , if everyone had a visitor, this towns population may reach 700.
The nursing home was small and run down. About 25 residents, all older farmers, and 2 or 3 what we called.. -out of towners- lived there.
Up to this point, I had never set foot in a nursing home. I didnt completely understand the toll that alzheimers took on the human body. All I knew was the medical text behind the disease.
I went in expecting to have a dandy time with people. Listening to their life tales, stories of grandchildren, recipies for great chicken, bbq, salad dressing, talk of the inventions they have seen come into society..etc Maybe having to remind them what day it was, or where their room was, or other simple things. I had no clue what it was like and still to this day can not get over the baseball bat of reality nursing homes hit me with.
These people, all long time residents of the area, farmers of hundreds of thousands of acres, retired government officials, and everyones neighbors , just sat there. Drooling on themselves, screaming at unseen fears, soaking wet pants from thier own urine, and unable to remember their names - this was my welcome to my career. Mothers screaming at nurses because they have not seen their kids in days and dont know what happened to them. Kids who were in reality, long dead because these women were 90 years old and up.. were sitting there in their wheelchairs terrified that their kids were kidnapped, had run away, or fallen victim to someone they knew would hurt them.
Husbands crying for thier long dead wives because alzheimers robbed them of what ever closeure their funerals had given them years before. They sat, buckled to a wheel chair , reliving some of the horrible moments of their lives as if it just happened.
My job was to ease them. Remind them they were ok. Show them what was happening in their lives today, and remind them they are safe.
My job was to keep them clean. Noone asked to be in a diaper at 80 years old .
My job was to feed them. They cant do it, they dont remember how . Their brains were so lost to the disease that even the growl of hunger didnt register as a familiar need that deserved a reaction.
My job was to give them their medicine. They no longer remembered their heart problems, or how to watch their blood sugars, or anything else for that matter.
My job was to keep their families ( if any were even alive ) up to date on people they dumped, forgotten about, or were openly just waiting for them to die. On more then one occasion , ( way to many for me to feel the same about humans in general ) I was told that if I could just stop giving them their medicine, I would be saving their family money and keeping the inheritance at a ' nice level' for the family.
As dismal and heart breaking as it was, one nurse in particular struck a chord with me that I have never felt before. I doubt she has been hit as hard since then either.
She was " cleaning" a resident who had cancer in her bowels. On top of that , she had alzheimers. So even though her cancer would cause her to loose control of her bowels all day, several times a day, alzheimers robbed her of the ability to recognize what happened, or even ask for help, and she would continue about her day.
I came into her room to bring her her medicine.
The aide had her laying on her back and had her wash cloths next to the bed in a tub of water.
She was laughing at the resident so hard she didnt hear me open the door. I stood there and watched her raise her hand over the old womans head as if she was going to hit her. THe lady cowared away . This aide thought that was the funniest thing in the world. Doing it agin, i walked behind her and backhanded her across the face.
Long story short, I got the worst write up of my life. I almost lost my nursing license and was suspended from working for 6 months. I had gotten a misdemeanor charge of 'assult' wich , when presented to the judge in crosbyton, was dismissed with a 500 dollar city fee.
Presented with the same situation, i would hit harder.
I hesitate to tell this one.
My late boyfriend had served two terms in Vietnam and 17 years in law enforcement. I've heard numerous stories, horros, blood-splattered walls, dismembered bodies, trophies from serial killers decaying in storage units ... but this is the story that caused him the most pain.
He and is now ex-wife and children lived in the country and had too many cats. I don't know how many were too many. My guess is around 80.
One cat had a litter and it was up to him to dispose of the offspring.
He put the litter in a plastic bag and threw them in the river to drown them. But the water didn't seep through the plastic and he watched in horror as they struggled for air in that plastic bag floating on the river till all motion stilled.
Tryagain, your beautiful story brought tears to my eyes,
as I am sure, it did with anyone else who has lost an animal,
a true friend, before.
I too feel that our current "baby" Max (who is a rescue dog as well) is the reincarnation of an old dog I once had. He looks like
the old one, he acts like him and his entire disposition reminds
me so much of that old dog. I just hope Max stays as long
around as the old one did......
I appreciate all the contributions so far. I've been assailed elsewhere for "whining" that this not just about animals. I've been accused of taking no notice of someone's post. So, i'll amend my ways, and acknowledge the fine contributions others have made.
Dupre's post reminds me of why i have spoken of animals, their misery and my horror. I spent three years in the Army Medical Corps. So, i will mention the visions which i can summon in an instant, in all their lurid detail--i am thankful that they no longer come unbidden.
I know what a man looks like when the entire clip of an assault rifle had been emptied into his body at point blank range, and his face is frozen in a permanent look of shocked surprise as the light slowly fades from his eyes. I know the haunted timidity we all felt when a patient was brought to our hospital dying from peritonitis--and brought too late to save--and spent forty-eight hours wailing and screaming until death silenced her forever. I know what someone looks like when they put the barrel of a rifle in their mouth and take a stick and push the trigger. I know what someone looks like when someone else lays open their abdomen from one side to the other with a straight razor. I know what someone looks like when they have stepped on a primitive land mine made from C4 and crushed coke bottles--that poor man lived, and spent weeks picking pieces of glass out of the scabs on his legs as the glass migrated to the surface. I know what bodies look like when they have been burned beyond all recognition, and the stench because they defecate and throw up the contents of their stomachs. I know what a body looks like when someone has falled one hundred and fifty feet and their legs are driven into their abdomens.
Those are the horrors i had to accept, and learn to ignore. And perhaps that is why the cruelty that is too often inflicted on small, defenseless and unoffending animals becomes my "last straw."
This is not a pretty subject. I feel, however, that such a thread is necessary.
Please dont change your ways.
This isnt a thread about who is going to give kudos for what someone else has survived. This isnt about recognition for what we could have done to save an animal/ or human, or what we DID do to save them.
This thread isnt about boosting ones self in the face of an animals tragedy.
This is a thread about the things that hurt us as humans to see and experience. This is a thread about the varietys of pain we endure and commonly forget. This is about our smaller 4 legged friends all the way up to our 2 legged family.
You dont have to respond to each and everyone for posting. We choose to share. We choose to tell our stories. We choose to read.
To my understanding, that was your intent from the get - go.
Yes, it was the intent. Thank you for your kindness, and your contribution.
as we write in this thread, there is an advertisement across the top of the screen that says
"squish the spider and win an IPOD"
your cursor becomes a shoe , and the spider minds is business as it walks across the ad.