Monday, 20 May 2019


Not long after our dog TARA died, a friend asked me to look after his four-legged friend for a while, so I did.  Two weeks after my doggie-sitting term had ended, I bought a puppy, ZARA, who was the final dog out of three that my family had over a nearly 26 year period.  Let me tell you something - people who don't like dogs - or any animals in fact - and are untouched by an animal's death, are unnatural.  There's something missing in them and they're very probably latent serial killers.

But that's another subject.  When Zara was a few months old and still in the process of getting her jags, I was sitting in the vet's one evening and a dog could be heard whining behind a door.  The vet came out to speak to me, and I caught a glimpse of a black dog which must've been tethered to a table leg or something.  As I was speaking with the vet, the whining increased and the dog started scratching at the door and yelping.  I asked what was wrong with it and the vet replied "It's getting put to sleep."

Anyway, after my business was completed, I made my way home feeling a little sorry for the dog, but too delighted with my own pup to dwell on it.  A few years later, I ran into a friend, who mentioned that he'd been given the very canine that I'd once looked after, because its owner couldn't keep it any more.  "What happened to it?" I enquired of him.  "I had to get it put down because..."  I forget the reasons why, but I asked him where he'd taken the poor dog, and, sure enough, it was the very vet's where I'd taken Zara for her course of injections.

I checked the timeline with him and it matched.  It was then I realized that the poor creature had been the dog behind the door, and must have recognized my scent or my voice - hence its frantic scratching, whining and yelping in an attempt to be rescued from what it must have sensed was its final fate.  And I had failed it, and it had gone to its end unloved and unwanted.

Looking back now, I'm not sure what I could have done, if anything, but it still bothers me every now and again to this day.  I'd only looked after it for a fortnight or so, and it wasn't as if it was 'my' dog, but that poor creature must've hoped I'd rescue it and I let it down, unaware of its identity though I'd been.  Humans are often pretty useless when it counts, and I was found amongst that particular number on that sad and pitiful day.  Alas, I no longer even recall the doomed dog's name.

Regrets?  I've had a few... and this was one of them.


Bob said...

A harrowing story. I'm sorry to see it happen to you.

You know, we can't save the world. We can only do our best and help as many four (and two) legged friends as we can, and hope for the best.

Kid said...

That was 33 years ago and yet it only seems like yesterday. I think of that poor dog often, and regret my inaction anew each time.

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