It's an hour till midnight. I just got home. I showered and changed and put the blood soaked clothes of mine in a bag. MTG is asleep next to me.
I just put down the dog that was too young to die but too sick to live. Dad called while I was at work, the dog had been vomiting anything it ate since yesterday, its defecating anywhere it lays. The vet said there was nothing you can do, it just happens. Make it as comfortable as possible. You can put her down too. But at the visit she still seemed too healthy to put her down, even the vet told us this.
I got to my parents house after work. They don't live in the city. It's almost an hour drive with traffic. Dad's outside sweeping the drive after the downpour we had today. I park and go inside, dad following closely behind. We pass the kitchen and the fridge is full of pictures. Of of which is our first dog TJ, or as the AKC registered him, Sir Thomas Jinxs, a pure breed Sheltie, around his picture says "World's Greatest Dog." I open the door to the gargage, where the dog mostly stays at night. It's her place to stay, it's her's. The smell of her feces is overbearing. She's crapped all over the garage. Nothing is staying in.
She wags her tail as I approach. Slowly she gets up. I try to carry her outside to the back porch, but she wiggles free and insists on limping there herself. We go outside and there is a glimmer of life in her eyes. Her tail wags slowly, not fast, not with much power. She looks happy. She tries to take a step forward out to the grass, but her hind legs give out and they fall beneth her. I try to console her and hold her close to me as I sit next to her on the floor. Slowly licking my ear as she raises herself and sits next to me.
Dad's gone back inside for something. She gets up fully and now slowly walks out to the grass. She throws up half-way out. This time its just blood. She developed some sort of bone cancer that there aren't even medicines for. I walk up and slowly pet her head. Her face warm and still young looking. I hear the back door open and dad walk out again.
He walks out behind me.
Dad: You have to do it.
Me: Maybe we can take her to the docotor in the morning.
Dad: I don't want her suffering all night.
I curse the fact that the nearest vet is 40 miles from where they live. And there are no emergency animal hospitals. It wouldn't matter her vet would be closed anyways. Dad hands me his pistol. The 9mm still warm from where he was holding it.
I hesitate as she looks at me. Her eyes seem to tell that she knows what's coming. This is the second dog that I will loose to sickness. I can't help feel that despite there not being anything we can do, that I've failed her. I imagine Sir Thomas Jinxs watching me point the pistol at her head. I manage to look her in the eye, I stroke her face, I kiss her on top of her head.
Me: If you see Sir Thomas Jinxs, salute him for me. I love you, please forgive me.
Oddly she seems to understand. She looks like she smiles and turns around on her own accord and sits staring out over the field. I again hesitate, then with one sudden "POP!" she falls to the ground. I couldn't have her dying a slow agonizing death all night.
I dig a hole out in the field and carry her out there and bury her. I can't hold back the tears as I do it. Dad asks if we should keep the collar and tags. I tell him to leave them. They're hers, she'll have them forever. We go back to the house and wash our hands with the water hose. I should have brought a change of clothes but didn't think about it. Her blood on my shirt and jeans from where I carried her.
Dad: No more dogs.
Me: No more
We head back inside. I look out to the field one last time and can't help but mouth "Please forgive me" to her. I hope she does.