The Stray


The Stray

As I sit here and type these words I do so with a heavy heart. I do so not because I had a hard choice to make but because I feel a great sense of loss. The choice was clear: she had to be euphonized. No question about it. No other real choice. She was suffering and was past a point where medically she could be saved. That part was easy.

The hard part was I had hoped to have more time: time to save her, time to care for her and a time to earn her trust. Hope burned hot within me. I was ready to spend the time needed to make what time she had left, which I had hoped would be a few years @ the least, good times for her. But as it is more than not in life I didn’t get that chance and now I feel empty. I sense a great loss and it burns as hot my hope had burned.

She showed up on the property by ours and my wife went to check her out and found her skin exposed on her face, neck and front of her legs. She followed my wife home and was lying on the porch when I got home later that evening. She looked bad but was very gentle and seemed to be in no real pain. I took her to the vet and they found she had demodicosis. Demodicosis is a skin disorder caused by a mite that the dog’s body cannot fight probably due to a genetic defect it got from its mother.

After several hours of researching this disorder, talking to another vet, praying and many more hours of heartfelt  discussion we decided if she didn’t have any underlying health issues we would commit our time, money and heart into trying to make her well. I put up a kennel on our porch so she would not be exposed to the rain and this would help make sure the skin treatment would not wash off between dips. We had a plan and we went to pick her up but they didn’t get her groomed in time for use to pick her up that day.

We went back to see her and to reassure her we hadn’t abandoned her and we would take good care of her when she got home. Yes, when she got home for that was what we had made for her a home with us. I waited anxiously for the chance care of this wounded but beautiful young dog. And then the phone call came: the skin was so compromised that when they tried to clip her if pulled away from her body. The damage was advanced and I was asked for permission to euphonize her. I went and told my wife who took it very well and then I called the vet and told him to end her suffering and bury her with dignity. I would not get to help her as I wanted. I felt failed her in one way but know I really hadn’t. But it hurt none the less and I cried. I cried for her and my loss was heavy within me.

I have a part of me missing right now but from past experience I know it will be filled. I feel if you give of yourself God will fill the hole it leaves.  But it still hurts and that is o.k. And I really cannot tell you @ this time why I felt so much loss for Peppermint (that’s what we named her) but I don’t care why. I cannot even find it in my heart to be mad at those who let her get in this condition. Normally I would be a raging fire , an intolerant judge of such a one who would allow this to happen to a dog. I can speculate all I want but I simply do not know, nor will I, what events took place or what transpired to bring this dog to the condition we found her in.

My hope is this would not happen again to any animal. I even dare to hope people understand that problems can be headed off, with a little effort, by educating their selves about taking care of their companion animals. When we take on the responsibility of caring for an animal we also take on the responsibility of making decisions for them. If you aren’t able to do that don’t do it. It is that simple.

I want to state that I do not believe animals are more important than humans. The relationship we have with each other and the way we feel and see ourselves is of great importance. I feel it is of major importance but we must also not take lightly our relationship and responsibility when we take on ownership of a pet. This has me thinking on the possibility that I would not but this much effort and this much of myself in helping a human being. Now that line of thought is going to take awhile to answer honestly. All this started because of a little stray dog. May everyone have a “stray” come into their lives to start them thinking, “Would I ………

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