People are Assholes
I try to walk every day and since I started doing it, one of our neighbor’s dogs, named Buttercup, has followed me. At first I tried to discourage her, but she was so lonely and desperate for attention, so I slowly started to look forward to taking her with me. Over the winter, she’d been begging at our backdoor, so I started letting her in and letting her clean our plates after dinner. This Spring, she showed up clearly pregnant, so I started feeding her kibble and scraps. Since she had the puppies, I’ve been spending more time and energy on her and trying to keep weight on her. She started to come over in the mornings to meet me to take her for a walk. This morning should have been just another day.
We rounded the block as usual and I even got her to heel for me when she saw a car. I was actually making progress training her out of car chasing. The speed limit on my little dirt road is 25mph, so I was surprised when a white truck went barreling past at over 50. I was even more surprised when Buttercup darted out into the road. She’d been off in the field after a rabbit and I couldn’t grab her collar before she darted out. I know there’s nothing I could have done, but I feel immense guilt that I couldn’t grab her or that I had taken my walk at that time or any number of other factors that could have saved her life. I’m angry at the speeder. I’m mad at the owner for not taking care of her. I’m full of guilt that I couldn’t save her. I’m haunted by the sight of her rolling under the truck and bumping on the undercarriage, her yelps and the way she mouthed at my arm to tell me she was hurt, but didn’t bite. The guy didn’t even touch his brakes. I can’t believe someone could be so careless. The nice thing to do is to slow down a little when you see someone walking so you don’t dust them out. What if I’d tripped and fallen? He’d have run me over without blinking too. I think he’d have kept going too if I hadn’t yelled at him and made him help me get her back to my house. He apologized, but I could tell he didn’t care. Just a dog. It’s not just a dog. She had 7 puppies waiting for her and I loved her.
I rushed her to the vet, but there wasn’t much they could do. She was coughing up blood, in shock and not breathing well. They gave her some IV fluids and pain meds so that they could x-ray her. We headed home since they’d need to observe her for a time. When we got home, the vet called and said they had found severe lung trauma, a diaphragm hernia (her intestines were forced up through her diaphragm and into her chest cavity) and they weren’t sure that she’d survive a $1700 surgery. The owner didn’t want to spend any money on her and wanted her put down. The vet thought it’d be kinder to put her down rather than put her through all the pain of surgery. I agreed to let her be put down and cried in a corner for awhile. Meanwhile, the owner was on the phone with them, not paying the x-ray fees and extending Buttercup’s misery. They called me and I threw down credit cards to cover the $400 to put her down and told them not to let her suffer. I doubt I’ll ever see a dime of that back, but I did the least I could to help Buttercup.
This all brings me to one point: If you cannot afford (financially and time-wise) to take care of your pet properly, do not have a pet.
And one more: Slow the F down!
Rest in Peace Sweet Buttercup