Heeding Neglect

It wasn’t until hours later when the police arrived to the scene. Depending on the people around, some may have called it a crime scene while others may have not have gone that far to classify it as something. Some may even have called it nothing.

I would have preferred it if one guy called it “just another one of those things” rather than than refer to the animal as “a retarded little dog.” There is a lot of personal disgust towards that word. It’s bothersome to say it; it’s bothersome to write it. Since it’s the truth, I typed the letters with intention.

Just because a dog bit a human while in the moment of despair, doesn’t mean it’s the R-word.

There’s a dog outside. It appears to be injured. It was the end of my shift, but my having a very soft spot and large heart for the domesticated animals encouraged me to drop my bag and check to see what was going on.

When I got to where the small group of people were standing, the back yard of the mansion, one woman’s attempt to pick the Yorkshire up was successful.

It nervously looked at everyone, panting. At first it was perceived as panting, but it was trying to catch its breath. It eventually began to squirm and yelp. Where it was thought it wanted to get free, it was actually in a lot of pain.

I said: Let’s get it inside. We can wrap it up. To wrap it up, I was going to use my hoodie or linens.

The lady moved at a snail’s pace. Granted there was no intention of injuring the pup any more than it already was, it was critical to get the animal to safety — since it was in the woman’s arms, it was secure and cradled.

The Yorkie went to the bathroom. I wanted to yell at the lady to get a move on it. Why the hell is it taking you so long? Realize the situation!

When it began to bleed from its nose — the cue for me to run into the mansion, grab the first box I saw, dump the wedding cards from inside, and return as quickly to the dog as possible. I did so successfully.

The dog lied on its side in the small box that was perfect. The plan was to grab linens, call emergency care center, and make sure of its safety. The Yorkie had no collar or sign it was attached to any particular owner.

While fidgeting with my phone, I found the number while the dog was huffing lightly, and that sign of life quickly decreased in volume. If anything, at the end of this, I have a dog. When it comes to strays, someone has to take care of the dog, because there may be a good chance a shelter would put the animal to sleep.

Before the police arrived, a woman and her daughter showed up to the mansion. The girl, who was about 10 years old, asked if we saw a dog. The wedding guests by the door said they had not. Being in an earshot, this force knocked the wind out of me. I can’t tell her, I told Kristin. I couldn’t do it.

Save the notion: Neither of the two carried a leash.

Despite loving the medium to larger breeds, I’m a dog lover. When it comes to any kind of neglect or abuse, I’m disgusted by it. When the officer at the other end of the line, the non-emergency police number, asked me if it was hit by a car or if there was a sign of abuse, I replied: No, and there better not be.

If the animal was hit by a car, it wouldn’t have made it as far up the hills in front or in back of the mansion. What I did know is that the dog with no collar was clearly not healthy. There was no owner in sight either. The situation screams “neglect.”

Sure, a dog can get away from you. But the young, small dog couldn’t have ran that far or that fast. The lack of a collar was another big thing.

I followed Kristin outside to see this through, to stick up for my friend should there be a confrontation, and to be a source of information. After all, the dog exhaled its last breath in front of me, as I rested my warm hand on it’s body, while trying to find the appropriate phone number that could lead to its being saved.

The dog was kept in the box, brought outside, and kept on the stairs of the fire escape. That’s where we brought the apparent owners of what they described as “a little tan dog” — not a little tan, retarded dog. The mother told her offspring to check.

I’m not sure if the mother wanted to do this as a form of punishment, or she was too much of a coward to check the result of a mistake that she could have made. The story was never known, but they refused to take the animal.

The moment the little girl exploded sadness –I felt ill.

For the first time, a dog expired in front of me. For the first time, I was part of an effort to explain to a child that her (hopefully) beloved pet has died. For the first time, I saw that kind of heartbreak.

After with talking with Kristin about what transpired — she was furious. As a dog owner herself, she said that she’d be checking on her pup constantly to ensure its safety. What also bothered her was the fact that she, the Yorkshire, did not have a collar.

While initially waiting for the police to arrive, I apologized to the deceased animal. It was later revealed to be a few months old.

The guy, who called the dog mentally challenged, because of his connections expedited the situation. I’d been sitting around for three hours for their arrival. Keep in mind — this was a non-emergency. They were to take the dog, freeze it, ship it to Albany, and it would be analyzed to make sure its shots were up to date — per the request of the bride and her sister’s father.

The important thing is we tried our best to save the animal. We showed it deserved affection for its last minutes on earth.

3 thoughts on “Heeding Neglect

  1. That was emotionally engaging. I liked how easily your writing flowed in this post and I almost felt for the dog… even though I am not considered an animal lover. 😉

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