To the innocent, scared German Shepherd that died in my arms at the Humane Society...
At the end of my Animal Care program in College, I did a two week field placement with my local humane society. I had many tasks during my placement, and the worst one BY FAR was assisting with the mass euthanizations every day. Black cats were euthanized for being black, some cats euthanized for being less social than others, dogs euthanized for every reason under the sun.
Yet there is one dog I could never forget. A big black and tan male German Shepherd that had been there for three days. Nobody came looking for him, nobody came to claim him... even though he wore a pretty custom collar with the name "Titan" on it.
He stayed in quarantine for three days... curled up at the back of the run terrified out of his mind. When people would come near him, he would tuck his ears and tail as far as they would go and curl his lip, showing clear avoidance with his eyes and head. They handled him roughly with those restraint poles anytime they had to handle him. He was very, very scared.
When three days were up, they immediately and easily made the decision to euthanize him. He was too aggressive and too far gone, they said. They told me there was no hope for a dog like him. He hadn't bitten anyone, or even tried. All he did was try to protect himself and warn anyone who came near him.
When they brought him in the room to die, I couldn't breathe. He was beautiful, and his eyes were bright yet clouded by fear. He didn't understand any of this, and just wanted to go curl up in the corner. He kept trying to back away, tail tucked tight against his belly and ears back. He didn't show his teeth or make any noise.
They asked me to help restrain, and I felt the blood pounding in my head. I couldn't say no. I had to hold him. Had to somehow let him feel loving hands even for a moment. I cradled his back end while the tech took the front and held his head and arm out firmly. The vet administered the euthanol while the beautiful boy whimpered and resigned to his fate.
Gosh, he fought it so hard. He thrashed hard against the tech who held his head, knocking her over. He backed right up into my arms and folded into me. He pushed his head into me and sighed so deeply, a mournful whine accompanying his final breath. I cried so hard my tears drenched his neck as he relaxed in my arms and slowly fell into a deep, deep sleep from which he would never wake. I held him for a moment as the two emotionless people in the room watched me. I cried, and cried and cried... I said sorry to him about a thousand times. It was so awful. I was hoping for a peaceful passing like all the others, and what I witnessed was the hopeless fight of an animal who didn't want to die.
I write here in our memorial section in his honour. I think about him all the time, and I will never forget him. I beat myself up for not stopping it, not saving him, even though I know the humane society wouldn't have surrendered him to me.
I am sorry, baby. I hope you felt my love for you before you left this world. Even just a moment of it, I hope you knew I loved you.
SG S-Hunter vom Geistwasser CA CGN TT ATD (Service Dog, Retired Airport Wildlife Control K9)
Zenna vom Geistwasser NTD
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Last edited by WildWolf; 07-20-2012 at 12:15 PM.