Had a euthanasia come in today. 8 year old chocolate lab/doodle. Allegedly she bit the family kid 10 days ago. Owner comes in, does paperwork, makes payment. We ask if he wants to be present. He says, "Naw.". He goes out to get her. Brings her in, fighting the whole way. Obviously she doesn't want to be here. He pulls her so violently that he chokes her, but she's inside the building. He hands us the leash, kicks the dog in the butt, tells us to muzzle her and turns to leave. I take her back to the treatment room where my co-worker is waiting. Dog fights with all of her 90 pounds to get back to the door she just came in, and her eyes dart around the room looking for the owner who left her there. I pat her. "It's okay Abby" I tell her, but I know it's not okay. She sits on command. She stays on command. She doesn't fight when we muzzle her. I kneel over her to restrain her while my co-worker finds the vein. As the needle finds it's way into the vein, Abby's tail never stops it's constant drumming on the floor, and she leans into me the way my own dog does. I pull her muzzle off as the solution is pushed into her body and tell her, "You're a good dog Abs. And good dogs don't die with a muzzle on", as my tears fall into the fluffy fur of her head. She slumps to the floor. The tail stops drumming. I lean over her and cry, mourning a dog I've only known for 10 minutes. Why do I do this job? So good dogs never have to cross the bridge without knowing someone loves them. I do. And sometimes it's enough. I hope.
Friday, October 12, 2012
A good dog.
From the VBB Mailbag, a sad story about a good dog. A little advance commentary - I can really already hear the comments on this, before I've even posted. Some readers will say that no dog who bites a child should ever live to tell about it. Some readers will question whether the dog did in fact bite the child (and I don't know, is the answer). Some readers will wonder why Dr. VBB-sympathizer agreed to euthanize an apparently healthy, good dog - and others will jump in and tell those readers she HAD TO DO IT because otherwise she'd get sued if the dog ever bit anyone in the future. Someone will probably call the writer an idiot for removing the muzzle. There are all kinds of angles when it comes to this kind of story and I can argue pretty much every side of something like this. At the end of the day, this is a story about a doctor, who is also a person, who is grieving, and about a dog, who died at the hand of someone who truly cared, because she had no one else in her life who cared enough. Here's the story: