[Warning: Some people may find the following post upsetting.]
Written Tuesday, 7 April 2015
There’s a long and ever growing list of atrocities happening in the world right now. People still starve to death, people kill children, children kill children, people are still judged and killed on the basis of their race and religion. I need to give myself this perspective because I don’t live amongst these horrors, I don’t live in fear of my life, wonder where I’m going to sleep or how I’ll feed my family.
Sometimes though, things happen, horrible things that affect my little piece of this world which leave me wondering about our humanity. If we can’t find compassion for these small horrors then how can we heal as a world? Are we becoming an intolerant, ignorant and selfish society unable to of see the perspectives of others or take responsibility for our actions?
I really, really hope not.
At the beginning of the year, my mother saved a Jack Russell cross terrier from our local dogs’ shelter and she’s been a member of our family for the last three months. Despite the abuse she received in her previous life, she’s a people-loving, optimistic little mite with a beautiful nature and we absolutely adore her.
Last week, Mum’s little dog was attacked by another dog. The other dog was off leash, and raced at Mum’s dog completely unprovoked, it took hold of our dog’s back and shook her. While Mum screamed and kicked at the other dog, its owner turned up and managed to free our dog from its jaws. In the distance, the man’s wife and two children edged away from the scene.
Mum was shaking, and sobbing on the grass with her beloved dog bleeding in her arms.
‘Are you alright?’
‘Of course I’m not!’
‘Look, she’s fine, it’s just a small puncture. I’ll pay for the vet.’
‘If your dog’s like that, why was it off its lead!?’
‘I’d just let him off to have a drink. Perhaps there’s someone I can contact?’
‘I’ll call my husband’
‘Don’t worry, I’ll pay your vet fees’
‘I’ll need your details’
‘My car’s just over there, I’ll get some paper and write them down.’
He took his dog back to his car, got in with his family and drove away.
Mum managed to call Dad and waited on the grass until he turned up and they drove our dog to the emergency afterhours vet. My dad couldn’t stay, in his haste to help Mum he’d left the house unlocked and forgotten his wallet. I joined Mum at the vet and she cried as she relived the horror of the experience and the helplessness she felt. We cried as the vet discussed the likelihoods of internal bleeding and spinal damage and surgery and finances.
We left our little dog at the veterinary hospital with promises they’d call with her progress.
On the way home in the car, Mum told me she knew he wouldn’t come back as soon as he’d excused himself to leave but was too distressed to think straight. ‘I’m not angry now. I was angry and wished horrible things upon him, but that kind of thinking changes nothing. I just want her back, and things as they were.’
Mum and I discussed his perspective – the love he perhaps felt towards his own dog and perhaps his inability to afford the vet fees.
‘But it’s not about the money. It’s to say those things and not mean them, it’s about being responsible for all this pain yet leaving me alone and distraught in the park. What kind of person does that?’
A coward. Methinks a coward does that.
UPDATE Written Wednesday 15 April 2015
The happy news is, our little dog survived. She had a broken rib and corrective surgery for the internal bleeding into her lungs. She had thirty-two staples in her side and looks a little bit like Frankenweenie’s Sparky. But she’s alive, and happy, ears up and tail wagging and no obvious spinal injury at this stage. We are still yet to ascertain if she’s been effected emotionally as she is not yet fit to go for another walk, but certainly, things are looking promising. We are really grateful for that and the beautiful people at our veterinary clinic.