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I Remember You

I remember Buddy

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I am a new member. I am writing this because I am having a hard time reconciling the death of one of the dogs at the animal shelter where I volunteer. I hope it is OK to post about a pet who was not my own.

i do have my own dogs that I love dearly. And over the years I have lost my own, too, and I do know that grief and depression can be physically painful and overwhelming and I do know the feeling of your heart being torn out.

i have been a volunteer at one of the county animal shelters for several years. I am no stranger to the pain you feel when the dogs get euthanized, but I am normally quite stoic. There is nothing you can do to stop it, and the remaining dogs can tell when you are upset. So you just move on...which is why I am surprised at my reaction to the euthanasia of one of the dogs there recently.  I was very fond of him, but I am fond of several dogs there.. He was a scared, skinny mutt who did not trust people. Over time he did grow to trust and interact with the volunteers. When he got adopted I was happy, but worried that he was still so fearful.  An incident happened at his new home. He got scared and bit the adopter.  He was returned to the shelter and put in quarantine (as is the policy with all dogs that have bitten) and I knew that after the quarantine he would be euthanized.

So I had 10 days to torture myself knowing the clock was ticking down.

i knew I could not adopt him. I have 3 dogs already and the shelter will not risk adopting out a dog with a bite on his record, even to a volunteer.

We are not allowed to take the dogs out while they are in quarantine, so all I could do was sit by his kennel and give him treats and tell him he was a good boy.

The last few days, though, I was too sad to look at him or visit him. I went to bed knowing he would be gone in the morning. I saved his picture from their website before they took it down.

it goes over and over and over in my head. I picture him terrified while the officers take him to the back room. I picture him wanting to come out of his kennel to see the volunteers he trusted. I picture him being dragged out with a catch pole instead. I see him lying lifeless on the table in the back room, and then laying in the freezer. It is like I am trying to get myself numb to these envisioned images.

i realize that millions are killed in shelters every year.  I am not sure why he got to me but he did.

He was put down on 4-24 and his picture taken down from the website. Since then I have had nightmares about my own dog, that he is in danger and I can't get to him to save him.

i look at the picture I saved of Buddy and it always makes me cry.

It kills me that I did not at least try to adopt him. It kills me that I never brought him chicken or hamburger because it made me too sad to see him in quarantine. It kills me that he is is just gone now, not a trace of him left. Like he never existed. The only thing left is a picture. It kills me that he was picked up by a waste truck like he was garbage.

i want him to know so badly that I remember him, that I saved his picture, that I know he was here and that I'm sorry he was so scared and that he was terrified when he died. It is almost more than I can take and sometimes I think I can't do this anymore (volunteer).

i think his dying might have stirred up the pent up grief I feel for every dog they put to sleep there. He was every plain looking, scared abandoned mutt. He was every dog I wanted to save and couldn't.

i was thinking I might feel better if I made a memorial for him. It is sort of selfish to want this, but I want other people to know that he was here on this earth and that somebody remembers him and that he was a good boy.

thank you for listening. It does help to spell everything out on 'paper'

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KayC   

Oh Hon, I'm sorry.  He DOES exist, he exists in your heart and memory.  And I truly believe heaven wouldn't be heaven without our beloved dogs for they are the best creature God ever created, they are His gift to us.  Perhaps when it's time to go, you can have him at last and he will be happy. 

All of this serves to remind us that there are animals out there that need a loving home, they need us, as much as we need them.

Would you be willing to share his picture and name?

And thank you, thank you for volunteering there.  We need people like you.  It is what I would do if I lived in a city, but I'm in the country so I volunteer at the senior site instead.  I get close to people who die...

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Thank you for your reply! I would love to post his picture. I'm sure he would be surprised how many people know he was here! His name was Buddy. His picture is below.

i can't even imagine how hard it must be for you to volunteer with people that you know you may lose. You are an angel!

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Thank you SO much! I absolutely love Cat Stevens and that made me cry!  I'm going to send it to our volunteer group email, they will love it.

i think I'm going to draw or paint a picture of Buddy   You are right, I think I will see him again...I have a plaque that says that every dog that ever loved you will meet you at the gate... not every dog that you licensed or bought or adopted...every dog that loved you. There should be a lot of them there, I hope..

thank you for being so nice!

 

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KayC   

Good luck with your continued volunteer work, It is very much appreciated and needed!

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