Vail Daily column: Just a dog, right?
July 13, 2015
I felt absolutely horrible.
Our golden is approaching the senior canine age of 11, with the obligatory hip issues and strange (but non-cancerous) lumps under his skin becoming more prevalent.
Seeing the teenage girls at the gym — members of a family I've known for over 20 years — I asked how their golden was doing, curious for a quick comparison since our two dogs were about the same age.
"We had to put her down Monday," they said in unison, with an obvious sniff of sadness and slight regret at even having to talk about the subject.
This was just last Friday, and as I said, I felt absolutely horrible; a middle-aged schmuck with awful timing.
"It's OK though," they said. "The cancer had really taken over and she could barely stand up, much less walk."
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I remembered her as a sweet thing, doing that patented golden retriever "joyful whine" each morning when we would show up for carpool, always just so flippin' happy to see us she didn't know what else to do.
But it had become a true quality of life issue, and as hard as it was, the family did the proper thing.
Most of us go through this particular heartbreak — the death of a beloved and furry family member — at least once in our lives, and in spite of the pain we come out the other side a better and more compassionate human being.
So imagine my disgust a few hours later at home when I fired up the Vail Daily website for my daily dose of local news and happenings, and saw the article about the dead dog found stuffed inside a green nylon kennel under bushes along our very own Eagle River between Eagle and Wolcott.
Whatever pond scum did this should be stuffed inside a green nylon kennel under bushes along our very own Eagle River between Eagle and Wolcott, and not rescued until a few moments before they are about to take their final desperate breath.
That'll teach 'em.
This 70-pound black male Staffordshire bull terrier with a white patch of fur on its front neck did not deserve to suffer and die in this horrific manner, but then again, why should this surprise us?
We are a species consumed and obsessed with hate for one another, willing to kill for the simple reason of a perceived foe not believing in the same magical being, so what's the big deal about dumping a dumb animal by the side of the road to die?
We obsess over flags, which are nothing more than symbols. We obsess over gay marriage, even though homosexuality is found in over 450 species yet homophobia in only one. We obsess over a black guy living in a White House, anything connected with a Kardashian and who will or will not bake a goddamn cake.
We obsess over anything and everything that can possibly differentiate one of us from another, and are downright enthusiastic about our never-ending abilities to kill over those differences, so I suppose there's no reason to think we would bother obsessing over a species considered intellectually lower than ourselves.
It was just a damn dog, right?
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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