I can tell you my turning point, but I don’t like to talk about it much.
Around spring time, 2017, I was walked down to the gun lock, my employer unlocked it, and handed me a gun along with some .22 long. As long as my employer wouldn’t tell my coworker I had done it. We had even come up with a story, saying she had died naturally, and I buried her while my coworker was home I didn’t want my coworker to know, because I worked with them everyday, and it wasn’t something I wanted to talk about with them.
I drove down, and closed the gate behind me. I parked in such a way to hide the vehicle from anyone that could be using the road. Barely anyone ever does drive down this dirt road, but a few people live on it.
I walked the dog to the pit, after having put down the gun and a shovel.
When I did it, point blank, she fell over, I placed her in a more comfortable position. She was so tense. I sat with her. I put my hand on her chest, and told her she was good, and loved. I put tobacco down. The moment my hand touched her chest, she wagged her tail a little, and she deeply exhaled, relaxing her body. Then the blood came pouring out.
I waited, I cried. And I buried her.
Her name was Hope.
Hope had been very sick. We followed protocol: Kept good track of her temperature, intake and outtake of food and water, behavior, mood. Gave her antibiotics, monitored her, but it wasn’t getting any better. She wasn’t eating, drinking, wasn’t excited. It was very shitty to watch.
Having such a sick dog in the kennel was a risk. We didn’t bring dogs to the vet ( I’ll get to that later). If dogs didn’t get better, dogs died.
Someone else usually shot the dogs. But that person, for some reason, hadn’t come right away when called. My employer, then started asking us which other dog’s didn’t look good. Maybe sick, or old.
By the time my employer had asked me to shoot the dog, there was at least two other dogs put on the list for the other person. I had agreed to one dog only. Read this blog- watch the vedio
I thought to myself, at least, if it’s me, she will recognize me, and be less scared, less stressed. And if it’s me, than those two others get to live longer. I didn’t agree that they should die. Hope had been so sick.
When I returned that evening to feed the dogs. My coworker and I talked about Hope. They asked me why the person hadn’t shot the other dogs. They had been told by the employer that the person who usually shoots the dogs had come and shot Hope. I kept to my story, that she had died naturally and that I had buried her.
I didn’t want that coworker to know, but I had later told another part time staffer who I felt had more experience with the deaths of dogs, and would likely understand. That staff, thanked me.
The same day I had shot hope, one of the staff went on to talk about how the dogs should be left to die naturally. That staff had worked there for many years, and was well aware of the culling that happened at work. Meanwhile, I had just shot a dog, who I had known for years, who I had cared for, who had been very ill, showing no sign of improvement with the health care provided.
I know I did what I thought was best at the time. I was very broken then. It took allot of time, but I have forgiven myself.
My dear reader, you may have a lot of feelings right now, and that’s okay.
I am committed to share my experience, which is ongoing as I fight for my rights, and that of the dogs so no one else, human or dog, has to go through this.