Location: Oklahoma, USA
Joined: Jul 2004
My tribute to a Pit Bull who almost became mine.
Some of you may know that I work at a veterinary hospital. Mostly what I do there is clean cages and walk dogs. Very rarely anymore do I get to help the actual veterinarian with patients and their owners.
Basically, my job stinks and I am struggling to find a new job to get out of there. But I do interact with hundreds of dogs and I love that part of it. But the one thing I hate most is when an innocent dog is killed. In other words, when a sweet pound dog is euthenized because he ran out of time.
I have worked there for over 6 months now. Euthenasia never really bothered me, mostly because if the animals were brought in by their owners, it was for a reason. For example, an 18 year old Chi with huge tumors on her chest came in to be euthenized. She had lived a great happy 18 years and was just too old and sick to be operated on to remove those tumors. She went peacefully and is now waiting for her owner to be reunited with her.
But each week the clinic takes in a few pound dogs, brought in off of the streets or taken from abusive owners. They are up for adoption, but very very very rarely are they ever adopted. Since I have been working there, 1 dog has been adopted and that one was because of me. I named him Jazz and talked about him to my mom, who told the story to a lady she worked with. Turned out the lady fell in love with Jazz without even seeing him or touching him. She took her husband and 4 year old boy and they all left together with Jazz as part of their family.
Lately my dad has been talking about wanting a new dog to help protect our country home from wild animals and burglars if need be. We have an elderly male dog who is doing his job with dignity, but he is aging and we are sure he would love to have a new companion to help do the job.
Last Friday, a cream colored Pit Bull terrier came in as a pound dog. Never did he bark, growl, or make any aggressive movements. Put simpley, he was a great dog and he stole me heart. I knew that my dad had once owned a Pit Bull when he and my mother were first married.
So I called my dad today after I got home from work and asked him what he thought. He sounded excited. This Pit was young enough to introduce to our older dog without any fighting and we planned on having him neutered. I was about to adopt out my second dog of the year.
Well, I haven't even been home for an hour as I type this message. I called over to the vet and to my horror, our future dog had already been euthenized. It was too late.
I have never allowed myself to cry when I know or see a dog being euthenized. But today I just couldn't hold it back. This Pit Bull, I named him Rusty, had won my heart. With so many dogs there, it is difficult and special when one of them finally whens my heart. Rusty did. But he is gone, I was an hour too late to save his life and give him a loving home.
I couldn't bare to tell my dad, so after I calmed down, I called him on his cell phone and told a white lie. I told him that I had good news and bad news. The bad news was that we couldn't adopt him. The good news was that he had been adopted within the hour and that his new owners had bought him a brand new collar and leash and food and got him his shots and all the works. Dad was so happy to hear this.
My heart was broken, but I couldn't let Dad's break, too.
Rusty lives on and I know he will be waiting with Kieron and Houdini and all of the dogs that live in our hearts at Rainbow Bridge.
This story is my loving tribute to an American Pitt Bull Terrier named Rusty. I never owned him or spent more than 24 hours with him. But I love him and miss him terribly.