My dog Kedsie (or Kedzie, your pick), a purebred beagle, was put to sleep today. I had to bury her in the backyard. I was expecting her to come home with my mom (Who was sobbing like crazy, understandably), and I was half expecting her to be in a bag, y'know, not to upset the woman who had to drive 20 miles back and forth with a dying-to-dead dog.
My mom held her and pet her in her final moments, while the vet told her that after the shot was given, she would twitch a little, then just fall to "sleep".
When she arrived home, her mouth was open, curved near the bottom, her face beat red. I knew off the bat I'd have to carry her to the grave I just spent the last hour digging midst a smooth layer of rocks and hard dirt that hadn't been penetrated by nothing but weeds in the last decade or so, especially where I buried her; behind the neighbors grapes.
Halfway through my digging, my neighbor David said "How ya doin, buddy? Hadn't talked to ya in a while." David shot Kedsie a year ago, to shut her up. She was barking at a squirrel that was hiding in a tree, when suddenly *POP*, small casing in her front left paw. Lei, the foreign exchange student living with us, noticed that Kedsie was hopping around, and called my mom. She came home, and saw that poor Kedsie was hurt bad. She knew who did it, since David is one of "Those neighbors" that yell at our dogs barking too loudly. I like him, but my mom loathes him because of his attacks on our dogs.
We talked for a good 5 minutes. He started ranting about how we have become socialists, and how, when he lived in California, everyone was just asking for handouts; no real work done, essentially. I was about to go back to digging, when Gail, his lovely wife, came up to me. She grabbed my hands and said "I'm so sorry". Her hands were ice cold.
"I've been washing fruit and veggies inside" she said.
Earlier, my mom, before getting in the car to take Kedsie to the vet, yelled at Gail for her husbands attack on Kedsie a year earlier.
"YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND CAN DRINK WELL TONIGHT, BECAUSE THE DOG HE SHOT IS DYING."
We talked for 15 minutes. I wanted to talk about what was going on with her, cause I hadn't truly spoken to her in a year and a half. But she seemed like she was avoiding some topic. Finally, it came up:
"You know, our dog died 2 months ago."
I didn't notice; they had 5 or 6 Yorkshire Terriers that would bark at anything that moved in the front or both side yards. My moms view on their dogs was essentially the same David had for ours: They're annoying little devils, those bastards. Wish they'd all just shut up. That was the opinion on both sides of the fence, with Gail and I just in the middle, forced to side with husband or mother. Yeah. Those bastards.
I went back to digging. I was planning to dig a good 6 feet under, as is tradition, and she deserved the best. But, in the hour I tried digging, I could only make a small 2'x4' wide gap about 3' deep. Possibly 4'. But I did try. I wanted to try and go for as long as possible without using water to soften the ground, but whenever I hit rocks or topsoil that was harder than usual, I feared I had hit a pipe. Finally, I just said "Screw it" and filled in the gap I had dug so far (at the time, about 2'x3' wide, 2' deep" with water. It just stayed there; I figured it would spread and soak the other parts of the dirt, making everything around it softer. It didn't. So I just dug more, moving this soaked dirt onto a pile so it'd be easier to rake onto the body later. In the end, it was a pretty nice grave. I wish I had more time to work on it, but I only had an hour, and my mom would not wait.
She arrived. When she got out, her mouth was open, curved at the bottom. I hugged her for a good 20 seconds, while she just said
"She was a great dog, a beautiful, wonderful little dog".
C. wanted to ask her about a week ago, when she said
"That dog will be the last one to die, because she's the most annoying."
(Note: We had 3 beagles: Sonny, Dexter and Kedsie.)
She pointed to the passenger seat, and there, sitting in peace and silence, was a bag, tied with very thick slices of cloth. I had expected her to be in a bag, sure, but this was a very heavy-duty bag. And inside it was my dog. My beautiful, now dead dog.
I carried her over to where she was to be buried. I had a very firm grip on the bag, above where the cloth tied the bag shut. She weighed a good 20 pounds, which was discomforting. She was always the fat dog in the family. At one point, my mom wanted me to walk her nightly because she had gotten so fat. It didn't pan out, though. Thats really the only time I can think of that I thanked my teachers for giving me so much homework.
C. wanted to drop her in the grave. I didn't. C. really hated this dog, for reasons I won't specify here both out of respect for the dead and for the legal protection of other people. But I very slowly lowered her into the grave. Its rather hard writing this, but I decided, while gazing at this black bag, I should do a prayer. "Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today..." that sort of thing. I did this alone, while my mother howled in pain inside. I said my piece, preformed the sign of the cross, touched my heart, then kissed my hand and touched the bag. Looking back, that meant the most.
"Any last words" I said rather calmly, in retrospect. "TK?"
"I'll miss you", from TK.
"... IF I hurt you, I'm sorry... and I hope you enjoyed the ride." He grinned after that.
"I'll miss you dearly." Zack choked up a bit, as I am now.
"... I got nothing. Sorry."
Internally, he just said "No", and turned away, growling.
I then proceeded to bury my dead dog. I felt this was important, so I recorded the first two scrapes of dirt going into the grave on my cell phone, then turned it off so I could use both hands. I tapped the grave with my foot to see if it was alright; it was soft. It'll harden in the winter, until then, I have time to stick a cross in there if I wanted to.
She was a lovely dog, and I know I'll miss her dearly. But right now, its just hard. I've had her around since I was 7! She was 15 years old, we adopted her young. I did bad stuff to her, she did a few bad things to me. I swatted her, she peed on the floor. And now I feel cursed. All those times I hit her with a newspaper, was it really worth it?
In the end, I'll always know her as my special dog. And I'll always know where she is: Decomposing in a bag behind my neighbors grapes. ###$ those people.
Nic- Core, 190 Comments Viewed 8341 times
C. Nic- Liberal Agnostic, 19
TK- Reformed animalist, 19
Zack- Smart, shy conservative, hedgehog, 21
David- Gay, Middle aged man from Boston, 42
Derrick- Semi-Psychopathic Child, 7 or 9 years old
Brian "God" S.- Silent, only speaks through ASL, 19
J.R.2- Older Brother, mute, 20
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