I knew the end was getting close for Jade for more than a year, and it made me darn near insane worrying about what was to come and wondering how I would know when it was time. When that time came, there was no question. She was in pain, suffering terribly. I can't say it was easy to have her put down, but I knew it was right.
Sadly, though, some pet owners choose to avoid the responsibility of dealing with their animals when they grow old by dropping off their gray-muzzled dogs and rheumy-eyed cats at the shelter. But even worse are those who dump the animal by the side of the road, expecting some kind person to come to its rescue.
Such was the case in Elkview recently when an old gray and white dog, still wearing her red collar (and no tags), was dumped on Sheba Lane, discarded like trash. Concerned neighbors left food out for the stiff-legged dog, and when the temperatures dropped low, they went searching with flashlights for her, but without any luck.
Five days passed before a neighbor spotted dogs chasing and attacking something. When he intervened, he found the old dog, traumatized and bleeding. After running off the other dogs, he rushed her to the humane association for treatment.
I wish I could say there's a happy ending to this story, but there's not.
While being treated for frostbite and puncture wounds to her neck, throat and back, the old girl went into shock and died on Feb. 23.
It never should have happened that way, but it does. All the time.
One of the reasons I always wanted to work with animals is because I'm so charmed by their innocence and so in awe of their ability to love those who, in my eyes, don't deserve such devotion.
I never knew this old dog, but I'd bet my last dollar that had the person who dumped her arrived as she lay there, bloody and scared, she'd have used her last ounce of strength to wag her tail.