Sunday, March 07, 2010

The after effects

Sitting outside a busy bakery on Saturday, The Man and I enjoyed our lunch and people watched. The line for the bakery wound its way outside of the shop door and spilled onto the sidewalk, cars clumsily parallel parked over the curb and also spilled onto the sidewalk, and dogs trailed their masters and eagerly lapped at the ground to scoop up the spilled bits of pizza, sandwiches, and pastries.

One dog, in particular, found herself tied to the sign post outside the cafe while her owner waited in the log line. The dog yipped and yapped and excitedly jumped at the end of her leash at first, and then eventually settled into a puddle of sun and laid down. Her gaze eventually landed on me, and our brown eyes met. Her panting doggy smile faded and her eyes became suspicious. "Dog killer," they accused.

I'm not kidding. That's what her eyes said.

Or maybe they said, hopefully, "Treat?" Or maybe, "I'm outside!" Or, most likely, "I'm a dog!" But what I heard was most definitely "Dog killer." Guilt is a bitch.


MindyMom said...

Awww... :(

That dog was NOT saying that! Give yourself a break. You did everything you could and then some. Your Ex is the one who neglected that dog, not you!


uncouthheathen said...

You tried so hard to save that dog. So many people wouldn't have gone as far as you did. You're not a dog killer. You saved an injured animal further suffering. I'm sorry.

Sunny said...

You really need to cut yourself some slack on this one. Seriously.

You cared when no one else did.

You TRIED when no one else did.

You gave her a good quality of life for as long as you could.

You gave her the dignity of easing her pain and suffering.

No guilt, I bet she's grateful to you and loves you even now.

Ken Dunn said...

Have to go with Sunny on this one...

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. You really are beating yourself up for something ultimately beyond your control; beyond control of anyone. We are all bound for the same end.

The difference you make (or that any of us makes) is in how you affect those who accompany you on the journey.

In the natural world all of us animals get to die of either predation, starvation or exposure (excellent choices, hmmm). Imagine yourself exchanging places with your dog... dying of starvation and going out of your mind you are whisked away by someone who loves and cares for you, who comforts and feeds you, and in the end keeps you company while you drift painlessly off to sleep.

You cared for your friend. None of us is perfect. Grant yourself the same forgiveness you'd grant someone you loved.

Martini Mom said...

Thanks, everyone. Rationally I know that I have nothing to feel guilty about, and most days I'm just fine. But every once in a while, a dog outside a bakery looks at me and triggers something...

Nicki said...

Say it with me...

"Regrets are the past's way of crippling us in the present."

-Under the Tuscan Sun

You did the best you could for your dog. Deep down you know this. Let go of the bad and hold onto the good.

Thinking of you!

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