This isn’t a story for the squeamish, which I am not, but it’s a story that needs to be told. It especially isn’t a story for a dog lover, but I am one, and the story needs to be heard.
She’d have weighed at least 70 pounds, in good shape. As it was, I doubt she weighed 40. Her ribs were not only showing, but sticking out, as was her spine. She looked to be at least part wolfhound, an unusual breed for this area, and she was blocking the door in such a manner that I couldn’t, for the sake of safety, allow the three teenage boys to go out past her and risk injury.
So the lady at the service learning site where I had my students called animal control, which is in close proximity, and I knelt down to begin comforting, and calming, the pitiful dog, though I think she was too weak to even feel threatened. Stroking her neck and rubbing her ears may not have seemed the brightest thing to do, but in my whole life I’ve only met one dog I couldn’t gain the trust of — and that dog, well, it doesn’t trust anyone.
Shortly, animal control showed up, I held her big head in my hands one last time, and they led her away, clearing the door.
There would be no happy ending, no feeding back to health, for this canine, because the part I did not mention was the gaping 6-inch by 3-inch hole in her side, showing her insides, revealing not just muscle damage but a punctured lung. Even in good health, an injury like that would have given greatly reduced chance for recovery. In her case, she was literally starving to death.
In normal strength, this dog must have been absolutely beautiful. It was not a gunshot wound; it was not an attack by another animal. There’s no way of knowing what could have made such a puncture wound, though one possibility would be a broadhead arrow.
For the sake of our human nature, I pray that her mortal wound was accidental, the result of an event not related to humans. I’d fear for the soul of anyone who could deliberately do this to a dog, or any animal, for kicks.
The reality, though, was that not only did it hurt to see this dog, but it reminded me of a few years ago, when a Lab in the neighborhood where my stepson Greg lived was slashed, not once, but several times, by someone who got some sick thrill out of that. If memory serves me right, after the third incident, Greg and a friend dognapped the Lab for delivery to a student in my freshman English class who wanted a good hunting dog and knew how to treat him.
Is that illegal? Then I guess I must have imagined the whole event.
The crux of the matter is this — the desire to harm an animal, much less a human, for no reason ought to be cause for grave concern in any society.
Rest in peace, big pretty wolf hound.
Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis Christian High School. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org