Monday, February 16, 2015

Heartbreak

I see a lot of bad things in my job. All kinds of bad things. I've become jaded over the years, and not a lot gets to me. But this did:

I was on patrol on the evening of July 4th a few years back. It was a typical Fourth of July - calls about drunks and illegal fireworks filled the shift. Then, I was sent to check on a dog by the side of the road near an interstate overpass. I found the dog - a good-sized, gray giant schnauzer-looking guy - lying in the gutter just below the interstate. The caller was there, and said that he thought the dog had either jumped or been thrown from the overpass.

It was clear that the dog had severe spine injuries. His back legs didn't work at all, and his front legs were sticking out straight in front of him and quivering. I picked him up, put him on the back seat of my squad car, and drove him to the emergency vet clinic, which was only a few blocks away.

I got him inside, where the vet confirmed the dog had a broken spine and pelvis. She said his survival was questionable, but they'd keep him overnight and see how he did. I told the vet to do whatever was necessary, and I'd cover the cost.

That night, I went home and tried to tell Mrs. Cynical about the incident. I couldn't get through it. I cried like a baby. The one and only time I ever did over something at work.

The next day, I stopped in to check on the dog's progress. I was told that the owners had somehow found out the dog was there, and had come in. They had already had the dog put down. They were also really angry that the cops hadn't done more to help the dog.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What more were the cops supposed to do? Spinal and orthopedic surgery? That's the Vet's job.

You did your job and more.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

What assholes. I mean, WTF else were you supposed to do?

You'd already gone above and beyond.

yarnwhore said...

Ugh. Some people don't deserve to have dogs in their lives.

Carolyn said...

Doing the right thing, the noble thing, the kind thing is not always appreciated by the people who should be the most grateful, but you made a difference for that dog (and the person who cared enough to call the police about it), you probably handed that vet back a little faith in humanity and you've shown the stuff you are made of. You've given a great example of why we should do the right thing: not because it brings us accolades and glory, but simply because it is the right, decent thing to do. Thank you for doing what you do - I know I couldn't do it, but I am glad there are people like you who do.

lbparker said...

What Carolyn said. You did the right thing, OC. Don't let the dog owners' bad reaction to their loss take away your good work. I know you see the worst of humanity on a regular basis, but we're not all jerks out here. I'm praying for you and your family.

Jay said...

What they should have been asking is what more could they have done to have prevented this from happening. I guess it is easier to lay the blame at your door instead of their own. It makes you worry about how they raised their kids. Hopefully they didn't have any.
Thank you for caring for this poor dog.

Stephanie said...

No good deed goes unpunished!

Anonymous said...

Jerks. I've been the vet in situations like this. I bet they either disputed or didn't pay the bill, too.

Ruth said...

I know this is an older post, but I just ran across your blog.

Thank you for picking up that dog and taking it to the eVet. I hope neither of my dogs ever ends up in a similar situation but if they do I hope whoever finds them does the same.

Jive Talkin Tool said...

I'm a dog lover--I have three (03) GSD's with me over here in Q, and I agree totally with what Jay wrote. Shame on those owners, but good on YOU, Ofc. C, for trying to help and giving all you could to the dog.