• Member Since 12th Aug, 2017
  • offline last seen May 24th

chris the cynic

Someone who doesn't know how to describe herself, is always struggling with debilitating depression, and won't stop hanging onto the hope that happy endings are possible.

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The dog I live with was hit by a car · 12:29am Mar 21st, 2020

I took her in because her owner was going to put her down if I didn't. That's seriously how it happened. I was given a choice: either I let her stay at my house, or the dog is being put down. No shelter (which would probably lead to her being put down but might not) no, "I'm going to call other people if you say, 'No,'", just that I take the dog, or the dog dies.

I live a fucked up life. Let it be known.

So it was that Chloe came to live here.

Chloe isn't the first individual I've taken in. It's time to talk about humans. The former housemate of Chloe's owner was suffering because the relationship had turned toxic. She was begging people to drive up and give her a ride away. She didn't have a place to go, but she knew she could survive being homeless in the city, and the same couldn't be said of where she was. I offered an unused room at my house.

That's how I got housemate. I also have housemate's boyfriend here, and will until it's once again advisable to travel 14 hundred miles. There's a complicated story there, but that's not the point. The point is that there are three of us living here right now (also, we have no toilet paper.)

Over Chloe's time here, the other two decided that, while they were willing to foster Chloe until a new home was found for her, they weren't up for taking care of her long term. So it was up to me whether Chloe lived here forever more, or just until we could find someone to take her.

With my depression where it is right now, I'm not sure I could take care of a dog, and as such was trying not to get attached.

Then today. Housemate's boyfriend is taking one of Chloe's puppies, so we had Chloe and four three and a half month old Magpie. Magpie is getting off leash training, Chloe never had intentional training, which has inadvertently trained her all the wrong things, and so she's being retrained. She's doing pretty well, but has a lot of habits to unlearn.

I took the two dogs out. Chloe was on a line, Magpie wasn't. They played. Everything was fine, but the drizzle that I thought was in the process of ending when we went out never actually ended, so I decided it was time for us to go in.

Remember the thing about habits to unlearn?

One of them is taking off for no reason. We were about a step away from the steps to go in the side door. I took her off the line. I didn't hold onto her collar like I should have. I don't know why; I just thought she'd go up the steps. It was stupid.

She took off. The thing about Magpie's off-leash training is that it all goes out the window if chasing mom around the neighborhood is an option.

So I'm chasing two dogs. The order of events here is somewhat fuzzy. I think that when it became clear that Chloe was putting herself in danger I prioritized keeping Magpie from following her over getting Chloe out of danger, because to do the second I'd have to give up all control over both dogs and they'd both be in danger till--

Maybe I'm not even remembering that part right. What happened next kind of overshadowed everything else.

My street is off of Main Street. As you might imagine, the main street gets rather more traffic than residential streets.

Chloe didn't get run over. She went up. She flipped in the air and then crashed back down to earth. Thought she might be dead right then. Then she got up and ran, in spite of the fact that at least one of her legs wasn't working properly, back onto my street. Where she collapsed.

She's collapsed on the ground, labored breathing, blood coming out of her mouth and, possibly, an eye. Magpie is there too. I've got one hand holding Magpie's collar because I'm terrified that if I let go things will get worse, and I'm screaming for help. Someone, a neighbor I think, but I was so focused on the dogs that it could have been the driver who hit Chloe and I wouldn't notice (pretty sure it wasn't), comes and offers help.

Couldn't tell you much about them. Gloves and mask. It's a pandemic.

I have them take Magpie by the collar and walk with me while I carry Chloe to the house. This is probably stupid. Chloe running after getting injured has done God knows what to herself, and now I'm moving her with zero evidence she's safe to move. I don't want to leave her in the street.

I lay her in the front hall. It doesn't go how I'd hoped. She tries to stand when I put her down. She can't even hold her head up. the resulting position doesn't look overly comfortable, but I worry trying to change it will cause too much pain to be worth it. Also, I'm not a dog. I don't actually know what's comfortable.

I've got exercise induced asthma. A quick and dirty way to explain that is that carrying a dog from the street to the front hall leaves me in a state as if I'd just run a marathon I was in no shape to run (breathing-wise at least.) It doesn't even occur to me to use my inhaler.

Out of breath, I try to figure out what to do next, and it involves a lot of phone calls.

Phone calls don't work well while you're out of breath.

It's not just phone calls, though, because I'm legitimately concerned that Chloe is going to die while I'm doing this and I don't want her to die alone. So I alternate between phone calls and comforting Chloe.

There's a growing pool of blood by her mouth. At some point after I put her there she took a shit. I can't actually see it, but the smell is there. She barely opens her eyes. Every so often her breath hitches and I think that she might have died. The comforting actually started before I made the first call, but the key point is that I'm alternating between the two.

I make the same mistake I made when my sister was run over. I assume that I'm alone in the house because yelling got no response. I still haven't come to understand heavy sleepers. I figure that the others must have gone and I simply forgot where, my memory for such things isn't the best, so when they have gone somewhere I usually do forget where they went.

Eventually all three of us are trying to get someone to give the dog a ride to . . . wherever. The vet we know has moved, by my sister knew where and . . . no one can provide transportation.

My sister thinks my dad has the day off which makes no sense, but any hope no matter how obviously false, right? I call him. It's exactly as expected. He has an idea though. Animal control is used to transporting animals. Call them.

Animal control isn't available. I call the main number for the police. It takes a while before they understand that I need someone to move a dog and reporting the person who hit the dog isn't my top priority, especially since I didn't even pay enough attention to know if they really did run away afterward.

By now I have blood on my forearm.

The police come. Three cars, for some reason. While they're arriving, Chloe rolls and shits again. Because of the rolling, I can see the shit I've been smelling all this time for the first time. The new shit . . . dog shit isn't a particularly attractive sight (or smell) under normal circumstances. This stuff is worse. It very clearly wasn't ready to come out yet (or something.) They say one loses bowel control when they die or are about to die, right?

We move Chloe into the last cop car to arrive. Honestly more of an SUV. They ask if someone is going with the dog, I say I am before they finish asking. Someone --housemate's boyfriend, I think-- asks if I want to clean up. I look at the blood on my forearm. I announce that I'll do it when we get there.

Chloe's already gotten blood where I was planning to sit, so I sit on the other side of her. I'm not sure if this is a good choice. I can hold her, I can pet her, I can talk to her, but she's facing away from me. she can't see me. Maybe I should have sat in the blood.

It's not a long ride, not really. It takes forever anyway. I hear some calls over the car's radio. Police talk means nothing to me. I'm not paying attention anyway.

We get there, they take the dog in, the cop goes back to doing cop things, I clean the blood off my arm (I also clean both hands and the other forearm, but it the blood was the only noticeable thing.)

I've decided by now that if the dog lives through this, I'm going to keep her. I don't know how I'll manage it, but I'll find a way.

They give me a form to fill out. I know very little.

Eventually the doctor comes. Chloe's fucked up, no surprise. It's too early to have any real sense of what her odds of pulling through are. It'll cost a minimum of 2,000 dollars just to stabilize her, but possible complications could push that to 4,000. I don't have this money. I do have credit. I can get at least three thousand on my best card. With interest rates like that, it's fucking stupid to even consider such a thing. I say I'll pay.

Stabilizing her is just the first step, if it works there will be more operations. Who knows how much it will cost in the end?

The paperwork hasn't gone through by the time the ride they've called for me comes.

It's my first time riding Uber. The driver sings to himself. I alternate between closing my eyes and looking out the window. Either way, I try to lose myself in the music I don't understand. It's soothing.

As we near my house there are police cars stopped in the road in front of a Best Western. The US Marshals (so it says on the back of a tan vest) are there with regular police and a guy who's smoking. Based on how he's holding his arms, I think the smoking guy has his hands cuffed behind his back. I see someone pat him down. I notice that one of the Marshals has a big fucking gun. It's a rifle that's meant to shoot a lot of bullets very fast. The driver stops singing has we pass that scene.

Not long after, we reach my house. I ask what he was singing, It's completely expected that the word he used made no sense to me, but I have a sound that can be useful. After looking at various words he might have been saying, I think he said that it was a Chewa song.

I'm home. For a long time there's no news. It takes way too long for the news to filter to me that they need the $2,000 that it will definitely cost up front. Eventually payment is made.

Housemate and her boyfriend tell me that it's not my fault. I disagree but don't say anything. I knew that Chloe wasn't properly trained. She ran off from them just yesterday or some such. They told me. I knew better than to let her go before we were in the house.

They also tell me that I don't have to pay. They're right, and they're wrong. My culpability in no way means I have to pay. I have to pay anyway.

I have had three dogs. One died of congestive heart failure in old age. The other was out of control and we gave him to people who were supposed to be able to handle him and rehabilitate him. Instead they ignored our warnings, got hurt, and put him down. Fuck them. We never would have given Zach to them if we'd known they'd just kill him a week later (or however it long it was; it might have been less.) He was out of control, but he wasn't beyond hope. We were supposed to be giving him to people who were better able to help him. The third dog is still alive. When we got him my mother and I lived together. After she moved in with her boyfriend, he stayed with me for a while, but eventually it was clear he'd be better off than her.

Nothing, not even Zach being unexpectedly killed by the people who were supposed to rehabilitate him, prepared me for Chloe laying on the ground (and later floor) with blood coming out of her mouth, labored breaths, barely able to keep her eyes open. Her three and a half month old puppy totally failing to understand the gravity of the situation. The fear when her breathing stopped and I wasn't next to her that I'd let her die alone. The way that tension didn't really go away when she started breathing again.

I can't just choose to let her die. Not like this. I had to pay. I have to pay.

(If she survives, she'll become dog number four.)

If you can help financially, this is my Paypal me, which I believe you need a Paypal account for, and this is my ko-fi, which I believe doesn't require an account. If you can't help, that's fine. I don't expect you to.

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Comments ( 2 )

I know I always say this to sad things, but dangit I'm really sorry. I really, really hope everything works out.

oh fuck im so sorry youve had such a horrid thing happen i wish i could help i really do my prayers are with you thoe

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