Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bindi Broke My Heart

WARNING: Don't read this. You will cry. I'm crying as I write it.

This is Bindi. She was adopted from the county shelter three months ago. She was found as a stray. She stayed at a local doggie daycare facility for a couple of weeks and then was transferred to the shelter downtown. The county evaluated her and determined that she was a good candidate for adoption. They spayed, vaccinated and microchipped her. A resident of my city fell in love with her and brought her home.

Unfortunately, the county got it wrong. Bindi may be sweet and funny 90% of the time, but she has a scary dark side. In the past few months Bindi attacked three dogs without warning, and also bit her owner's boyfriend bad enough that he had to go to the hospital. Bindi's been in quarantine at my kennel for the past 10 days. We've played with her, fed her junk food and treated her as best we could. Why? Because this morning I had to take her to the vet to be euthanized. It sucks.

I don't disagree with the owner's decision. Owner says she can no longer trust Bindi around her family and other pets. She didn't want to give the dog away because she would feel guilty if Bindi hurt somebody else. Sure, there may be a no dog, kid-free home out there that would take her eventually, but nobody was willing/able to house Bindi until then. And if Bindi had been returned to the county shelter, she would have been euthanized. Knowing her history, the shelter couldn't rehome her for liability reasons. So Owner made the decision that no one wants to talk about.

I want to applaud Owner for the way she handled the situation. Even though she's only had Bindi for three months, Owner loved her. (I can see why, I adored her myself.) So instead of sending downtown to be euthanized (free of charge) Owner made arrangements for me to take Bindi to her private vet once the bite quarantine was over. Bindi was surrounded by her loved ones and died peacefully. Owner also made arrangements to have Bindi cremated because she couldn't stand the thought of Bindi in a mass grave at the landfill with all the other unwanted animals.

I dropped Bindi off and am hiding in my kennel so I could cry in private. Now I've got a headache and my face is swollen. Did I mention that this sucks? Back when I worked at the county shelter we euthanized animals regularly and I learned to compartmentalize my feelings. Euthanasia is not a regular thing in my tiny beach town so I forget to lock my heart away. Instead, I cry like a baby every time.

You're crying too, aren't you? It's your own fault. I told you not to read the post! -- K

R.I.P. Chunky Monkey. I loved you for the short time I knew you.