Our German Shepherd, Fang, was an extremely intelligent dog. She came to us as a puppy and seemed to immediately understand and obey our commands. At age seven she developed heart worms. Back then it was a death sentence.
It was heartbreaking to watch the once animated animal slowly succumb to the disease. My husband was away and I had just come home from work one afternoon.
“Hey, Fang, where are you girl?”
When she didn't respond, I checked out the back door. She had died under the bushes. I immediately called our vet and asked him what to do.
“If you bring her here, we'll handle the rest.”
Okay, just get her in the car and they'd take care of the body. Easier said than done. Fang weighed about eighty pounds.
I drove around to the back fence and opened the gate. My neighbor and his friend were outside chatting. Surely they'd help me with Fang. Unfortunately, they were far enough away to not see the dead dog.
I went inside and grabbed a sheet from the linen closet. By the time I had her wrapped in it, it looked like I was hauling a dead body, not a dog. I opened the two back doors to the car and started pushing and shoving Fang toward them.
Did the two men ever look my way? No sir. They were too embroiled in some kind of heated conversation. I didn't want to interrupt, so I just kept pushing.
When I finally got her to the car the biggest challenge was ahead – lifting her onto the back seat. A little push from the left side. A big pull from the right. Back to the left, then to the right, I heaved and hauled until I finally had her on the back seat. I could hardly breathe.
Holy Mother of God, let me finish this without dying myself.
Huffing and puffing, I turned on the ignition and backed out into the road. The drive to the Vet seemed endless. Once there I had to haul her out by myself because the place had closed at seven o'clock. I just yanked on her back legs and she slid out easily. I hated leaving her by their back door, but it had taken me way too long to get there. I covered her body with the sheet. I'd call the vet in the morning to be sure they had found her, then make the necessary arrangements for her burial.
There were people strolling by. Didn't they wonder what was under the sheet? I could have killed my husband and dumped him there. Not one person looked my way.
That night, as I lay in bed, every muscle I had ached. I cried into my pillow because there was no one to comfort me. My husband would be back tomorrow but that didn't help me now.
Looking back over the years it seems ludicrous, even laughable, how little people comprehend what is right before their eyes.