(While it's still fresh in my mind. You can flip if you want.)
Any form of life is sacred, no matter that they are born without the willpower and intellect that we human have.
A few weeks ago, Black the Boxweiler, was cornered by a few drunken guys nearby a local grocery store. The sight of him cowering gave the men some sort of perverse power. They picked up empty bottles, broken glasses, sticks and whatever were handy and threw them at him. Some missed its mark, some bulls-eyed. The helpless yelps and sometimes angry growls just made the men madder. 15 minutes later Black came home trembling with rage and spotting bruises and tiny cuts. This went on for a few more long days, and like a bullied child, an animal is no better, and as the hurt grew, so did the hatred for these despicable men.
And then the tables turned. A week ago, a neighbor rushed to the mistress informing her that Black had ran rampage and attacking the men one by one, the assailants who had been terrorizing him for days on end. He cornered one at his house not far away and rushed at him gnarling and barking ferociously, alarming the whole neighborhood. The man feared for his family. And then Black ran after another man who was on his way home from work. He didn't make it to a safe place before Black attacked him on his feet until a crowd rescued the man. Black ambushed another man at his house one morning and almost broke the fence fighting the man who was wielding a helmet. Even then the man continued to taunt him.
This went on for several days and Black came home after each encounter. You would think a dog would not know any better, but sometimes animals are more acute than humans, especially when bent on revenge. Black did not forget the face of his tormentors. Wouldn't you? Hatred does that to a person, doesn't it?
The neighbor who reported the attack urged the mistress to leash Black before anything bad happens. The mistress' grandmother even told her to send Black away, far far away, if she loved him, before things get out of hands. It was like a premonition. When push comes to shove, something someone somewhat somehow will fall far far down irrevocably.
Fast forward a little. Last Sunday, as usual, Black was barking and wagging his tail cheerfully even on a leash, when his Mistress came home. She has a small kid and a teen living with her, and a group of us were chatting progressively about dinner and the weather. When she shared with us the Black incident, no one really took that seriously. Patting Black's eager head and cooing at him, she turned the leash loose. Black went rushing off in bursts of life and delights seconds after being let out to God-knows-where. We laughed and went inside, totally engrossed in a series of kids vs adult drama talk.
15 minutes later Black came home jerky, writhing on the floor and foaming on the mouth, moaning pitifully. His mistress noticed immediately, stopped her chattering and rushed out. Something about her face told us she had seen something like this a few times in her life to recognize it immediately for what it was. Exploding into action, she whipped raw egg and added salt in a bowl and shoved it under Black's mouth, all the while her cries were louder and more pitiful than the dog's. It is at times like these that I wished I knew what to say or do to make things better, although in my heart I knew it was too potent and too late to react. The mistress held Black's head, rubbing aggressively, insisting he ate the concoction, all the while crying herself.
5 minutes later the violent twitching stopped. Black died in the arms of his mistress and I've never seen anything more heart-wrenching as the sight of her cuddling his head, trying to stay the warmth, irregardless of the goo on his mouth and all.
To hear tell, Black had been a victim of sudden poisoning via injection -- slung shot injection, from the looks of it. I gazed in disbelief at some length some people will go to to achieve whatever end. I never even heard of such thing! Technology? My God... these dog-killers were probably still around the area waiting for him to actually die! The knowledge that those murderers were close by -- they had to be, a sling shot is lucky only if from a close distance, and Black did not run far away at night -- made the hairs on my arms stand on end. A person who could kill a dog with such heartless intent, could kill a human too, couldn't they?
My sister held the smaller daughter away. A kid shouldn't see something like this. Helpless, as astounding as it was, I just stood there, unable to accept the fact that this happened right before our eyes. My eyes! I never witness such heartless act in my entire life. To take a life away like it's worthless. There will be hell to pay.
Tomorrow there would be repercussions. Did he bring this upon himself? No, not unprovoked. Did those bullies had a sound reason? I'm not one to judge. But as I listened to Black's mistress recounted the whole ordeal from beginning to end in between sobs, I prayed that God would look upon her and her family with grace and mercy in times of her grief. It is one thing to own a dog, it is another to love him.
I am sorry, I am being melodramatic, but this ordeal has touched me in a way I could not quite explain. I've had pets dying before, I even helped buried a cat or two who died in our care or at birth or freak accidents. In fact we had dog pets at my home growing up, but something about animal attachment just grew weary on some us. I'm better off without pets anyway, I cannot deal with too much love, but that's another story.
I knew Black. He wasn't a violent dog. He was a good farm dog, helpful and even gentle with kids. Every time I came to visit, he would rush over and crowd me with wet tongue and waggy tail and whimpers of delight. Of course I would remember, I dislike dog wet licks on my bare legs, but I didn't push him away. How could anyone, when showered with such open demonstrative adoration?
Being Christians, we accept this with forgiving hearts, but God sees all things, and we believe God will avenge accordingly. As long as I, we, do not raise our hands to another. Even right now, I breath prayers to the souls of the men who did this.
Rest in peace, Black.