Portugal Notes

So yesterday evening I\’m out riding my bicycle along the main road.

Over on the other side I hear a dog yelp, look over and there\’s a dog either just been hit or thrown out of a car on the bank. Assume it\’s dead and carry on.

A couple of km\’s down the road I think about it a little more. Turn around and come back to look for it.

Yes, there it is, badly injured. I\’m dressed in shorts and nothing but, no phone, no money, nada. I assume it\’s going to die shortly and carry on on my way.

Today I realise that I actually do have that awkward thing, a conscience. Back I go, with the car this time: is that dog actually dead?

Nope, it\’s huddling in the ditch where I left it. I\’m a little hesitant about approaching injured dogs as the eight stitches in my left hand from the last time I did so are still visible, if healed.

A blanket from the car and off we go to the vets. They look at it and say it definitely wasn\’t hit, as there are no external injuries. We all assume it was thrown from a moving vehilce therefore: the vets do not seem surprised at this behaviour.

However, the internal injuries are severe: not to organs, but one leg broken in at least two places (compund breaks at least) and the pelvis gone as well, for the other leg is not working.

Repair work? €400 for the one leg at least and over that again for the pelvis, if it survives. For an 8 or so year old dog? Not going to happen, is it?

The injection is going on now, if it hasn\’t already happened: yes, I\’m way too much of a softie to be there. And yes, I\’ll be paying the €30 for the cremation, rather than taking the body to bury as the vet suggested.

No, there\’s no real point to this story: yes, a little sad at the end of the tale, but animals die as do we all.

I should of course have done these things last night, rather than leave an injured animal in the ditch: so why is there no longer a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach? Why do I feel as if there is a weight off my shoulders?

18 thoughts on “Portugal Notes”

  1. Now if it had been something you could have eaten, you’d have acted faster, wouldn’t you? Incentives matter.

  2. Why do you feel the way you do? Because you fulfilled your side of the contract we have with the creatures over whose lives we have power. Most people wouldn’t have – you did well.

  3. Even a puppy wouldn’t have had an easy recovery from injuries like that. Vets have ways and means of guiding you towards the right decision.
    I’m very devoted to my pets, always have been, but I know what it is like to be firmly over-ruled by the Vet when I was clinging to false optimism.

    Incidentally Timmy I do hope you weren’t on that r

  4. … sorry…

    ricketty cheap thing with the pedals that keep breaking off.

    We don’t want anyone finding you wimpering in a ditch with a broken leg now do we?

  5. Well done. You said a little while ago, I think, we have a duty of care You’re a man of your word, Tim.

  6. The weight is off your shoulders because you did the right thing.

    I don’t blame you not being there: I always am, the dog goes finally to sleep with its head in my lap, and the vet leaves me to sob over it.

    That 400 you saved – spend it on a gun, in case you meet the bastard who tossed the dog. Give him a bullet from me.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    Perhaps you feel a weight off your shoulders because in the end we all have obligations to others?

    Now if I wanted to make a crass political point, I’d quote Mrs Thatcher pointing out that there is no such thing as society, there are individuals, there are families, and we ought to look to those first. So instead of waiting for the local council’s dog catcher to come around, you dealt with it as a person should – personally. Quicker, faster, and more humane. Some obligations we cannot palm off by saying we already gave to the Inland Revenue.

  8. “Heaven is a place where all your pets from your life come to greet you”
    My grandfather used to tell me that.
    You done good, Tim.

  9. Good man. Portugal needs men like you, who cremate dogs, rather than taking the body to bury as the vet suggested.

    Of course, if you lived in the United States or Colombia you could have simply blown its head off with a pistol, saving both time and money.

  10. “That 400 you saved – spend it on a gun, in case you meet the bastard who tossed the dog. Give him a bullet from me.”

    Why waste a perfectly good bullet? Just toss the *&$%£&* from a speeding car….

    …and if he somehow makes it, stop, back up, then shoot him.

  11. My Dear Julia,

    I am a civilised and humane man, so what I have in mind is gutshooting the wretch, then watching him die slowly and in agony.

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