(Warning: Graphic images follow)
I’m not sure how many more times my heart can break, before it shatters.
Weather-wise and other-wise, today was dark.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is currently experiencing a storm; a tropical wave is hitting this tiny rock in the middle of what feels like nowhere-and my entire world at the same time. It’s only appropriate for a day like today, when yet again, I looked death and misfortune straight in the eye as it manifested through an innocent, helpless and discarded sentient creature. A dog I named Spirit, left for dead.
I received a call around 9:30 this morning from a concerned woman who had just passed a pup in the gutter off a busy road in Kingstown with what appeared to be two broken back legs. I immediately called Leslie and Max to help me find and rescue this sweet girl.
Observed by witnesses, she was hit by a car over a week ago, and struggled to survive on the streets. She was skin and bone when we got to her, no doubt starving, but seemed relieved to be taken by gentle strangers out of the rain and into shelter and warmth.
Unnamed, unowned, unclaimed, a dog that could have been yours, or mine had such a strong spirit and hunger for life. She amazed us by propping her body up on her two front legs to “walk”, broken legs dangling behind and under her-exposed bone and all. She had tended to the wounds well, as there was not evident signs of infection.
Her tail wagged when kind words and gestures, for once, were extended towards her. Her deep brown eyes, glowing with yellow rings, seemed to say, “I’m tired. So tired…thank you.”
With the injection in the vet’s hand that would hush her existence, I along with the two or three others present wracked our minds to think of what kind and patient soul could take her in and allow her to recover and rehabilitate with love and peace.
In the end, I carried her out of the clinic. I cradled her in a clear plastic bag, lifeless, still warm to the touch, as the tears blended with misting rain down my swollen cheeks. I tried to close her eyes, but they remained open, as if to say, “Remember me and don’t let my efforts to live die today.”
I mourn for Spirit. I mourn for what she represents-the drop in the ocean affect we are having, and the countless other animals who are suffering all over the world, but especially in this country-on the streets and chained in yards. Hungry, abused, scared, and seen as disposable.
In the moments before they die, I am with them, and all I can say is, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I failed you. We failed you. This country failed you.” They don’t understand and they don’t deserve pain and suffering.
But what hurts the most, is when the animal can be saved, but a lack of facility or willing caretaker leaves us left, in extreme cases, with this as the only option.
She didn’t put up a fight, she came to us willingly. I won’t let her death go unnoticed or without sharing. Her spirit, like so many I have been affected by on this island, remain with me and motivate me to make it through the dark storms.
RIP Spirit. May your soul finally sleep in peace.