We are visiting Husband’s family this weekend in a town just 90 minutes from home. It’s a full house; his older sister and her family are moving across the country and are in town for a few days, and his younger sister lives at the house still, but it has been a good weekend.
Yesterday evening as we were all relaxing in the house after a day in the backyard with potato salad, sandwiches, ice cream, and yard games, there was a ruckus in front of the house. Husband’s younger sister went out to investigate because the dogs seemed to be hyper (there are currently three dogs on this 10-acre farm), and met a strange car with an apologetic man in the driver’s seat.
“I’m so very sorry,” he said. “I hit one of your dogs. I’m not sure if he’s hurt; he just jumped up and ran away, but I wanted to let you know he’d been hit.”
At about the same time, my brother-in-law came in from the backyard. “Jake’s not doing well,” he said, “I think he was hit by a car.”
I jumped up from where I was sitting. “Does our sister-in-law know?” I asked, since it was her dog.
“I don’t know.”
Within about three minutes we had found my sister-in-law and were all gathered in the backyard around Jake, who was lying in the grass, panting. Brother-in-Law told us he had come running from the front of the house, laid down, then tried to stand back up but collapsed. The only blood we could find was coming from one of his back paws, from around his toe. As we examined him, Jake laid his head down on the ground and began breathing more erratically.
Over the next 30 minutes we watched the life seep out of Jake, who had most likely been crushed internally when run over by the car. He never whimpered, never whined, but his breathing became more and more erratic, then slowed, and his pupils were dilated.
Not sure what to do, we covered him in a blanket and petted him gently. Sister-in-Law whispered in his ear and cried, Older Sister-in-Law and I hugged and comforted Younger Sister-in-Law as she mourned the slow loss of her “puppy.”
This was hard enough to watch; I’ve never seen anyone or anything slowly die in front of me. What made it worse was that, since there was no blood or visible trauma, Little Miss was still there in the yard with us. Of course, she had no idea that Jake was dying; she simply thought we were sitting there, petting the doggy and putting him night-night with a blanket. So she took her three little blankets she was carrying around and placed them gently on Jake’s back, and patted him on the head.
That was what really hurt me.
Jake is now lying next to a previous family dog in a field next to the yard, going night-night forever.
Little Miss befriends Jake