Burying a dead dog...

collar

I wasn't exactly planning on burying a dead dog in my yard last night. I should clarify, that this was not one of my dogs, but a dog I have never met before.

We had just finished up hanging out at my in-laws house for a birthday dinner; Allison's grandpa Ralph was the guest of honor. Driving in separate cars, Allison headed for home with Ava and I was on my way to the grocery to pick up some last minute items for my trip to Atlanta.

Before I got to the store, Allison called me with a frantic "There's a dog in the road that got hit and it's still moving...I don't know what to do!"

I didn't know either, but I told her "I'll be right there."

When I pulled up to the bloody and squirming dog my heart sank. These are the situations when I realize just how much of a sucker for animals I really am. I put the car in park and switched on the flashers. This dog was in really bad shape. It was a black and white, male Shetland Sheepdog.

He was still moving when I got down on the road by him. Not a whole lot...but breathing and moving his legs about. I wasn't sure what to do so I looked for a collar on him...there was a small collar, but no tags.

I moved him off to the side of the road into the grass and I prayed that he would be okay. When I felt the back of his head I could tell he wasn't going to be. His skull was partially crushed. I've got to be honest that my prayer did not end with an amen, but rather, a dammit.

Not exactly sure what I should do next, I went to two of the houses that were nearby. Ringing doorbells, explaining what was going on, residents didn't know anything about this dog.

I thought about leaving him on the side of the road for a split second and I knew it wasn't right. I thought about calling someone, but no one could fix this. So I decided to load up the dying dog into my vehicle and drive him to the local animal hospital. He was covered in blood, so I laid out the only paper I had on the floor of the car...it was the 7 pages of notes I had from my teachings at church this past weekend.

The nameless dog stopped moving just as I pulled into the animal hospital parking lot. I had him sitting right next to me and I wasn't sure if I should even go in at this point. He was dead.

As I thought about it, I remembered that some dogs have microchips put into their skin in case they ever get lost. If he had one, at least we could let the owner know. I'm certain they were looking for this little guy. I also just didn't know what to do next...so I went in.

They rushed out like an ER team for humans and carted the dog into the hospital. They immediately checked all his vitals and determined what I had already known...he was gone. They took down my information, checked him for a microchip...which he didn't have, and gathered a description of him in case anyone called looking.

They told me that as much as they hated doing it, they had to charge me if I were to leave the dog there for them to dispose of. The other option was me taking him with me and figuring something out. I buried the unknown dog right where I would have buried either of my own dogs; a place of honor on my property.

I know it may sound stupid, but I really hope that little dog caught a glimpse of a human taking care of him as best he could before giving up. And may his owners have peace after losing a friend.

53 waggish utterances thus far...:

teri1960sumpthin said...

You are a good man. Reading this made me tear up.
God Bless

scott d said...

you're a good dude, ryan.

Natalie said...

On behalf of animal lovers everywhere, thank you. You know you did right, and sharing the story renews our faith in the goodness that is out there.

Annie said...

Thank you for doing this. One of cats was hit and killed a couple of years ago, and we were thankful to find him and bury him ourselves. But if we hadn't found him, we would have wanted someone else to be as kind as you.
And I love that you sacrificed your teaching notes. I buried Buddy wrapped in some fabric I had sewn by hand.

Snobound said...

We've buried many dogs of our own over the years, and each time it's difficult to lay their cold bodies in the ground. Thank you for taking the time to care for this wounded animal, even though he wasn't your responsibility - it reminds me of the story of the Good Samaritan - he probably had some of the same emotions and thoughts you did. Do I get involved? Do I just leave him here and hope his owner (or a friend) comes looking? Do I want to pay for this? etc.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Annie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Erin said...

Bleh...That pulls at the heart strings. We don't have a dog, 2 cats. But I had a family dog growing up. Callie. My parents had got her a few months after I was born. So we "grew up" together. She lived to be 16 years old and could still outrun me at that age. I still think about her, she was the best dog ever.

It was good of you to care for that dog. I hope the owners find out the truth so they aren't often wondering what ever happened...

BAL's mom said...

"Whatsoever you do for the least of my people", well the dog isn't a people but he is one of God's creations and his owners are peoples so you have done for God, you are such an example. I'm glad I found your blog.

Chris said...

That has to be the saddest thing I will read all day.

Thanks for helping do what you could for him. The only thing once would be to be there when it happened.

-Chris
Weather Moose

SandraLynn said...

You are a good and kind and decent man, Ryan. Thank you for taking care of that poor animal as you would have one of your own.

crabapple said...

poor puppy. his poor family :( my dog went missing for a couple days and my fear was that she was hurt and alone.

makes me cry thinking about it. i hope his family is able to find you and find comfort that their puppy wasn't alone in his last moments.

Kim said...

Have to admit...I got a little teary-eyed reading this. Mostly how God used you for that little dog and seeing the love and kindness from your heart. You're a good guy.

Blessings!
Kim

Carly said...

If it were my dog, Hunter, I know I would be gratefull that there was someone there who cared about him for the last moments of his life.

God bless.

Kimberly said...

Ryan, I would've done the same thing. I love all animals. I hate it when when the owners aren't able to be located. We had our Misa microchipped.

Twinmommy2boys said...

Bless You and Thank You!

Darth Mom said...

Ryan, you are a sweetheart.

Kelly said...

What a man! I never think of myself as an animal lover, but that story made me tear up. I hope if anythng like that ever happens to our crazy dog-who loves to run away-someone like you finds him and does the same. They should have had a chip in him, poor dog.

DeborahB said...

Seriously. Tearing up at work here. Thank you on behalf of the pup's owner. Poor little guy. I'm sure he knew somehow you were trying to help.

Fatt Daddy said...

Ryan, your a truly decent human being that gives glory to God in your words and actions!

MaineMom said...

My sister-in-law forwarded this to me. I'm at work and luckily I work in a padded cell. I just got very teary-eyed. Thank you thank you thank you for doing everything you could for that poor dog. I rescue everything from baby mice to squirrels to birds, and although I am not a God-fearing person, I do believe that we are on this planet to help others. Both humans and animals alike.

S said...

Ryan - bless you. Know that you DID in fact give that sweet creature a few moments of comfort. More Ryans in this world please - pronto.

Kelly said...

Thank you.

Laurie said...

I don't know what to say. My heart is torn between the sadness of of this poor dog and the thankfulness that you were so kind to him.

Not Too Old said...

You're a good man. Thanks for giving that dog some of the "crumbs from under the table" of kindness and love.

He answered, "It isn't right to take the children's bread and throw it to their dogs." "Yes, Lord," she said, "yet even the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."

Matthew 15:26-27

Be Inspired Always said...

Wow, this made me tear up. I would have done the samething.

It reminds me of the english setter we have, she'll be 14 this year. I know we will be losing her soon.

Jillian

Krista said...

It's good to know there are good people like you out there, willing to go the extra mile.

Bombastic Bandicoot said...

God bless you for that act of gentle kindness. He deserved that much.

Cindy said...

How sad. You are a good guy to take care of that dog. Sorry you had to go through that.

Helen Ann said...

You are awesome, Ryan Detzel! I know that he knew that you and Allison cared about him enough to do something for him.

I had to do something similar for a cat that had gotten hit on Elberon avenue. It was awful but I knew in my heart that it would have been wrong to leave him flailing in the road.

This guys little face will greet you in Heaven one day. And he will thank you.

Great, now I'm all teary eyed!

HUGS!

Katy said...

Ryan,
Thank you for taking care of one of God's creatures with such kindness. I cried like a baby over your story, I have loved many a four legged creature in my life, and am so glad to hear of your story.

Cheri said...

Thank you for caring for one of God's creatures like you did. I can't stand to see (or hear about) hurting animals either. My heart hurts for you, Allison, the dog, and the owners. :(

Ellyn said...

You did a good thing. I hope he felt a few moments of love too.

I am praying the owners find out what happened to him. The not knowing is so hard. I have been there.

Liz KS said...

God bless you for taking care of that dog Ryan. You did the right thing.

Sarah said...

How sad! That was very honorable of you to take care of that poor little dog!

Shell said...

Thank You For doing what you did for the dog. If it had been my animal I would be very happy he was helped, and did not die alone.

Debbie said...

God Bless you Ryan. I have two Siberian Huskies and would be so grateful to you if it had been one of them. Just curious, do you think there will be pets in heaven?

Tracy said...

What a fantastic person you are. Most people who have drove right by him and wouldn't have gave it a second thought. I, as many, am crying as a type this comment. Thank you for showing your kindness to a stranger even tho he wasn't human.

Isabella said...

God bless you for doing the right thing. This made me miss my Taylor - my 12 year old golden lab, who was my service dog (and she's not even gone. She "retired" and lives about 2k miles away with my mom)

I'm more than certain that dog knew he was in loving hands, yours and His, when he passed.

Donna said...

What a touching story! You handled that so beautifully. I would have been a complete mess.
I'm glad that puppy dog had you with him. And I'm happy to have stumbled onto your site. I'd love to come back.

klskiles said...

Once my family found a dying cat. We took it into our home and called the vets who gave us instructions on what to do (we didn't have much time). We did what we were instructed to do, but the cat passed away anyway. My brother and I cried and cried, but my parents commented that we found it just in time to give it a comfortable passing. I will never forget that. The cat wasn't out in the cold, it was in our warm house, in my dad's large hands. We named her Mudge (she had a muddy smudge on her forehead) and then buried her in our back yard as one of our pets. We loved her.

klskiles said...

Anyway, Ryan, the point of my story is to confirm that yes, the dog felt your care and concern and that you gave him a more comfortable passing. Thank you for doing something.

Jenny said...

God Bless you.

Even though you made me cry again.

You were a true blessing in that pup's life. So glad that you could be there and stop. Think of the folks that probably passed him by.

You will be rewarded.

scargosun said...

You are a wonderful human. I hope that if this ever happens to me I will be able to handle it as you did. That dog died knowing a human cared about him. From one dog lover to another, thank you.

Kate said...

It made me cry.

DanThoms said...

That was very Helen of you :)hel

June Bug said...

God Bless You, Ryan.

Ryan Detzel said...

Thank you all so much for your kind words. I'm in Atlanta today and tomorrow, but a strange sense of community follows me wherever I go now.

I am a good man. I am destined for greatness just as all of you are...it's time we confront the face of negativity, apathy, and overall spectating by saying yes to what we all know we should be doing; good.

LOVE WINS.

Karen said...

You are one in a million, Ryan. Thank you.

KG said...

God bless you. As huge a dog lover as I am, I don't know that I would have had the stomach to see him suffering so but thank God there are strong people like you to let him leave with a thought of love and care. Seriously, you had tears rolling down my face. I know he's in a better place and just another sign that there is humanity out there in this crazy world we all live in today. Thanks Ryan!

Kincade1996 said...

I totally teared up. I'm such a sucker for a dog. Mine is laying beside me all stretched out on my bed.

I saw a deceased cat on a small highway as I headed to work this morning. A few feet from it was a small dog, also deceased.

I prayed for them. Hoping their last few minutes were running around in their huge yard chasing after one another.

Chrissy said...

That was so sad....I am sure the family, if they knew, would appreciate what you did, I know I would. Saw your post on Pioneer Woman about a yorkie or a Basset...defi.get a Basset! I have one and she has been the best dog I have ever owned. They are totally loyal and sooo smart! They make a great head rest too and you can't do that with a Yorkie! LOL

Dollymama said...

You did the right thing. Thank you.

Bonnie said...

What a wonderful thing to do, to be there for the last minutes of his life. We had a similar experience, with thankfully the dog recovering and finding the owners hours later as he was recovering. They sent us a thank you card from the dog the next year, thanking us for coming into his life and being there to save him. I am sure his owners would have thanked you for giving him the time you did and the kind burial.