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FNG / Fresh Meat
Feb 16, 2006

Panzer Meyer

FNG / Fresh Meat
Dec 26, 2005
North Cacilaci
You want sad, read this:

When I was six years old, my parents got a golden Labrador puppy. His name was Rusty. He was a tiny thing, and enjoyed biting the end of a blanket and being dangled in the air by it. Soon he was too big for this, but he never stopped loving that blanket, so we let him have it, torn and disgustingly soaked with dog slobber as it was. He would lie in the kitchen and bite into it and sit there with his face buried in it.Being a young boy, I was naturally pretty mean to him. I would tackle him, have play fights with him, steal his things. But not once did he ever bite me. He always forgave my behavior and was desperately happy to see me again if I had been away. I did not give much thought to this at the time.

As I grew older, I went away to school. I thought Rusty would forget about me, but whenever I returned for holidays he would see me, run back to the kitchen and fetch his blanket and come up to me. He enjoyed playing tug of war with it. One day I tugged too hard and ripped it a little. He stared at the blanket for a while, and took it away. After that he never played tug of war with me - he would simply let it go if I pulled - but he would always greet me with it in his mouth when I came home.

I continued to be mean to him, especially when watching TV. He made a very good pillow, so I would make him lie down in front of the TV and then lie back with my head resting on him. Patiently, sometimes for hours, he would lie there. If he tried to get up, I would firmly push him back down, and he would obediently lie down again.
I would only see him when I got home from school. I did not realize it at the time, but Rusty was my oldest and closest friend. He got older. Like many Labradors, he began suffering from arthritis in the joints of his rear legs. When I took him for walks, he found it harder and harder to go as far as he used to. He stopped running. One day I took him for a walk, and he collapsed. I carried him home in my arms.
My parents knew that Rusty was too old now. I was 20, so I should have known it too. But I refused to even discuss the possibility of putting him to sleep.

I took him on walks, but this simply consisted of going outside the house a few yards so he could relieve himself. His back legs were so bad from arthritis that he would collapse into his own sh*t as he tried to go. So I bent beside him, and held him up as he went, holding his haunches. It was disgusting. It was sickening. I never minded. One day he started yelping and whining with every limping step he took. My parents took me to the vet. He told me that Rusty was living in constant pain, and to keep him like this was cruelty.

The day we took him to the vet was bright and sunny. I hated God, the world and everyone in it for that. My mother went inside to arrange things. I was left outside with Rusty (I also think they left me out there to let me say my goodbyes in private). Near the vet, someone had left a poodle tied to a fence. It was extremely strange, as the owner didn't seem to be anywhere in sight. The poodle was female. Rusty had never been with other dogs. We had no other pets, and the limit of his experience was meeting other dogs during walks.

Now he was suddenly interested in this female poodle. So when, amazingly, Rusty got up, trembling, desperately holding himself up, trying to maintain his pride and dignity and walking without a sound towards the poodle, I did nothing but turned half-away, to make it seem I hadn't noticed. Rusty managed to get across to the poodle. To my utter astonishment, she didn't seem to be put off by him. She turned around. Rusty lifted his front legs to mount her. His back legs went out from under him, and he collapsed. His bladder lost control and started spewing piss all over the pavement. The poodle moved away, looking more confused than disgusted.

Rusty simply lay there, silent, looking around helplessly as his bladder emptied itself. Some of it was soaking into his fur. I walked over to Rusty, put my arms around him and hugged him, and helped him get up. I whispered that I loved him. I helped him away, and did my best to get the worst of the piss out of his fur.

Eventually, my mother came out and called us inside. I had to help Rusty into the vet's. We went into a small clinical room, past a bunch of people waiting with their pets, who just watched curiously as a 20 year old man helped an old golden Labrador walk in, holding up his haunches. I don't know if they could smell the piss. I had to lift him up onto the cold steel table, under the bright lights. There were three people there, the vet, two assistants. My mother watched from the door. I stroked Rusty's head. He never liked going to the vet. The vet said to me, "You should go."

Without thinking I turned and walked out the door. Once I was outside, I turned. The door was closing. But just before it closed, I saw him. He had lifted his head, and was looking towards me. I know he was just a dog, so I know he wasn't thinking about death. What I saw in his face was: "I'm kind of scared. This place is weird. These people are strange. I need reassurance. But you brought me here, so I guess it's okay." The door closed. I had seen him alive for the last time.

I walked out of the vet's, feeling numb. My mother was crying, and she went to the car. I kept walking without saying a word. I walked down street after street until I didn't know where I was. And then it hit me. The full force of it. The naked ****ing monstrous of it. I had just left my childhood friend to die alone, afraid and uncertain, in a room full of strangers. I doubled over, feeling nauseous. I slumped against a wall and slowly slid down it. And the tears came. Tears of self-loathing, of wanting more than anything else in the world to go back and change what I had just done. To do it differently.

My mother found me half an hour later, still crumpled up in the doorway, crying. She took me home. That was 11 years ago. I have never had another pet since then, but sometimes, I sit and look down at a filthy torn old blanket in my hands.
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