fresh in the miracle of birth, your eyes were the universe

Killing a Dog

I’ve killed lots of mice and fish and worms a few rats one or two crawdads no elephants billions of bacteria lots of insects a few snakes and one dog. The dog I didn’t kill with my own two hands. I killed her the way Presidential advisors kill – except I watched up close.

I guess the thing I remember most about Tiger was her farts. Tiger was half Labrador and half something bigger, a lot bigger. Labradors are famous for their smelly farts. Tiger’s farts were true Labrador farts, only bigger, a lot bigger. But Tiger had more than smelly farts – she had personality

Afterwards they sent us a card – just offering their sympathy – do doctors do that when they kill humans?

Her favorite farting location was on the kitchen floor. Sitting with her butthole pressed against the linoleum enhanced the acoustic dimension enormously. She would be so startled by the noise she would leap up, spin around and try to stare quizzically – and innocently – into her own asshole. Each time, she was as surprised as the time before. We could never figure out if she was that good an actress or that stupid.

When she got old, her back legs wouldn’t work right

Right now I am almost writing this through tears but if I had it to do all over again I would still kill her. She was my sisters jailer.

For years and years Tiger used to protect us – my sister her son and any of the rest of us who were around. I think my sister really relied on Tiger’s big safe presence especially after Tony moved out.

We had succeeded in turning her into a vegetable but we couldn’t kill her. Finally they got a really long needle – it looked like a railroad spike – and jammed it into her heart.

Tiger was old. She couldn’t get up without help. I left the basement door open. I didn’t do it on purpose.

I could imagine myself putting down old people in similar circumstances. Maybe it would be easier dogs don’t show their age as much as humans do.

Tiger was missing a toe. it might have been cancer my sister didn’t ask them to look she didn’t want to know afterwards she was sorry. If we had known for sure that Tiger had cancer it would have been easier.

When I got back she was hanging upside down she had fallen and her rear leg had gotten caught between the stairs and the furnace. Beneath her was a little blood and a pool of saliva – it looked like quarts.

They couldn’t find a vein so they tried over and over. After the first shot her tongue hung out and lay flat on the table like wet paper.