Time went on and the stresses from working at an animal shelter was always running my emotions to an ultimate high so when I would come home from a long stressful day at work the only thing that made me feel better was her, she knew who I truly was inside, she knew all my fears, she knew everything about me and still loved me for it all. In her eyes I had no faults.

She was the only reason I got up everyday and did what I did; she was the reason I could set aside how I felt about bad people and see the good. I do not know how she did this; it was as if she spoke to me, with her little soft tap on my head with her paws, or the silly way she would roll over and make me smile when I did not feel like smiling at all.

I would sing this little song to her every single day of her life; it was called the “Co-Co Bear” song. That is what I called her and that is what I named the song, she loved it, it seemed to sooth her, and make her relax. It's strange how no matter how old we are we can become so childlike in the presence of our loved ones.

The days went on and on with her smoothly at home, until one day by accident a fight broke out between her and her daughter Daisy, It was my fault as I didn’t latch the door. She attacked Daisy and almost killed her. I was so distraught and shaking by the time we got them apart. Daisy was completely torn up, I though she was dead, and Meeka being the ex fighting dog that I knew she probably was, wasn’t hurt. She did, however, have it out for Daisy from then on, and I knew from that point on there was no turning back. I had been so careful to keep them separated, but I hadn’t latched the door like I thought I had.

I laid there in bed that night crying because I had a dog in the hospital with injuries that could kill her, and had one at the foot of my bed that I was so attached to emotionally and spiritually that I was so torn, what was I going to do? I rescued all of them, not to put them into danger and now look what happened, what was I to do?

I wrestled with this for a couple of months, and as those months went by I tried several ways to try to get her adjust differently. I tried so hard, I refused to give up on her. She tried so very hard, she did so good for such a long time, but it took me having to be the one who delivered the commands, it was hard for me to get her to listen to someone else. It was me who she was so attached to and it was me who she took commands from, no one else, which posed big problems.

I knew it in my heart. There was one more fight; this time it was because she had scaled the 9 foot fence to get to me but Daisy was in the front yard. I was there in time luckily, but it was also then when I knew I had to do something, I just couldn't take a chance on someone or something being hurt.

You would think that years of working in the animal control profession would make you see things clearly. This should have been, and I’m sure was, black and white for most people, - you have a dog that’s has attacked another dog on 2 separate occasions like she did; you fear her getting out so you construct a 9 foot fence and yet she gets over it; you would think this situation would be a no brainer call, certainly a dog most would vote to be a candidate for euthanasia.

And I am sure maybe that is what it was.

However, if you had to make a call to cut off life support on a loved one, the choice isn’t so clear, even if you know that there may be no chance of a normal life after survival that choice is still the hardest to make even with all that I knew about animal aggression and animal behaviour, not to mention years of working in animal control.  All the years of experience that I had, still didn’t make this choice any easier for me.  I knew what I had to do. It was just doing it, making that call, signing her death warrant that was something I felt I just could not do.

I was stuck, and to this very day, I can hardly talk about it. and to this very day, if I had one wish in my heart it would be to bring her back to me. For what justified reason? I have none, other than the painful empty place in my heart.

After days and nights of crying with her, and silently cursing her previous owners I came to the realization that I had to euthanise her.  I had to do what I knew was the responsible thing to do, for others around me, and for her, as terrible as that may sound, she lived in a world of love from me, but she also lived in a world of turmoil inside of her. She tried to be something she just could not be, no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t do it. She gave me her all, I could see it in her eyes. And for me to try to make her do it time after time after time, was breaking her.

I know that our hearts were breaking together. I actually did not want to live without her, no one in this world knew how much I loved that dog.  She was much more than just a dog to me, she was my best friend. She was the one who knew how to make me smile when I didn’t feel like smiling, she was the one who took away all the anger I had for people who treated their pets so bad, she would look at me as if she was saying, don’t be angry at them, just teach them and forgive them, and I did. Because of her.

To read the final chapter in Laura's story, please click here

A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras

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