Thursday, September 21, 2006

Goodbye Hayley



My sister's dog Hayley died last night. She was chasing a cat, and a car hit her hard and fast, and broke her back. I don't know the details of how she got onto the road in the first place, I think she had just come back from her evening walk and was getting out of the car. My sister's husband took her to two vets, they were closed, and on the way to the third one, she died. But before that he brought her home so that my sister could say goodbye.

She was a young dog, less than two years old, a funny cross between a Blue Heeler and a Border Collie. I remember the day my sister first got her and how she looked; all ears and nose and eyes in a little face, absolutely fearless and curious about everything she saw. The photo above was from the first time I met her.

Needless to say, my sister is extremely distraught. If she ate out she always brought back tidbits for Hayley, the living room was full of stuffed toys bought from op shops, she talked about her constantly until my Mum would get exasperated and say "Aiyah! Just have a child already!"

I pray that the grief will pass soon.

I know the dog shouldn't have been near the road in the first place, but I also wish that cat's owner had kept it in for the night, as all responsible cat owners should. Cats don't need licenses, so councils don't know how many there are in the area, or how many are desexed. They kill native fauna, even when belled, and they're allowed to roam free at night. It's not right.

This is not a cat hate rant. The cat was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. I've known many wonderful cats, whose owners do the right thing.

I also realise that there are just as many derelict dog owners and breeders out there too, who let their dogs wander, don't desex or license them, and breed them irresponsibly, creating diseased or crippled strains that render heartache and great expense to their future owners.

Don't get me started on pet shops that keep animals in tiny glass cages so they learn to sleep and eat where they defecate, and turn puppies and kittens into impulse buys by windowshoppers, bought by brainless people who then seem surprised that they'll have to look after their new acquisition for at least 10 years, and be responsible for its poo and food and health during that time.

When you point your finger, three more point back at you.

Update (14/12/2006): I just thought I'd add a little more to this story, about the kindness of strangers. I was on the phone with my sister the day after the accident, she hadn't stopped crying since the day before, and had stayed home from work.

I heard her doorbell rang in the distance, she said, "I'd better go get that," and put the phone down. A few minutes later she called me up with this story.

The lady at the door lived over the road where Hayley had been knocked down. She saw the accident from her balcony, and the next morning, she walked down to where it happened, and looked for Hayley's collar.

She gave the collar to my sister, and said, "I saw the whole thing, and I'm so sorry for your loss." She continued, "I have two dogs myself, and I would hate to lose them," and then gave my sister a big hug.

1 Comment:

Simple Sanctuary said...

I know how it feels losing an animal. My sisters roomates cat Peanut died in her sleep.