Taking Part In The Brutal & Necessary

Do you want to hear about killing a dog? Neither do I. I don’t want to write this. I want to forget about-put it in the furthest corners of my jumbled up brain while hoping it replaces itself over time. I’ve tried to write about it for over a week. Every time I sit down to the keyboard I stand up and walk away. Three times I’ve deleted the words and told myself to drop it.

One of my goals in life is to embrace all of its quirks. The greatest periods of personal growth come from some of the most wretched places, to ignore them is to disregard a chance at an unforeseen, perhaps unimaginable perspective. Only through perspective can we achieve understanding. For me, understanding is the secret ingredient of a well made life. If I can gain enough understanding, I will hopefully turn it to peacefulness, tranquility, and the real Atlantis of human mindset: contentment.

In the following I will attempt to work my way to understanding…

Living in a farmhouse off of a semi-busy road leads to a whole mess of bullshit. We have the occasional visitor who only stops to either sell something, ask for something or steal something. A couple of months ago, we had a guy fresh out of jail, who was walking forty miles, stop and ask for a ride. He wouldn’t stop asking. I would rather be in the car with a coked up mountain gorilla than this guy. He was rough looking and smelled like the aforementioned gorilla. It wasn’t happening. We have a few people stop because of car issues and I do my best to help them. It’s not all bad, but the absolute worst are the dog droppers.

What goes through the heads of dog droppers is baffling. They take their malnourished, beaten dogs, and drop them off at country houses. I guess in the sick world of justification, they feel as though the dog will have a good home. It will flourish in its new surroundings and all the damage will wash away. What these fucktards fail to realize is they have usually permanently destroyed the trust the dog may have ever had in humans. The dogs stick around because they’ve most likely been chained up for so long they have no concept of free space. They’re usually injured and sometimes dangerous to people and pets. The homeowner is now left with a tough decision.

Small towns are not hotbeds of dog rescue organizations, and city funded dog catchers are exactly that: city funded. We live over thirteen miles away from a city. You see my predicament? I’m left with deciding the dogs fate. I used to work with a dog rescue group out of Dallas and I know that even if there was a local group, dogs like these cannot take up the precious space held for better suited animals. The dropped off dog can either be left to suffer in the elements or put down.

Last week, we had such a dog. He could have been beautiful. I tried to corral him, feed him, call him, and anything else you can think to do to avoid killing him. He, like so many others, was too broken to be helped. I have two dogs of my own and I couldn’t take the risk of them getting sick or injured. (I’m having a hard time writing this. I’ve reread it and I hate it.) I made the decision to put him down.

For this part I will not go into detail. I will keep these memories. I will sum it up in one sentence: It was not a clean kill and he suffered horribly. I was angry at myself in ways I’ve never been. I kicked myself for failing this creature. I want to do awful things to the ones who put me in the position. Fuck them.

The perspective I’ve tried to gain from this experience is that of those who have to make tough decisions with no good answer but one right answer. The correct answer can be different for different people. I’ve been thinking of the choice between a mothers life and her child. I’ve been thinking of those who must decide whether more suffering would be caused by watching their loved one hold onto life through slow breaths given by a machine, or life without them. I’ve been thinking of the those who put their lives on the line everyday for strangers. All of these are much worse than what I went through. I cannot totally relate, but I think I understand.

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Soak Up The Best Parts

A long time ago I was told, or heard, read, or made up that the only concepts people deeply care about are love and death. Therefore, the only art worth a damn either dives into these subjects or glides by them enough to force the observer to feel their presence. Different variations of the two shine through in many ways, including sex (truthfully, I tend to think sex is stronger biologically than love but when taking into account a mothers love and the need for strong bonds within a human pack in order to survive, love might win out.) overcoming insurmountable odds to cheat death, sacrifice for the lives of others, health, learning ways to enjoy life more so that death will seem distant and irrelevant, and any other number of plot lines of stories, still pictures or poems.

I’ve chewed on this idea for many years and tried to achieve ways around it. I’ve read books, watched movies and seen other mediums that don’t fit into either category. While these might have their moments of magic, they fail to touch the spirit. They might make you think a little or laugh a lot but you won’t walk away feeling overwhelmed by life. Which begs the question of what’s the point. Considering our time breathing is minuscule and not guaranteed, it would seem to be a waste of it to spend it letting our minds grow mold around lesser matters.

Over the years I’ve spent obscene amounts of time pondering love & death. In my experience, I’ve seen love live a temporal existence, while death is of the more permanent variety. The changing tides of love never made sense to me until I finally realized that love everlasting is not sustainable in an ever changing life. People change, things change. My eureka moment wasn’t pleasant or welcomed. I didn’t want to think of a world where “I love you” meant now, not tomorrow. My heart did its battle with my head, and as per usual, my head won out. It all came together when I accepted that human nature was not built to perceive relationships in huge amounts of time. Death could be coming right up. Subconsciously we know it and make decisions based on its constant hovering.

After the initial shock of this love revelation, I wrapped it up into a tiny box and set it in the furthest reaches of my brain. I’d open it later when I had acquired the proper tools to make it work to my advantage. Without death, I may have never touched the subject again. I would have kept on forcing myself to either believe in a love doomed or I would have given up on love and become a terrible person. Alas, the promise of death formulated the proper thoughts to give me the proper perspective. Fear has always been my staunchest supporter. I can say with absolute certainty, without the level of fear I carry, I would have met death well before any lessons, whatsoever, could be learned.

Surely, I’m not alone in this exercise, I know a few people can relate to my morbid ways. I on occasion will close my eyes and imagine I have a deadly disease of some kind.  I’ll do my best make believe of all the feelings one might feel with a known deadline. I can only last for so long. My breathing gets heavy and I begin to panic. The intensity is too much. After my heart has slowed and my brain has cleared, I see what, if any, clarity I’ve achieved. Normally, the good stuff won’t show up for a few days or longer. The resining lasts for a good while. It was in such a time where I finally understood love in the most profound way.

Death is coming and love is here. At this moment I have love. In the present I have a gift. I must continue to focus on the current to understand the magnitude. Today, I have love. Death is for tomorrow.

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