She Was Lucky

April 1, 2012
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When they carried the little brown dog in, my heart melted away. But, my eyes and ears couldn't take her. Her breaths were choppy and raged, as she fought to force air into her beaten lungs. Her front leg dangled uselessly on the side, bent and twisted, as if the bone itself was shattered and smashed. Her sides and shoulders were bleeding or caked with blood. Her eye was swollen shut, as if hiding whether it still held an eye or not.

The officer planted her into my arms, and went back to the truck to bring in more dogs. She was dead weight in my arms, there was hardly and life left in her. We followed the veterinarian into the Intensive Care Unit, and I put her on the table and walked out.

The vet caught me at the door, "Margo, what's her name?"

"Easy, Viva Neña, Little Life." I pulled my clipboard off the door, and added Viva to the list. In this week alone, 48 dogs had been brought it, and only 30 were still with us. It had been a big raid. After uncovering the secret operation, the animal control officers had brought over a hundred dying dogs to different hospitals.

Viva was lucky, over 20,000 dogs die in dog fighting every year, and not from just direct fighting, the ones who lose the fights are often shot, drowned, electrocuted, or hung. Hardly any of them make it to medical care.

After over a year of surgery and therapy, Viva was able to go to a new safer home, with her bruises healed, blood cleaned, and metal aligning her leg. But, as with most survivors, the fighting never left her, she could never face other dogs. Her face remained deformed, for the doctor stitched her eye together hiding the endless hole, and left her with an everlastingly scar of the anguish.
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