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The tires rumbled down the salted gravel driveway, swaying and shaking until it halted to a stop at the bottom. I swung my door open and my white fluff ball of a dog, Beau, bulleted out. It was as if he sprinted in slow motion up the driveway, his hind legs stirred up dirt as his nails dug into the earth. To him the scenery must have been a white wintery blur, too blurry to see the speedily approaching vehicle, he skidded right between the tires. Beau was left twitching on the hard blacktop.
Like a flash in time I was at Beau’s side, aiding him. I checked for blood. Minimal. The car that ran over him was parked only feet away, the man was shaking and sympathetic, yet I didn’t have time to hear his apology. I scooped Beau up, my father at my side. We rushed into the house and my dad called the veterinary clinic. While on the phone to the receptionist he stuttered out what had happened. I scanned my poor puppy’s body. He really didn’t look too badly battered, almost not needing the help of a professional. He was fortunate because the car tires straddled his delicate body. He never had to endure the full impact of the car to his frail bones.
The five minute drive is basically blank in my memory, all I could do was stare down at my limp pup. We rolled into the drive of NH/VT Vet Clinic. I stayed by Beau’s side the whole time. Within a matter of minutes he was whisked into a small kennel. He paced in a circle three times before finding a comfortable place to snuggle in. My hopes rose. He seemed fine, just a little tired, that's all. Then they started to inject him with medications. I was told “This will make the pain go away.” I though to myself, What pain? He seems fine now.
As the drugs began to flow into his blood his heart started to crash. The beeping of his heart monitor started to go haywire. I don’t know why. I left Beau’s side for the first time, so not to show anyone my emotion, my pain. I prayed to God, or any holy spirit that would listen. They needed to protect Beau. I loved him like a brother, almost considering him as one rather than a dog. He was truly my best friend. On lonely nights I would whisper my deepest secrets to him. While my parents fought I would hold him tight, protecting me from their screams.
I held back every single tear in the clinic. Even after Dr. Ron Svec came out and told me that he was gone. “The pressure of the car passing over him compressed his ribs to the point where they punctured his lungs.” and as any good doctor would say “I am very sorry for your loss.” This was the exact moment in time when I lost my faith in religion or a higher power. If “God” could not save my beloved dog, why would I believe in it, there were no higher powers looking out for me.
Every fiber in my body wanted to scream as tears started to rise. I could feel them welting up from my stomach to my heart, up my throat, a swelling ball of tears gaining momentum as it rose until the pressure behind my eyes were too great. By the time my first tear fell I was sitting in the car, dark, the sun had set. I must have been in the clinic for three hours, yet it only felt like three minutes. Time was relative when my heart and mind were somewhere else. It went by in a fast blur, not enough time to grasp reality.
By the time we rolled back down the gravel drive leading to my house my tears were spewing like a fountain where the water recirculates up, an endless supply. I am the equivalent to a mom that just watched her three year old son being run over by a car and killed. It’s as if a devil’s hand is gripping my stomach. Any time I remember him the death grip returns, full force, and beats on my heart.
The next snippet in my memory is my father kindly placing my limp, soulless body on to the couch and turning on My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Life is so fragile. A split second could have made all the difference in my world. If only I had opened the door five seconds sooner. Why didn’t I carry him into the house? Why did the vet give intervenus drugs that stopped his heart?
All that remains are ludicrous pictures; times when I dressed him in overalls and his stub of a tail stuck out of the back. When I put him in little girl doll clothes and forced him to have a tea party with me, or videos of me trying to force feed him my undone homework.
Memories are all that remain of my best friend. Beau Bear.