A Train in the Distance

January 10, 2013
By Anonymous

My doorbell rang; I had known that this moment would come for a few months now. The sudden impact of what was about to happen seemed like a tidal wave where I could see it coming but was powerless to prevent it from hitting. I was going to lose a companion.
Hera ,my dog, was being put down. The weather didn’t fit the mood. The sun was out and shining; the grass still held onto some of its green hue despite the time of year. It truly would have been a wonderful day under different circumstances. My family had been planning this for over six months, but that didn’t keep it from feeling sudden. We arranged for her to be put down in our house in order to keep her comfortable and relaxed. When the veterinarian came to the door Hera vainly tried to stand up, to greet the guests, but she barely managed to sit up. I had a feeling that my parents started contemplating this option around the time she couldn’t get up stairs alone and definitely by the time she couldn’t stand up unassisted.

My family sat down with the veterinarian, as he explained the process to us. During the explanation, I thought about the time we had with her, and I realized that I couldn’t even remember when we got her. She was just an everlasting being in my memories of life. We got her as a puppy around the time I was two, and ever since then we included her as a member of our family. She was with us on every trip we took, whether it was a trip to our cabin or a road trip to the East Coast. Even as she got older, she still worried whenever we began to pack, for she still had fears of being left behind. We tried our best to let her keep traveling with us, until the point of giving her leg surgery. After Hera’s leg surgery she just couldn’t keep up with us, on every trip, but she still traveled with us even if it meant one of us had to stay behind and watch her.

She had a habit of barking whenever she heard something strange, but this turned out to just be trains that we had never noticed. I eventually became the one to find Hera, and calm her down, whenever she became scared or nervous. I began to find her whenever I heard something slip, and this eventually led to me staying next to her at any time possible. I didn’t like it, sitting with her that is, but I knew that she needed it more than I needed my alone time.

It was time. The veterinarian said that Hera would be given anesthetic before the final injection but I felt bad that both came in the form of a shot. This was the last thing that I would ever want to happen, but I understood that the only reason we were doing this was because she was in too much pain. Wow, this is really going to happen. I can’t turn back now; we really have to put her down. Hera is actually going to die.
I saw the needle, yet despite its grim purpose of ending a life, it was surprisingly small. The actual drug was almost translucent, yet this fact failed to hide its dark intentions.The anesthetic was quick, and Hera slowly drifted into her last slumber. She tried to stand immediately after it began to take affect, but we coerced her to calm down. My family sat next to her until the aesthetic took full effect, and she fell asleep. I forced myself to leave before they gave the lethal injection. I couldn’t bear to see her as anything less than what she was just a few minutes before, and I did this in a hope that it wouldn’t ruin my image of her. It was over in a number of minutes.

“It’s over,” my mom said between her tears, “you can say your final goodbyes now.”

I refused, due to my inability to see her as something without life. The result of this was for the veterinarian to immediately take her away, so that she could be cremated. Before I knew it the task was done. I had no idea how life would be like without her.

I almost can’t handle it anymore. I still instinctively run down stairs when I hear a noise to check on Hera even though I’m fully aware that she’s gone. It even seems that I hear her whining from time to time. Today I even heard the sound of the trains.

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