Onward to the story.
Once upon a time there was a cute little, tiny, playful, sweet, affectionate, silly puppy. His name was Bentley. Bentley only ever wanted to play, and be played with, to run, and jump, and be a puppy. He really liked to have his muzzle and his ears scratched, and if you’d pet his head he would love you forever. He was a Good Dog.
Bentley had some people, as many puppies do. Unfortunately for Bentley, fate is a heartless whore; she left him slotted to live with people who didn’t care about him, and didn’t much care for him. They did not treat him well.
They wouldn’t play with him, well maybe a little … once in a great while. They didn’t give him enough water, despite being a black furred dog in the Hell-like state of Georgia during the summer. They didn’t always give him clean water — they thought he was a very silly, and spoiled doggy indeed, to not want to drink his water when it was, ahem, “nasty”. They did not feed him well, nor quite often enough. His food was neither healthy, nor nutritious. Yet he grew.
Bentley was a very very sweet little dog. Despite this he loved his people and always wanted them to play. Then again, Bentley just loved everyone and always wanted them to play.
Bentley lived next door to another doggy, and older one by about a year, who was outside a lot too. They loved to play. Sometimes Einstein, the doggy next door, would share toys … sometimes Einstein would steal Bentley’s toys … but that was kind of exciting too. Einstein’s people wanted very much to adopt the poor little thing — they knew he was not being well taken care of — but they had not the space for another dog, nor the income to feed a black mouth cur and a pit-mix puppy that was not much smaller.
They saw how the wicked humans treated little Bentley and they felt bad. But there was no help. They lived in the wicked, cruel kingdom of Georgia. Here it is against the law to rescue mistreated puppies from owners who do not appreciate them. The evil rulers would throw you in the dungeons for years for this [seriously, I wish I were making this up, but rescuing strays is illegal if not enforced, and rescuing a pet carries a 3 year sentence] show of caring and altruism; for in the evil kingdom the Republicans rule with iron fists, and no compassion is left unpunished. In the name of charity the rulers have designated an animal control force and a shelter for these souls in need of rescue.
In this horrible place animals are taken and put in cages where they are fed and watered and up for adoption for a time best measured in days or weeks before they are killed. Assuming they are healthy and cute enough to be deemed adoptable, otherwise they’re just killed. This facility is not unique within the American Empire, of which Georgia is a commonwealth, but this one has risen with the ranks of its peers to have held, for a time, the number one slot — the highest percentage of animals taken in were killed compared to all others! They’re still one of the highest rated.
The neighbours therefore felt, given that he was being fed and watered — and other neighbours who could talk to the wicked people without wanting to punch them in the face until said face was concave were attempting to educate Bentley’s people on proper puppy care — and he didn’t seem to be being beaten, or if he was it wasn’t severely as the puppy never seemed injured or in pain. So it was assumed he’d live a longer, and with any luck one day happier, life if the forces of the evil rulers were not called to collect him to their shelter.
Three days ago the little puppy started showing signs of illness. The last two days we thought he was inside, or taken to a vet or similar — we did not think he was outside. Especially we didn’t think so when no food nor water had been brought out for the entirety of those two days. Wrong. He was outside. [Also, possibly add a day to these. I suddenly don’t recall if the days count is as of yesterday or this morning — I’m too pissed off to remember such details.] He was curled up in his doghouse, alone and sick. No cuddles, nothing.
Yesterday the bitch neighbour came out to inform us that, today, ‘the dog people’ (yes, that’s what she called them) we coming to get him because he was sick and she couldn’t afford a vet. Before this the dog had crept out of his doghouse and laid near the fence looking at us and his buddy, looking more like a melted puddle of puppy and being naught but skin and bone covered in flies. He barely had the energy to flick his ears to dislodge the flies, he barely had the energy to appear any more alive than this infrequent flicking — including breathing visibly! Still, being a puppy who loved his people he stood and, bright eyed, went to the end of his pathetically short tie out to stare happily at her, hoping for some affection.
She had no sadness in her voice when she spoke to us. She didn’t look at the dog, she didn’t go near the dog. She might as well have been commenting on the weather, or on someone coming by later to clean her chimney. Bentley looked absolutely heartbroken. I wanted a sledgehammer and a good alibi.
That night Bentley had, as far as I know, gone back to his doghouse to curl up. Einstein plays outside at night, after dinner, until bed time. Sometime during this Bentley had crawled out of his house. His person was out front, as she often is — she would be outside, but in the opposite yard from her puppy, oblivious to his pleas for attention — oblivious to her dying dog. Not that he had the energy to get anyone’s attention last night, he certainly didn’t get ours, I’m sad to say. He didn’t try to get her’s, though. He came to a spot against our fence, and looking toward us and his buddy, Bentley died. He wasn’t even a year old.
We don’t know what he had. Not intestinal worms, I think — as I said, skin and bones. But some bug from tainted water or food? Possibly. Heartworms? Maybe. Parvo? Coulda been. Hopefully Bentley’s story continues in the form of a new wonderful puppy who Fate deemed got to go to a family who knows what care and love and attention mean. And hopefully the story goes on to include a “tragic” meteor strike upon a certain Georgia home and its resident, and the subsequent dragging of her soul to the deepest, most horrible pits for an eternity each, of Nifleheim, Tartarus, the Christian Hell, any and sundry Chinese hells, New York City (yes I hate her some much that, even if it is a myth, I’ll hope for her special case there will be such a thing as New York), New Jersey (I know that’s real — met unfortunate souls who’ve passed through it), and a Will Ferrell marathon.