What a sad day July 26, 1973 was for my sisters and me. That was the day we were forced by the City of Fort Saskatchewan to have our dog, Bunny, put down. As Diane, Linda, and I walked home from the vet clinic without our canine companion, we wept all the way.
This whole string of events could have been avoided if somebody hadn't let Bunny run free. She seemed to always get out of our yard and roam the neighbourhood. No matter how Mom admonished us to keep Bunny inside unless she was on her chain, she often disappeared.
Bunny escaped one cloudy July evening but we thought nothing bad would happen. As in times past, Mom told Diane to go and find her again. My sister returned a half hour later with our dog and some bad news. A small child had teased Bunny and she nipped him. His mother went ballistic when she heard her son bawling. Not only did Diane receive the brunt of that woman's tirade but she called the bylaw officer. She claimed that Bunny was a vicious dog who attacked her innocent little boy.
The bylaw officer came the next day and took Bunny to the pound. The staff checked her for rabies and kept in isolation for two weeks.
Diane and I visited her once during that time. When Bunny saw us, she yelped hysterically and pawed at the bars of her cage. When Diane asked if Bunny could be let out for a while so we could comfort her, the woman on duty refused her request. We tried to pet our dog through the openings but it was of little comfort to her. When we left a few minutes later, we heard her frantic yelps for blocks as we walked home.
Though Bunny showed no signs of being rabid, the pound ordered her to be euthanized.
Mom didn't seem upset that our beloved dog was dead when we arrived home. I suspect she was glad not to have the burden of looking after her.
We, on the other hand, felt devastated. We loved Bunny, though we did play some fiendish tricks on her at times. She was faithful to the end, even obeying Diane's command to go down the hall and into the back room where her life would end.
I wrote about the day when Diane brought Bunny home in my Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School memoir. For more info about this book and my debut paperback, please check the links on the left hand side of this page.