A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

None of His Vices

On June 28, 2008, I made this Hellerbration post. Seems like not so very long ago. Only a month or so......... But time is relative, according to one's experiences in that time frame.

Also on that date, 25 year old Jake Baysinger of La Salle, Colorado was reported missing. An extensive search, on land and by airplane, was conducted by the Weld County Sheriff's Office, but they were unable to find Baysinger or his pickup truck. To grieving loved ones, that span of time can be an eternity. Each day spent wondering whether a husband and father was dead or alive is sheer anguish. Cash and her familyTo an animal guarding her master's dead body from scavengers in the wilderness, each day spent was just another day of complete devotion.

The body of Jake Baysinger was found August 10, on the Pawnee National Grasslands about 75 miles northeast of Denver Colorado. On that day, a rancher noticed a lone dog, and went to investigate. As he approached the German Shepherd Dog, she seemed relieved to finally see another human being. At her feet, the rancher saw why. She was still standing watch over her master's mortal remains. Emaciated and dehydrated from her six week vigil, the dog had apparently survived on mice and rabbits that came near. Though her body was weak from hunger and thirst, her will never wavered. No wolves or coyotes had disturbed the body of her loved one.

The cause of death was not immediately apparent but authorities found a gun nearby. The family was notified, and the dog was taken to the Humane Society Shelter in Weld County. On Monday, Baysinger's wife Sara and her 2 year old son Lane went to claim their loyal German Shepherd Dog, Cash. The Weld County coroner ruled Baysinger's death a suicide on Tuesday.

As I read this story, I could not help but wonder. Knowing the purpose of his trip, why did Jake Baysinger take his dog with him? Did she comfort him in his last minutes of personal desperation, not knowing what he might do? Or did she just routinely ride with him in the truck, and her insistence on going delayed his lethal purpose? Did he throw a ball far out into the tall grass for her to retrieve before he put the gun to his head? Did she hear a loud crack reverberating over the grass from her master's location, or was she forced to watch? Did she know his reason for the gun? If Jake Baysinger had known the absolute devotion of his dog, and no doubt the devotion of his young son, would he have still committed suicide? Would he have cared enough to live for those who would give their lives for him? Would be that we were all worthy of the devotion of two year old children and German Shepherd Dogs.

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader.
He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
.................................... Anonymous



Blogger The Freeholder said...

Perhaps I'm being overly hard on the guy, but when I first heard this story my wonder was whether or not he deserved such loyalty. If you plan on offing yourself, why sentence your dog to die as well?

9:25 PM  
Anonymous beth said...

Such a sad story. Wonderfully presented Xavier!

12:36 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

I had the same reaction as the freeholder, and said so in my own blog entry on this. Your own account shows far more empathy (and better written) than mine. I have to guess it's a reflection of your career as a nurse.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Limestone Cowboy said...

Having had a few wonderful working dogs in my past, that story was enough to make my eyes misty. Dogs display a loyalty of which humans are rarely capable. Thanks for posting that Xavier.

7:42 AM  
OpenID Ben said...

After 6 years of living with our GSD, I'm not surprised at the dog's devotion. They are special creatures.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Good dog.

Bad man.

10:09 AM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

As I read this, I'm leaning waaay back in my chair so my 3 month old pup will not be disturbed while I type blog comments. We must have done something right in a past life to end up with our fabulous dogs. I aspire to be worthy of mine. Bless that devoted dog who stood watch over its master's remains. He was blessed to have such a friend, and should have found another way to face his problems. I figure I could go anywhere in the world, leave all my worldly possessions, so long as they let me take my doggie with me. Great post. Made my nose tingle and my eyes misty. Yeah, I'll say again I aspire to be worthy of this little furball.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Cybrludite said...

And folks wonder why I react more strongly to reports of a dog being abused than to an adult human being similarly abused. As Mark Twain wrote, "If you take a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not turn around and bite you. This is the primary difference between a dog and a man."

4:01 AM  

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