A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Something In The Night

"Xavier, wake up. I need you."


"Come on. Wake up. Vivi is is the road. I don't know if she's hurt or not."

"Is Little Darling awake?" Daddy asked as he released the headlight from my bicycle, the quickest flashlight available. "Where is Vivi?"

"A block that way. She's in the road."

"Crate up, Ilsa," he told me.

"What? I'm coming with you!"

"Crate up!" he commanded. I cannot deny a command. To do so is to destroy the pack hierarchy. In times of trouble, our survival depends on the hierarchy. Daddy is the boss. I complied.

I waited for what seemed like a long time. Finally, I heard Daddy outside, and I whimpered for him to let me out. He came for Little Darling first, and he woke her up. In the middle of the night. She started crying. Something was wrong. Maybe he had forgotten me, and maybe I could help. I did not want to question his authority, but I couldn't stand it any longer. I scratched the front grill of my crate. "Let me out!" I pleaded.

At last, Daddy opened my crate, and he sat down with me and Little Darling. I've never seen a human look like that. Her eyes had water pouring out of them. I licked her face and then I snorked Daddy's armpit. He had been working. He smelled like he does when we work together or ride my bike.

I sniffed his legs and feet to find out where he had been, his shoes smelled like grass and blacktop. I smelled my pal Vivi on his arms and chest. "Where is she?" I whined.

Daddy went to the front door and retrieved my lead, and I slipped my head through my working collar. He took me outside. I found Vivi in a flash. I'm a search dog, you know. The scent was overwhelming, all urine, and poop and.......blood. She wasn't moving. A shiver went down my spine and I felt my hair rise. I couldn't control that. My tail curled upwards. I did my best not to growl. This wasn't right.

I licked at her face and feet, but my friend would not get up. Daddy sat down on the concrete beside me, and told me to sit, and then to lay down. The concrete was very cold. Daddy placed his hand on my head, and he scratched me underneath my chin and behind my ears. I placed my head in his lap. "We will always search, but we might not get to rescue," he said. Then he began to cry.

I have never seen my daddy do that. Mommy and Little Darling were still crying inside the house, but I could not cry. Daddy tried to say something else, but he couldn't. His voice broke. I nuzzled his chin and licked his cheek. Then he got it out. "You're a good girl Ilsa," he said. I already knew that. I nuzzled his chin again, and he scratched me behind my ears for a long long time.

There was a chill in the wind, and as Little Darling's sobs subsided into sleep, I heard the trees rustle over our heads. Dry leaves fell around us. I sat up. Ears forward. Eyes straining against the darkness. Snork! Alert. This is not a drill. I have a job to do and something is out there in the night.

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Anonymous Matthew House said...

My condolences, Sir.

I wish I could write something witty, or moving to brighten your spirits, to somehow lighten the loss of a dear friend.

Instead, I'll leave you with this. Somewhere, on the other end of an internet connection, another human shed tears for your loss.


Matthew House.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Carteach0 said...

Damn. Sorry bud.... really am.

5:42 AM  
Anonymous WR Olsen said...

Losing a member of your family is one of the hardest parts of life. We, and our animal family members send our thoughts and sympathy to you and your family

5:42 AM  
Blogger Hyunchback said...

Godspeed, Vivi.

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Mopar said...


6:18 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

What a heartbreaking loss for you and your family... My condolences.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous OrangeNeckInNY said...

May the murderer see quick justice at the end of a muzzle. Not saying which kind of muzzle - just a muzzle.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Ruminator said...

Sorry to hear about this, man. It sucks. That's all there is to say about it. God bless...

7:39 AM  
Blogger Jeffro said...

Awww, man! My condolences to you and yours.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So very sorry, give this to Little Darling:
Just this side of heaven is a place called RainBow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone her, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
all the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers.
Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Be Well, Friend

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Condolences, Xavier.

7:58 AM  
Blogger angus lincoln said...

A true nightmare, condolences to you and your family, I need to go give my dog a big hug now.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Shannon said...

I'm so very sorry for your family's loss. You'll be in my thoughts during this difficult time...

8:20 AM  
OpenID westofthewest said...

(((((((Good vibes for you and your family Xavier)))))))

We lost our Dusty in 2005 so I know how tough it is.

8:31 AM  
Blogger MauserMedic said...

Bad stuff. My thoughts are with you all.


8:32 AM  
Blogger Katar Hol said...

Xavier, I am not a religious man so I cannot pray but you and your family are in my thoughts this Sunday morning.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous aczarnowski said...

Condolences to you and your family Xavier.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Ric in RIchmond said...

So sorry for your loss


8:43 AM  
Anonymous Bryn, North Wales, UK said...

Our condolences to you all. We know how painful losing a pet is.
In sympathy,
Bryn & Diane.

8:48 AM  
Blogger daddymax said...

To you and your family, I am so sorry for your loss.

9:03 AM  
Blogger nightscool said...

My heart goes out for you man...it really does.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Reese said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I know that words can only help so much but I'll do as much as I can.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter's Boxer, Roscoe P Coltrain, was hit a week and a half ago. He never saw the truck and the driver never saw him until the impact.
An accident all the way around as her husband thought she knew he was out, she didn't and was working in the yard so the gate was open, and the neighbor's Setter from across the street was out -- the dogs were buds as they've gone on walks and such together.
So, Roscoe was crossing the street to pay a visit.
The first vet had just closed, and by the time they got to the next, it was evident that if Roscoe was going to live, it was going to be a much different and most likely difficult life.
The picture the vet painted was one of lots of cost with little assurance and surgery was necessary immediately with possible surgeries quite probable.
My daughter was with him as he died looking at her.
They placed his collar on his favorite hiking place and relived memories of is place in their lives this week.
A pet is much more than simply an animal.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. I know how much pets are a part of the family.

I used to try to figure out why our pets departed from our lives like this. It seemed to make no sense. I've since concluded that maybe our pets know that there are other needy animals who have never known good homes. Perhaps our pets decide that it's time to move on, to give another animal a chance at a good home.

I know that you're suffering greatly, but I do hope that you'll make good use of this situation to give another needy animal a chance for some love and affection. Your pet would have wanted as much. Please consider another adoption sooner rather than later.

Again, so sorry.


10:16 AM  
Blogger The Editor said...

Well, damn...

10:21 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Xavier, my sincerest condolences.


10:21 AM  
Blogger Dan Active said...

and a tear here as well. My condolences.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Mattexian said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I know it's never easy when this happens, it's worse when it happens this way. (We had an older kitten got hit last week.)

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, Xavier.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Owen said...

You are not alone in your crying, Little Darling has my sincerest sympathy as does every other member of your family. You are in my prayers.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

God bless you and your family, canines included.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Jules said...

I'm so sorry Xavier

12:03 PM  
Blogger ArkieRN said...

My condolences. Losing a member of the family is devastating. Hugs to you and yours.

12:11 PM  
OpenID reflectoscope said...

I'm sorry to learn of your loss. I guess I can only hope that you'll remember her in your heart. Jim.

12:44 PM  
Blogger mike's spot said...

sorry for the loss

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Billy Budd said...

Beautiful tribute......

1:24 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

I am very sorry. You and your family are in my prayers.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another lurker who understands the loss.

Prayers be with you and Vivi.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry for your loss Xavier!

2:00 PM  
Blogger TheBronze said...

Xavier, I'm very sorry.

Pets are family.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous sean g said...

I'm so sorry. It's one of the hardest things to have to unexpectedly say goodbye to such an important part of your life and your family.

I'm sure she's waiting behind the Pearly Doggy Doors for you to show up some day, so she can lick your face and play frisbee with you all day.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Keith said...

My condolences, truly sorry for your loss

3:32 PM  
Blogger nature223 said...

Dogs live their lives at twice our speed...they can be ONLY intense animals...bet there was something that could'nt be ignored,and had to be pursued,fate isnt selective,sometimes is seems cruel.
sorry to hear of your loss of a great little friend...Your dog will be waiting for you by the rainbow bridge..as all good doggies will.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous ditto said...

Sorry for your loss.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Joe Carpenter said...

Condolences to you.
All the best from my family to yours.

5:51 PM  
Blogger carl said...

Wow, this really crushed me. The loss of a pet is the loss of a family member as far as I am concerned. My condolences to you and your family Xavier.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Oh, gods. My most sincere condolences on your family's loss, Xavier.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Hecate said...

So sorry for your loss. I know, I've had multiple trips to the pet cemetery this year. That's what happens when too many are the same advanced age -- when they start leaving, they leave together.

And I'm going outside to check every foot of my fence, and the locks on the gates.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

My condolences, Xavier, to you and your family.

The sad part about the love of a dog, is they eventually have to leave us.

6:21 PM  
Blogger El Capitan said...

What a terrible loss for your family. I'm so sorry.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


So very sorry.


7:56 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

God, Xav, I'm so sorry...

It's amazing that something so small could bring so much happiness into our lives, and it hurts so much when they're gone.

8:40 PM  
Blogger the pistolero said...

May God bless and keep you and yours through this time, Xavier. I'm so sorry.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your eloquence at a time like this speaks volumes about your intergrity and character. Impecable.
I too add my condolences, hopefull wishes, and tears.

9:30 PM  
Blogger fuzzys dad said...

This story brought tears to my eyes. I am sorry for your loss.

9:42 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

oh, Ilsa, you're such a good girl. So was Vivi. Take care of your people.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Not Too Pensive said...

So very sorry for your loss, Xavier.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet in such a traumatic and unexpected way is excruciating, but one day the good memories will outweigh the bitterness you feel now.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayers to you and your family.

12:12 PM  
Blogger The Freeholder said...

Damn, dude, I'm sorry. I've never lost a pet that way, but I can imagine.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Damn. My condolences, particularly to Little Darling.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very sorry for your loss.. Losing someone that close to you can never be easy. I hope that you can feel at ease in the coming days. God Bless Xavier.

3:47 PM  
Blogger The Saj said...


5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier -- I'm so sorry for your loss. We've had the misfortune of losing three pets in the last three years, and those are the only three times I remember crying in the last 20 years or so. Your post about Vivi almost had me going again. My prayers are with you and your family.
-a long-time reader in Arlington, Va.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous 1894C said...

I'm very sorry for your loss.


10:28 PM  
Anonymous Ross said...

Xavier, you have my deepest sympathies.

Many years ago some... monster... hit my cat as she tried to cross a road. I've never forgotten the sense of loss as we waited for Bialy to come home... but she never did. A call to the animal control officer finally brought us the news.

I don't have any words to make the hurt lessen. I wish I did.

RIP, Vivi.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Chaz said...

It's hard to believe in fairness or justice when you lose a dog. It tears a hole in your life, turns the world sideways. It makes no sense. You find yourself saying their name and expecting them to come around the corner, smiling, wagging, prancing, and they don't. They're gone, just gone, and they shouldn't be gone, they should stay forever.
We just lost our oldest girl in the last couple of weeks, so the loss is fresh for me, too. I still look around for her, knowing that she's just out of sight, just where I can't see her. She'll show up soon and I won't hurt so much. But she doesn't, and I do.
The only consolation is the pack. Their smells, their happiness, their enthusiasm, their voices. Human companionship is fickle, fleeting, annoying outside your own family. Living alone as I do just drives that home to me. The pack remains and is true to the rules that matter most - loyalty, diligence, vigilance, devotion. They endure, life endures. The pain endures but it will fade as the life of the pack pulls you through and away from it.
I know that it's tough on your daughter. It's been tough on mine. For now there is no logic, there's only the wound. Take care. So, so sorry.

7:30 PM  

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