Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

A Holly Not So Jolly Weekend ~ Rae

on December 13, 2012


My family has a slight issue with animals.  The problem is we want to take them all home. Currently we have 4 dogs, 2 cats, 2 pot belly pigs, and several chickens. We had a turkey too, right up until Thanksgiving…We adore animals and every time we see a new one we fall in love. My husband is the worst. He will bring home almost every stray he comes across. It started with the half wolf dog he found that we kept for years named “Lady”. Then there was the black lab puppy he named “Freeway” that he found on the—well—freeway. He stayed with us a while until we found him a home. Currently we have a cat named “Jobsite” that was found on my husband’s (you guessed it) job site. The other cat “Pumpkin” just joined us during the Halloween season this year when my eldest daughter (following in her father’s footsteps) brought her home from school.

This past Friday night, my husband brought home another dog he affectionately referred to as “Road Kill”. I refused to call the sweet little dog that horrid name, so the girls and I started calling her “Holly” since it is the holiday season (You can tell how original our family is with names- I guess my daughters are lucky we didn’t name them Wednesday and Sunday!).  My husband found Holly lying on a busy street. He had almost driven right over her thinking she was dead, but she popped her little head up at the last second and he slammed on his breaks. He put his car sideways in the road so he could check on her, not caring that multiple cars would have to wait for him. Upon closer inspection he found a small little mutt that sort of looked like a Scottie Dog. She had no open wounds or obvious signs of trauma but hubby couldn’t get her to stand. So he put her in the back of his truck and brought her home.

We debated and agonized about what to do. If we took her straight to the pound we worried they would just put her immediately to sleep. We wished we could take her to a vet, but we recently spent $1300 on our English Bull Terrier Zeus who had contracted Parvo; we just couldn’t afford it. So we put her in one of our dog crates and decided to wait and see if she would improve. We reasoned that we would rather give her a fighting chance than simply consign her to immediate death. Saturday we drove around the neighborhood looking for any lost dog fliers to see if we could find her owners, but no luck. We kept her in the crate and hand fed her. She was the sweetest little thing. She ate hot dogs gently from our hands and drank water as we held it for her. She barely made a peep, whining only a little bit when I tried to take her outside to see if she needed to pee. It appeared to us that either her left leg or her pelvis was damaged. She enjoyed being petted and all of us took turns sitting with her, stroking her softly.

Sunday morning I awoke to find her lying in a pool of her own urine. She looked so pitiful. We decided that she was worse than we could care for and we had to do something for her. So I called my best friend’s little sister who works for animal control and asked her what we should do. She called the Animal Control Officer on duty and he came to get her about 2:00 in the afternoon. He took her gently from me and said he would call me later with her animal ID number so I could find out what happened to her. He also said plainly that if it was her leg that was hurt she had a chance but if it was her pelvis that was damaged it would probably be kinder to put her down. I thanked him and he left. 

After she left, I cried. It’s funny how I harp on my husband for bringing home these strays, but I too always fall in love. It just made me so sad to think of the anguish she must be going through. It also made me angry. Why? Why did this precious little dog have to suffer? Obviously she had never done anything to deserve this.

Aye, there’s the rub—suffering rarely goes to those who deserve it. I would like to believe that Karma will always catch up with people or that people always reap what they sow, but sometimes that is just not the case: dogs get hit, children get injured, accidents happen, brutal crimes occur and wonderful people get cancer. Honestly, it just F-ing sucks. Plus during the holiday season it seems to hit home the worst. In a time when we imagine everyone should be jubilant and celebrating, there are many, many people suffering. There are children for whom Christmas is a reminder of what they do not have and there are people who are struggling to endure each day and couldn’t care less about trees, caroling, and decorations.  

 What amazed me was little Holly’s attitude. She did not whine, she did not bemoan the fact she was hurt. She simply endured and gracefully accepted any help that was offered. She took comfort when offered and she gazed at me with these soulful trusting eyes. I don’t think I have ever handled misery as well as this tiny creature. I understand with my head that everything happens for a reason and that I should trust that God has a plan, but my heart doesn’t always agree. I am more of a whiner, a be-moaner, a “woe is me” type person.  In many circumstances I think the person has a right to complain and shout to the heavens “Why me???” But I realize too that unfortunately pain must exist for us to really understand what joy is. They go hand in hand. And no one is exempt: money will not save you from suffering, look at Steve Jobs; power does not protect anyone from heartache and even being as “good” as you can feasibly try to be does not guarantee you will never have grief. But you can give and receive comfort whenever possible and surround yourself with love. Love is the only thing that conquers agony. 

Holly gave us two days of painful joy and love. Maybe that was her purpose. It is easy to be compassionate and helpful when times are pleasant. What will you give to those who are in distress? And more importantly, what will you offer the world in your times of sorrow and tribulation?

PS I called the animal shelter; Holly was compassionately released to heaven at 8:00 am on December 13, 2012. 

One response to “A Holly Not So Jolly Weekend ~ Rae

  1. Sharry says:

    Oh that just kills me, brought me to tears. I have the same problem with animals:) This was so awesome to read Rae, God bless that little Holly.


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