For the human that dog left behind, a heavy burden

In college, the country veterinarian who owned the clinic where I worked said to me, “Son, go grab a bag and meet me at the freezer.” It was his way of communicating that it was time to “put down” a dog or cat. I hated it.

Animal clinics have a way of accumulating friendly strays that over time evolve into permanent residents. Those dogs and cats, living in cages or kennels far in the back, became de facto pets for the staff. For instance during my time at the clinic, there was Blackie. His humans left him there and never came to retrieve him…