THURSDAY: Ralph

BY PATRICIA VON HOLSTEIN-RATHLOU

Copyright is held by the author.

SHE KNEW it would be a bad day. Jordan had felt the tension in the air when she woke up. It was drizzling and a low cloud of fog hung over the tall pine trees on the mountains outside her home.

It was a short drive to the Salt Spring Island Vet Clinic from her house. She had opened her clinic five years ago when she moved here from Vancouver. She had found the quiet, peaceful, friendly community she had always wanted.

She was one kilometre away from the clinic when the accident happened. An old red pick-up truck had just sped past her. The winding road was too slick to be driving that fast.  As the old truck sped past her, she gasped with horror; there was a big black German shepherd  in the box of the truck.

“Shit! What a fucking moron!”

“Asshole. You don’t put a dog in an open truck.”

Seconds later she heard the crash.

And then the horrific screams of a dying dog.

The moron truck driver had rear-ended another car that had stopped and signalled to turn left off the highway. The moron had hit the car so hard that the big black shepherd had flown out of the truck box onto the slick two lane road.  He was screaming in agony on the road.

Jordan quickly pulled over onto the gravel shoulder. Two other cars pulled off the road too. She grabbed her black bag and ran with the other drivers towards the accident.

“I’ll call 911”said the man from the blue sedan. The back end of the car that was hit was pretty mangled. But the elderly driver seemed to be only dazed. The air bag had not deployed.

“Are you all right sir?”

“I think so. I knew that red truck was tailgating me.”

As the man who had called the police approached her, she heard the sirens.

“Watch this man. I have to help the dog.”

With her medical bag under her arm she ran to the dog.

The moron had jumped out of his truck.

“OH Shit! They just stopped in front of me.”

Jordan yelled, “What about your dog?”

When she got to him, she saw that the big black shepherd was bleeding from his mouth and ears. Two of his legs were bent back at an awkward angle. And with every breath he struggled to take, she could hear his wheezing lungs. She knew his lungs were punctured.

She knelt beside him. He turned his head towards her. His eyes were full of terror and pain.

The moron ran up to the dog and knelt beside him too.

The moron gently touched the big black shepherd on his shoulder and with a soft voice said, “I’m sorry Ralph. You’re a good boy.”

The moron turned his head and looked at Jordan. His eyes were full of tears, shame and pain.

“I’m a vet. We need to stop his pain. He can’t recover from this. Broken legs, ribs, punctured lungs, possible brain damage.

“OK. Do what you think is best for him.”

She bent closer to Ralph and whispered so softly so sweetly, “You’re a good boy Ralph. Such a good good boy.”

His thick black fur coat was so soft to her touch.

She ripped open her medical bag, took out the syringe and filled it.

And as she gently slipped the needle into his shoulder muscle, she heard Ralph say, “love ya too.”

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