Anything Lime

For Scarface

I woke up this morning with puffy eyes and a gloomy mood. Yesterday I spent a portion of my day at Orange County Animal Services – a kill shelter in Orlando. Also known as the worst place in the universe, where life hardly makes sense and all that surrounds you is a sense of unfairness and cruelty.

I rarely go to OCAS, in fact I avoid it at all costs. I know what goes on there and try my best to work with rescue groups that pull dogs from such shelters to know that I’m doing a little bit to save them. What’s hard is actually seeing the dogs – looking at them in their cages and knowing that some of them won’t be there tomorrow.

A coworker of mine decided that she was finally ready to get a dog. She and her husband had been talking back and forth about it – he really wanting to get a pet and she being apprehensive. So when she asked a few of us to go with her to look at dogs, we were happy to go along.

Rewind to earlier that day, when I accidentally clicked on an e-mail I had purposely not looked at. It sat bold-faced in my inbox, just seconds away from the trash folder when I clicked on it instead of the facebook alert below it. Immediately I saw his face – a face that will stick with me for the rest of my life. But not because of the e-mail, the e-mail alerting me to the fact that he had only 24 hours left in this world. No, I’ll remember it forever because I recognized it when I saw him later that day. At the pound. Awaiting his fate.

His name is Scarface, which I don’t quite understand because he doesn’t have any scars on his body. In fact, he’s hardly got an adult fur coat, and it’s absolutely flawless. He’s just more than a year old and hasn’t been around long enough to get laugh lines let alone scars. What a short life for a dog.

When I saw him, my heart broke. I wanted to give him one last bit of affection so that he knew that there was goodness in this world. I wanted him to know that if only for a few moments, he was loved.

I held his paws in my hands under the door of his cage. I told him he was a good dog, and I told him not to be scared. I told him that none of this was his fault. He gave me kisses, and I kissed his forehead through the bars of the cage. I kissed him goodbye.

It was one of the saddest moments of my life, and it filled me with anger. Even more, it filled me with ambition. One day I will have the means to help dogs like Scarface instead of just feeling hopeless and kissing them goodbye.

I will never forget his face.


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  1. * Patrick says:

    Just those few paragraphs brought me to tears. You have such a big heart Whitney – thanks for letting me in. And you can trust me…I’ll be right there by your side in this fight to save these dogs’ lives.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 4 months ago

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