Not long after our dog TARA died, a friend asked me to look after his four-legged friend for a while, so I did. Two weeks after my doggie-sitting term had ended, I bought a puppy, ZARA, who was the final dog out of three that my family had over a nearly 26 year period. Let me tell you something - people who don't like dogs - or any animals in fact - and are untouched by an animal's death, are unnatural. There's something missing in them and they're very probably latent serial killers.
But that's another subject. When Zara was a few months old and still in the process of getting her jags, I was sitting in the vet's one evening and a dog could be heard whining behind a door. The vet came out to speak to me, and I caught a glimpse of a black dog which must've been tethered to a table leg or something. As I was speaking with the vet, the whining increased and the dog started scratching at the door and yelping. I asked what was wrong with it and the vet replied "It's getting put to sleep."
Anyway, after my business was completed, I made my way home feeling a little sorry for the dog, but too delighted with my own pup to dwell on it. A few years later, I ran into a friend, who mentioned that he'd been given the very canine that I'd once looked after, because its owner couldn't keep it any more. "What happened to it?" I asked him. "I had to get it put down because..." I forget the reasons why, but I asked him where he'd taken the poor dog, and, sure enough, it was the very vet's where I'd taken Zara for her course of injections.
I checked the timeline with him and it matched. It was then I realized that the poor creature had been the dog behind the door, and must have recognized my scent or my voice - hence its frantic scratching, whining and yelping in an attempt to be rescued from what it must have sensed was its final fate. And I had failed it, and it had gone to its end unloved and unwanted.
Looking back now, I'm not sure what I could have done, if anything, but it still bothers me every now and again to this day. I'd only looked after it for a fortnight or so, and it wasn't as if it was 'my' dog, but that poor creature must've hoped I'd rescue it and I let it down, unaware of its identity though I'd been. Humans are often pretty useless when it counts, and I was found amongst that particular number on that sad and pitiful day. Alas, I no longer even recall the doomed dog's name.
Regrets? I've had a few... and this was one of them.