Staggering images were etched into my brain; a worn down animal clinic the birth place. The rusty doors groaned when opened while the musty waiting room reeked with wet dog and rubbing alcohol. Wooden chairs, each filled with a begrudging pet owner, lined the room’s perimeter. I found a chair just straight ahead, and gripped the nylon leash, as I saw Eleanor’s eyes-full of experience and pain-stare into my pupils. Her head held level while her back legs dropped beneath her body weight. “She’s paralyzed in her hind legs”, the man with the clipboard told me. A long piece of white cloth, handled by two blank faces, was used to carry Eleanor's legs behind her. Tail still wagging, the small exam room meant to heal turned into a death bed. They laid her on the ground, and she put her head in my lap. I stroked her velvety ears; an anchor lodged in my chest as I realized the day one loses a dear friend is the day that never ceases to haunt memories. Her tail was still thumping when they inserted the needle into lower leg and never ceased until the injected solution took the life out of her body. Her chest rose and fell, then became eerily still, her head became heavy in my hands and her eyes were hollow. Her tail had stopped wagging and all that was left on the hard floor was an limp body and a pool of urine. They handed us her red collar; Eleanor's smell distinctly intertwined into its fibers. The empty collar marked an empty place in my heart of eight years.


The End

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