I remember the day well, it had snowed the night before, something it rarely does in SC. It snowed several inches and it actually stayed. I spent the morning walk to Philosophy walking slowly, taking in the breath-taking scene. All of the grass and roofs were covered in a thin layer of powder-white snow. While the snow never stuck well to the walkways and roadways, it still made for a beautiful sight across the largely open and grassy campus.

However, by lunchtime the sun had come out and most of the snow had melted away. There were only a few patches of snow in the places that were well shaded such as underneath bushes and overhangs.

It was past time for me to be heading to my English class, I was going through my usual debate of whether I should skip it or not, I never did. At last, about five minutes late, my resolve broke. I grabbed my books, the soda I was sipping, and began the walk to the other side of campus.

I decided to take a short cut that took me through some of the more unsightly landscaping of the campus, so I could cut a corner and shave precious seconds. However, as I began to trudge through the mud formed by the melting snow, I heard a very faint noise. I stopped, tuned my ears and heard it again. It sounded like, whining…

I looked toward my feet and there, lying next to a small patch of snow under a shrub, was a small puppy. He was very thin and frail. I could easily see all his ribs protruding through his skin. He was white with black spots all over him and looked like a deflated soccer ball laying there.

I paused and hovered over him a second to study him closely. He looked up at me with a pair of big, dark brown eyes that could have brought an executioner to tears. I glanced around to see if anyone else was nearby, both hoping to find help and wishing a moment alone. However, despite the fact many of the dorms are nearby, this trail is well hidden and little used.

I knelt down and stroked him across the head and back. He let out a sigh of relief. I decided to offer him a drink of my soda and I poured a little in front of his face. He began to lick eagerly at the stream of cola. I soon poured the entire remaining contents of the can, but the dog wasn't satisfied. I could still see the thirst in his eyes.

I stood up and realized I was caught in a moral dilemma. I was already late for English and I had done all I could for the animal there. No one seemed to be around to help. I couldn't have animals in my dorm and there was nothing more I could do. But then I looked back down at the creature. His eyes were begging me for help a way no human eyes could. His eyes pleaded with me to spare his life. He must have gone through hell to get there. I couldn't let him die there.

I scooped him up in my arms and began the trek back to my dorm. I had no real plan at this point, no idea how to help it, but I knew that the only place where I could do anything was in my local base of operations, the dorm room.

I had an immediate challenge staring at me, getting the animal inside. I could have easily slid him in my bookbag and carried him in that way, but I was afraid the frail creature would be crushed inside there. I figured since most of the security guards during the day are students, I could plead my way by him or her.

However, I wasn't so lucky. On duty was the Hall Director from the floor above, a well-known bitch (Note: It's a co-ed dorm, the floors above me are all female and the ones below are all male). She halted me in the lobby and forbid me to bring the dog up to my room. I explained the story to her with all the emotion and imagery I could in attempt to thaw her heart but it was to little avail. I promised to keep it on my balcony and to call Animal Control as soon as I got there but she still held her ground.

Not knowing what else to do, I begged. I would never have begged for my own sake, but for something as innocent as this animal, I knew that the pain of it's death would be far greater than the dishonor of a plea. The combined patheticness of both me and the dog broke her will and her heart broke through the icy layers at last. She let me take the dog up provided I tell no one and keep it on my balcony, it also had to be gone in 24 hours. I eagerly accepted the deal and dashed for the elevator.

When I go to my dorm, I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw my roommate wasn't there. He hates animals. He hates them with a passion. Though I can't see how he would have hated this dog, I just knew he would loudly object to its presence, ruining the deal. I put him on the balcony. He was small enough to get through the bars, but he didn't have the energy needed to do that. I wasn't worried about his safety.

I got him some water, which he eagerly drank. I ended up refilling his small dish some three times before he got his fill. I still have no idea how such a small dog could inhale so much liquid.

While the dog was resting well on the balcony, I plotted it's fate. I had no desire to turn it over to Animal Control unless it was completely necessary.

I decided to call my mom at work, since my house was only thirty minutes away, to see if my family would take it in. I did the same pleading with her that I did with the security guard, but this time it was to no avail. I begged like a child to "keep him" and promised to take care of him and even pay for him. My mom would hear nothing of it. I then tried to make my story as tear-jerking as possible. However, ever the logician, she turned all of my emotional pleas into logical reasons not to keep it. She cited various diseases and other ailments the dog might have. I eventually had to give up.

I then set the phone down and began to think again. I knew no one in the market for a dog and my 24 hour limit was inadequate to find a good home for it. I looked out onto the balcony and saw the puppy looking back at me through the glass doors with those begging eyes that were tearing my soul up. I so desperately wanted to help him, but I had to call Animal Control. I was out of options.

I was on the verge of tears the entire time I was thumbing through my phone book. I took some confidence in the fact that the local animal shelter was among the best in the nation. But still, it felt like I was giving him over to death himself. Like I was failing him.

I made the call, a polite lady on the other end got some information from me and said someone would be by in about half an hour for the animal. About 45 minutes later, someone did show up and I had to meet him in the lobby, because the ice queen downstairs wouldn't let him in the building.

I took a moment to say goodbye to him, but his eyes of pity were never daunted. He seemed to have perfect trust in me, like I was the one to save him. I handed him over to the man, whom for some reason didn't bring a cage with him, laid the dog across his shoulder so that the entire way out the door I could see the dog's big brown eyes staring at me with complete trust and complete need. I could only hope I had done the right thing.

That weekend I visited my house. The entire time I was there we made no mention of the dog. However, I was anguished by the whole ordeal, I felt I had failed him, but I knew if I showed my parents my concern they would blow it off as a sign of my immaturity. I let it eat me up inside.

After I got back I called them and then the conversation turned to the dog. This time, through begging and insane promises I managed to break my mother's will and she agreed to take the dog in. I was overjoyed. I leapt around the room like a four-year-old on Christmas and once I calmed down immediately called Animal Control.

I told them who I was and what I wanted. I heard the lady on the other end clicking on her keyboard. Then she sighed and casually informed me that the animal had been "put to sleep," some two days beforehand. I maintained my composure, thanked her and hung up.

Then I cried. I cried like a child with a wound. I cared not if my roommate walked in and found me in this state of misery nor what the others on the hall might think if they overheard. I couldn't help it or control it. I cried.

Every night I go to sleep I see those big eyes looking back at me on their way out the door. I see them and I know I let them down. I'm the reason his fight for survival was for naught. I know I'm the reason he was destroyed.

I wasn't good enough.

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9 Responses to SoulRipper

  1. Shelly says:

    … How do explain the feeling you get when you read this story? I felt every emotion you can. Sad, remorse, everything. What do I say? Tell you over and over how good of a writer you are? You know already… So I'll leave you with this… Wouldn't be here if I didn't like it. You fan – Shelly

  2. Emma says:

    when i read this story my heart broke, i alwast cried i thought is was so sad, but it wasnt you'r fualt. i sure that puppy really appriated what you did for him, he probably hadn't had a drink for a wile. And the puppy might of had some disease. Or maybe that was the wrong puppy. Animal shelters usually dont put puppys to sleep aspecially when they just got them. but even if that was the puppy it's in peace now and was probably suffering from some disease wich was why they put it to sleep.
    do you wanna know something that really sucks. when i was with my mom we adopted a rabbit from the animal shelter. and i loved this rabbit. then 2 weeks lated i was cleaning this rabbits cage out and my friend came by and i was going to spend the night at her house, and my mom said she'd finish cleaning out the rabbits cage. so the next day when i came back from my friends house, my bothers answeres the door and tells me "Mom took the rabbit back to the animal shelter" I was heart broken.I mean my mom never called me and tolled me, it was totally behind my back. i never got to by bye to him or anything. I sneaky is that. then a week later i saw my rabbit on the T.V. , the shelter that i got my rabbit from was hostong a T.V. program and my rabbit was on thisT.V. program.i was so sad, i was heart broken once again, then a week later i called the shelter and they had put my rabbit to sleep becuase we were the 3rd family to adopt him and no one else did do they…out him to sleep and he was only 6 months old. one of the reasons was that i thought i could give this animal love and affection and a nice home, something that it had never had before. So i'm not that close to my mom for that reson and there things. so you'r not alone. i also think of my rabbit alot espacially his lovely black eyes, that i would gaze into for hours, becasue they reminded my so much of something that i cant discribe, yet i could relate to. sorry i get really caried away sometimes.

  3. Denton Isom says:

    i don't know what i can say…and i can't express my true feelings through a keyboard…i'm not one to get emotional over this kind of thing…but you truly are a magnificent writer…Thank You.
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  4. djthief says:

    i hope that never happens to me. That was a great piece, it really got you involved even if you didn't want to be

  5. robyn says:

    wow…that was great…beautiful and sad…it didn't really happen, did it?

  6. fluffy says:

    that was amazing i loved it… i had to read it sevral more times…great great story and i shall tell my friends to read and leave comments!!

  7. Vladimere says:

    **Bravo** **Bravo** It certainly was a wonderful story

  8. paul says:

    Oh my god that was like the most emotionaly sad story iv herd!!! in awhile. That's sad and the whole time i was invisioning it on my mental screen then thea end came and all was silent in my mind.

  9. sarah says:

    Very touching & sad at the same time, I enjoy

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