Wednesday, July 15, 2009

sebastian and the 11 minutes

the post below was written by one of my dear friends...

Corruption is a very hard thing to fight, but a very easy thing to get used to. As an Animal Control Officer fresh out of the academy, I thought I could do it all. I also believed that my Director knew everything, and I believed everything he said. As the days and years went by, I found that I was devoting most of my time to covering up his mistakes, making excuses, and I was getting tired. Doing both of our jobs was exhausting, and one day the Director impounded a little shaggy dog named Sebastion.

Sebastion was in for a 10 day quarantine, and all I ever knew about him was that he had bitten a child in a provoked attack, and that the owner, Q., did not want the dog back. The Director had written on his card “destroy per owner at end of quarantine”. His time came up, and I hesitated to do my job. He was such a sweet little dog with a sunny disposition, and I couldn’t make myself believe that his owner didn’t want him back. I took a deep breath, uttered a curse word, and destroyed him as ordered. Ten minutes later Q. called and asked how her little friend was doing and could she come over and visit him. I later found out that she had made several calls to the shelter, and none were ever returned.

To make a long story short, this incident prompted and investigation that quickly led to the resignation of the Director, and Q. and I became fast friends. 364 days later, the former Director relinquished ownership of his small breed puppy to the shelter, and I immediately called Q. as she was still looking for something small and shaggy to fill the void I put into her heart. I gave her a description of the pup, told her who the previous owner was, and she said she would be in the next day to look at it.

Q. came in as scheduled, and immediately fell in love with the pup. She then casually reminded me that I had killed Sebastion “a year ago, today”.

I’ve never forgiven myself for not following my instincts that day. I’ve never forgiven my Director for not doing his job right, and I’ve never forgiven Q. for not calling eleven minutes earlier that day. Above all, I’ve never forgiven a God so cruel that he would let an innocent little dog be sacrificed on the alter of bad politics. Sebastian’s death fixed alot of wrongs in ways that I could not, or did not. The shelter is a much better place now because of that small sacrifice, but I think the cost was too high.

Well, we’ve come full circle now, and maybe all is forgiven. All wrongs made right in the end, so they say….If that’s true, the I believe that Somewhere, there is a cute little shaggy dog wagging his tail in forgiveness of it all.




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this is how i came to have the terrier, who did fill that hole. i still have sebastian's collar, and our photos of him. he was the best dog... and, like my friend, i think that his sacrifice was not in vain, because of his death, and my not being such a nice person about it, and illyria's support, there is now an actual law in our little utah town, named after sebastian, that does save animal lives.


i think he's pleased with that outcome.

9 comments:

illyria taylor said...

I love you too.

harrietv said...

That dog performed a great blessing for the rest of the animal population in that town. Such a life is never in vain.

There is even a religious philosopy that covers it. Let me know if you want my version of it, and I'll send you the link.

Kelli Wedemeyer said...

I have never been a dog person. I never had a puppy. We had dogs but we seemed to be waystations in the dogs longer journeys than long term "owners". This 4th of July I got my first puppy. I'm 37 years old and I know now I was waiting for this puppy. Smoke is 3/4 maltese,1/4 shih tzu. Being the runt he's just a little guy. Now I know just how important this story is to the people it happened to. Sebastion was a hero. Maybe a saint.

Jeeves said...

Well, we’ve come full circle now, and maybe all is forgiven. All wrongs made right in the end, so they say….If that’s true, the I believe that Somewhere, there is a cute little shaggy dog wagging his tail in forgiveness of it all.

Love these lines

austere said...

Sebastian must be happy.

A salute for the law change, Miss Quin.

Dee Martin said...

almost made me cry Q.

vinny said...

"Above all, I’ve never forgiven a God so cruel that he would let an innocent little dog be sacrificed on the alter of bad politics."

This REALLY rings with me.

illyria taylor said...

Special thanx to Vinney and Jeeves, those were the hardest lines to write, in the sense that they were the easiest, and they still make me cry.
Harrietv, I can't request a copy of the belief system for some reason So please send it to Quin anyway and I'll get it from her. Thanx

illyriataylor said...

Oh how Time does not forget. Just posted a piece with your name our hidden phrase in it and posted it to my blog. This link showed up and well, I can promise you that friendships are forever, even when the names of laws have been deleted. Yep. You read that right,