Sunday, December 30, 2012

An American Talks About Guns


I was a boy when old Shep got sick and my Daddy said well son I’ve got to take old Shep out back and shoot him. My Daddy said, I don’t like to see an animal suffer. I said, Daddy, Shep was my dog and I’ll take him out back. I called for Shep. His ears perked up and I know dogs can’t smile but he sure seemed happy to hear his name. Come on Shep let’s go for a walk, I called. Well, old Shep was a little slow getting up but he was wagging his tail.

We went up through the field to a place that I thought he’d like. I had to carry him that last few yards and then I put him down on the hill. It looked out over the fields where there were the gophers and rabbits that he liked to chase. The sun was going down on the stream that he liked to splash around in when we were out on a hike. I thought this would be a good place.

Shep sat and looked out at the vista of his new life across the stream, his river Jordan I guess you could say. I had my single shot twenty-two that had been my Daddy’s and his Daddy’s before him. I said, old Shep you have been a good dog, the best dog and friend I could ever want. I know you won’t mind what I have to do. I put my arms around him and gave him one last hug. I love you, Shep, I said. I loaded up the gun and put the muzzle to his ear. He didn’t suspect a thing. He was whimpering a little with the pain in his haunches and he was panting.

I pulled the trigger and he jumped a little and went over on his side. To my surprise I old Shep didn’t die. His eyes were still open and he was still panting. I just had the one bullet and it was a mile back to the house. But I had brought the shovel and so I reared back and smashed the shovel down on old Shep’s head. I hit him again and then I was sure he was dead.

I always remembered that and so when my son came to me and said, old Shep II was feeling poorly and he won’t get up I said, son well I guess it’s his time. We took old Shep II up to the hill where his forerunners were buried. My son carried his Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle with a thirty round clip. He set the fire selector and put the muzzle to the dog’s ear. Goodbye old Shep II we loved you deeply. This time there was no need of a shovel except to dig the grave on the hill where to this day our beloved companions lie in  peace.

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