Bloody Paw Prints


There were bloody paw prints on the cold tiled floor of the emergency pet hospital. I stared at them with my heart beating for the animal who was being treated behind closed doors. Luckily, the bloody paw prints weren’t from the cat my sister, and I had rushed to the hospital after we found her vomiting blood, but the entire scene in the lobby was a visible reminder of the gravity of the situation.

My sister and I sat next to a really young couple. When you sat still you could hear the young woman slightly sobbing under the melodic yet seemingly inappropriate pop song playing over the hospital’s speakers. She curled up into the arms of her spouse, waiting for their dog to be returned to them again. I tried to stifle my own panic for the spunky cat with an attitude I had grown to love over the last five years. I knew my sister, who was fiddling around with the most random objects in the hospital, was upset as well, so I tried my best not to make it worse by remaining still.

About fifteen minutes after we had signed the paperwork for Sonya’s admittance to the hospital, a large family came in with a yelping dog. The middle-aged woman looked shaken next to her husband that carried the small older dog that was wrapped in a warm blanket.

“She’s been crying for most of the day, but now it’s constant, and she won’t stop,” the man explained to the receptionist at the counter. His adult son paced around for a moment before tending to the worried mother.

Over the course of the next couple of hours, every time the door swung open, the entire lobby could hear the yelping of the small dog. However, I had noticed that the yelping grew fainter over time. I waited and listened to the noise every time the door swung open until I noticed that it had stopped.

Before the receptionist had come back to the counter to let my sister and I know that Sonya would be kept there all night for observation, another nurse came out with the same blanket that the small dog was wrapped up with when she came into the hospital. The woman ran out of the hospital before the man could grab the blanket. The son was the last to leave the lobby after briefly talking to the nurse. I watched the family leave the hospital with a heavy heart.

Sonya eventually came home to my sister and me after a weekend in and out of veterinarian offices and hospitals. She hates taking her medication, but she doesn’t fight it as much as I thought she would. I think she somehow realizes what is taking place and the worst thing that could happen to a family pet.

When you adopt an animal, you never think about the day when they will no longer be there with you to scratch up your furniture or fall asleep at the foot of your bed. However, it was that night we saw another family lose their furry loved one that everything seemed to change.

3 thoughts on “Bloody Paw Prints

  1. Well now I’m all teary eyed and trying to not to cry. Great writing! I have to try not to think about the day when my babies will be gone.


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