The day we lost Cloe
Family is a treasure. No doubt most people will agree with me when I say family is one of the most important things in this life. While we can’t choose who our siblings are or who is raising us we do get a choice on the furry four legged animals that become part of our family. Any pet owner can relate to the love you share with an animal.
Little Cloe girl has been a part of our family for twelve years. The year my cousin went off to college my aunt got Cloe for company and protection, adding a sister/daughter/granddaughter/cousin/niece to our family. Twelve years of loving her, sleeping with her at the foot of the bed; take a presence like that away and life is set off balance.
On Friday Jan. 3, 2014 our little Pomeranian Poodle Cloe was shot by a neighbor outside my aunt’s house with a BB gun. In her yard in the middle of Rugby, ND. While a child was outside playing. My sister, mom, dad and I rushed to my aunt and uncle’s house after receiving a distress call. I will never forget picking up her still body wrapped in a blanket. The only thing I could think about was that I didn’t want to hurt her. But you can’t hurt something that can’t feel anymore. It is incredible how we have an instinct, something that drives us in extreme situations. I just remember the need to save her life even if, in the back of my mind, I knew there was no life left for her.
Thinking about who has the right to decide who deserves life, such as concepts ranging from abortion to capital punishment, we could discuss for hours on end never coming to a conclusion. This is evidence to the fact that life is and always will be a precious thing. You take a life away and it is gone from this earth forever. The power in that is so ultimate. We can have faith and know that a soul goes to Heaven after death, but that does not make the pain of loss disappear from those of us with a life left to live.
And we can ask: “What constitutes a gunshot, an action that takes away life?”. If we are afraid enough are we allowed to kill the thing that gives us fear? Fear is strong, but the right to live is stronger. If members of society kill everything they are afraid of the world would be in chaos, for the things that some people fear others love deeply. This idea opens a world full of hate, resentment, pain, and loss. If we have people taking the liberty to kill the things they want to kill in carelessness, never considering what the things they are killing mean to others we can only become scared for our safety.
A child, a two-year-old boy, was outside in the moments before Cloe was killed. Imagine if he were to have crossed the path between the bullet and Cloe. Careless violent behavior is so uncontrollable. What lives will be destroyed next? How can we prepare for what will come? Our inalienable rights guarantee us the right of life. It is not okay if we have to be afraid that that right can be taken away.
It is believed that our little Cloe was killed out of fear and hatred. But she lived in a life of love. It is so unfair that we could love her so much for so many years and in a matter of moments she is taken away because one person could not understand what it is to love this lovely little girl. And she is gone now, leaving dozens and dozens of hearts aching in her wake.
What can we do now? We go on living our lives, even if she is no longer able to live hers. We live in Rugby, North Dakota, a beautiful small town where there should never, ever, be the chance that a pet can be shot and killed. We have a strong sense of community, we love our neighbors, and we expect the privilege of living in safety. And now I can only begin to realize what a privilege safety really is. Now all we can do is celebrate the life Cloe lived and the joy she brought to us. We will never forget our girl, and will never forget the impact of one action on our lives. I pray for safety and that no one else will ever have to experience what we are going through. I pray for the person who did this. We have to focus on the love we shared if we hope to work through this loss.
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