A letter to the dog who killed a 5 year old child in Oklahoma who he thought was hurting his owner, ran away, and was later shot to death near his home

I wish you had kept running. What you did to that child was tragic and I’m sure it scared you the way your owners were yelling at you. Get off. Let go. Fear and confusion made you clench your jaws harder. You’re a 150 pound creature and you know your own strength. You can feel it under you when you run, like you did after your owners pulled you off of the boy. You could feel it when you lunged. You didn’t understand. And the boy was making awful noises and you had a job to do. No one hurts your owner. That’s the rule. It’s a rule so deep it’s buried in your DNA and in your history. It’s beyond you, it’s above you. So you lunged. And then they yelled. And then you ran.

I wish you didn’t stop. I know you did stop. I know how you turned back around, after the fear had subsided, and you started to make your way back to your home. You probably thought your owners would be okay now. You probably didn’t see the man with the gun waiting for you. You probably heard the shot though. You probably smelled the smoke.

I wish you just ran and ran, far away and they never found you. I wish you found a new life with new people and no crying kids and no threatening situations and a big, big backyard. You didn’t understand. It was not your intention to hurt anyone. You probably liked how the young boy scratched your head a day earlier. You didn’t like him crying though. You didn’t like the way he looked at your owners. You didn’t understand the situation. So you reacted. And they shot you.

For dogs, the punishment for manslaughter is death. There is only the death penalty for dogs. That’s because people don’t understand, so they react. And they shoot you. Now you’re dead, but I wish you would have kept going. Past the furthest place you’d ever been from your house. Past the last landmark you could ever use to find home again. I wish you ran on, feeling all that strength being released as your legs pound the rain soaked grass and you never stopped seeking somewhere further away. Some place safer than “here”.

It will allude you, but you keep going, because if you never stop they can never shoot. That much, I wish you understood.

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