So.....the trip is already off to a rocky start. I made the mistake of visiting family on Maui before heading out. Nothing can stress you out more then a week with your family. Not a good idea when your trying to relax before an epic trip. Now dont get me wrong, i LOVE my family to the bottom of my heart and back again but sometimes tragedy strikes and you just need to regroup.
While i was out there, three of our beloved family dogs died in a terrible accident. I was taking a nap and it seems sean, my brother and his wife went to the store to get some food. They took three of the dogs along to get them out of the house, since what dog doesnt like a car ride with their heads out the window? When they returned, they parked in front of my parents house and left the door to the car open to let the dogs out. The dogs would often stubbornly stay in so my brother would leave the door open so they could get out at their leisure. My young nephew was playing around outside and shut the car door. It couldnt have been more than 25 minutes before my sister in law realised her dog was no where to be found. She had some leftover food to give him as a treat and he was no where around. He was still in the car.
The first of the dogs died within 10 minutes from heat exhaustion. The second to go might as well have been my brother and his wife's first child. They had got him together as a puppy when they had first started dating. My brother immediately ran over to his golden retriever and started doing CPR on him, but he was gone. My brother kept doing compressions on his lifeless chest and screamed "Petey NO!!!! COMEBACK PETEY!!!" The tears welling up in his eyes. It was something right out of the movie 'Old Yeller.' The last one to survive stuck in there and nearly made it to the vet but passed before there was anything they could do. The vet did not even have the heart to bill us. I guess seeing our grief, he realised that the loss we suffered was great enough as it was.
Needless to say, the mood was a somber one from then on out. It is so easy to point fingers at people, when this sort of thing happens and accuse them of being neglectful. I've looked at these situations and thought the exact same thing. But i know in my heart that my brother loved those dogs with every ounce of his being and would NEVER have knowingly hurt them. His guilt was like an unbearable dager, peircing my heart whenever i looked into his eyes. It pained me because i could tell that he blamed himself and would carry this burden to his dying breath.
The dogs were buried by sundown. My brother had even got some sand and a tennis ball to place on his beloved Petey's grave since playing fetch at the beach had been his favorite activity. We all went to bed, but i could hear my dad's sobbing through the walls. He had lost his dog as well. She had been the last to go. This is a man that i had only heard cry once in my life when his mother died. The next 5 days were excruciating listening to my family grieve. So i headed home a day early to regroup and prepare for my trip.