53 - A Hard Decision

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Felipe Altamirano Alvarez Espadachín

I stared at the time on the clock go by. The doctor who went out went back in, once again not answering any of my questions. I sat on a chair, with my face buried in my hands as I wished that my dog would not die. Amor was a part of my family. I couldn't lose him. My eyes welled up with tears as fears about what could happen to Amor disturbed me. I paced up and down the corridor where the door to the room, where Amor was, was. He was not just an animal to me. He was family. It is very hard losing family. Memories of Amor flashed through my mind as I paced up and down: memories of him chewing up my shoe; memories of him cheering me up when I had a bad day; and, memories of him licking my face. The more I thought about my dog, I increased the speed of my paces, sweating because of worry.

During my paces up and down the corridor, I received a call from Cabo Chelene and Cabo Chanfalla who told me about their investigation into the Quemado Corporation, concerning the Incasisi accident case. Even though my dog was in a serious condition, as a policeman, I had to place duty above self. Therefore, I spoke with Chelene and Chanfalla even when I didn't feel like speaking with them at that time. They told me that before they visited the Corporation's laboratories, they made sure to get information about who the licensed procurer of the drug was. The licensed procurer was a person who was licensed by the government to be the sole legal procurer of the drug Ximanthiseptirum for the company. The two Cabos (corporals) also got the travel information of the licensed procurer - a certain Anxo Beneharo- from the Bolivian Ports and Airports Authority before visiting the laboratories. One thing they observed was that this Anxo Beneharo had never left Bolivia in twelve months. We, the Police, believed that Anxo Beneharo or some employee sold the drug to Rodriguez illegally. It was with this mindset that the Chelene and Chanfalla went to the Quemado Corporation until they noticed some anomalies which prompted a questioning that brought a new angle to the case. When Chelene and Chanfalla arrived at the Corporation's laboratories, they noticed that the drugs in the company's possession had a month more before they expired. Ximanthiseptirum had a short shelf life of two months. This meant that the company purchased the drug a few weeks before the week the two Cabos went to the Corporation's lab. When the two Cabos asked the company officials where they got the drug, they told the Cabos that they got it from a distributor in Brazil, because the only licensed distributor of the drug in Bolivia shut down his business before running bankrupt a year ago. Their response puzzled the Cabos. Referring to the travel information of Beneharo, they noticed that Beneharo hadn't left the country in twelve months. The Cabos asked the company officials to retell their answer to the question of where they got the drug from. The company officials insisted that they got the drug from Brazil through their licensed procurer. That was when the Cabos showed them the travel information they got from the Bolivian Ports and Airports Authority, which proved that the company officials were lying. The Cabos also told the officials that the drugs that they had in their possession were just a month old, proving that the company had illegally procured the drug a few weeks ago. Initially, the company officials were in a state of denial: they denied that they procured drugs illegally. That was when the Cabos brought even more evidence. Finally overwhelmed by the evidence against them, the company revealed that they got the drug illegally from a local, unlicensed peddler. When Chanfalla and Chelene demanded the name of the peddler, the company officials revealed it. It was Eduardo Rodriguez. The name Eduardo Rodriguez surprised the Cabos themselves. The Cabos thought that Eduardo was sold the drug illegally by some rogue employee of the Corporation, but it turned out that the supplier of the drug to the Corporation was Eduardo Rodriguez himself.

Kirt Heinrich

Amor's disappearance hurt me the most. During those days that Amor was with me, he became to be a close friend. How could he leave me suddenly? Alice comforted me because I was the most emotionally impacted by Amor's loss. They cared about Amor, but they weren't as close to him like how I was. Just when the heaviness of heart over Catherine's death was lifted, that over Amor's disappearance weighed us all down. There was no laughter, joy or singing around the fire. We all stared pensively at the popping and leaping flames. We felt like lead weighing us down: only the lead was weighing down our hearts.

Timothy suggested that we stay and search for the dog, but I refused. I thought that if the dog never returned after our search, it could only have meant that the dog died or was lost. If Amor was lost, I couldn't risk the lives of my classmates going after the dog, so I told them that it was best if we left the rainforest on the next day. As soon as I made the decision, I hated myself for being ungrateful towards Amor who even saved my life by bringing me food on the day that I was about to die. I had no choice but to choose the option where I wouldn't risk the lives of my classmates. If I chose to search for Amor, there was a risk that I would lose more of my classmates.

Felipe Altamirano Alvarez Espadachín

The doctor came out of the room. Five hours had passed since I ended the phone call with Chelene and Chanfalla.

"Doctor is my dog fine?" I asked, hoping for good tidings.

The doctor wiped his hands with hand sanitizer after removing his glove and told me, "He's out of danger but he's paralyzed in his facial muscles, and limbs. He cannot live without life support."

"What does that mean?"

"That means that even though the dog is alive, he won't be able to move, eat or drink. His vital organs are damaged too and he needs to be in constant life support." clarified the doctor.

"Will he get alright?"

"No Capitán, the damage to your dog's body is permanent and irreversible. We suggest that you euthanize the dog. He's better dead than living a life worse than death in life support."

My gladness over the fact that Amor was alive was soon overshadowed by the fact that Amor cannot live without life support. The suggestion of euthanizing Amor broke my heart. I was conflicted between my desire to have my dog be with me and my desire to end the suffering of my dog. If I chose to euthanize him, I would lose a close friend. If I chose to let him live, he would live a painful life until the day he died. Feeling that the decision is better made with Nacho's consent, I asked the doctor if I could delay my decision over whether to euthanize Amor or not. The doctor said that I could delay it, but suggested that I make a decision as soon as possible because the sooner Amor is euthanized, the sooner he would be relieved of his pain. I began to cry as I walked away from the doctor. I cried about Amor. People never expect a tough policeman to cry, but the thought of a dog dying - one that was a family member to me and my son - was heartbreaking. With heaviness of heart and eyes swollen with tears, I lifted my phone and dialed Nacho's number. Tears fell on my phone screen as I did that.

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