Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago · 2 min. reading time · ~10 ·

Lisa blog
Love and loss

Love and loss

This is a true story told through the eyes of a child that lived most of her life in terror. This then is how I see it at the emotional age I was then.


‘This is YOUR fault. You and you alone are to blame and this is the price that you will pay.’ I begged him, pleaded with him, made every conceivable promise. Didn’t matter.

I cradled Duke’s heavy head on my lap as he lay dying, stroking his hair, kissing his brow. His beautiful eyes - a deep well of such purity and understanding, stayed locked on mine, were filled with unutterable love, absolute acceptance, a complete yet terrible trust that broke my soul into a million shards.I did not deserve his faithfulness nor his unquestioning adoration, for I was his murderer. Even as his eyes glazed over, he questioned me not. Silently I cried, as I always do.

‘That’s what happens…’ my father accused. His glare I would not meet, for I knew they were filled with the hateful, gleeful gloating of triumph. The other man, kneeling too close to me now moved away, as if he could hear the breaking of my heart. ‘Now for her. Get her and hold her down’ he commanded us both. Duke’s partner Zoe had backed herself into the corner as much as she could considering the restraints. The man, who looked as horrified as Zoe had already inserted the needle into Zoe’s vein on my father’s instructions before I killed Duke. Father sat on a chair; we were kneeling on the floor - now wet with not only Duke’s urine, but Zoe’s too; her last shred of dignity lost to the terror of seeing her mate die.

‘Please….for the love of God…’ the man weakly pleaded to my father. The quiver in his voice betraying his fear. I glanced between both men for any sign of hope. ‘DO AS YOU ARE PAID TO DO’, my father said quietly and calmly, his unblinking glower fully engaged on this inferior being who would have no chance in hell of argument….no one did.

A moment past. ‘Get on with it!’ my father’s patience ran dry. Me and the man scooted our drenched legs over to Zoe. Lord, forgive me...she ignored him but looked at me with such perfidy; my treachery, duplicity showed the dawning panic in the whites of her eyes and trembling of her body. The man put his weight on her and went for the plunger.


As always, stupid hope came up in me.

‘No.’ father said to the man, ‘she pushes the plunger.’

‘...please dad….no...please’ I begged, so horrified that this could get any harder.

‘You,’ he indicted to the man ‘hold her down tight.’ he said, pointing to Zoe who sensing the heightened alert, started to whimper. ‘Clamp her mouth’.

I was an isolated 12 year old who knew little of this world. My entire being rested on a knife’s edge of watching and waiting on this man - the was no room for anything else.

‘I’m so so sorry…’ I whispered to Zoe as she looked at me with hate and resignation. I pushed the plunger.


No, these aren't ours - I don't have any pics of them.

NB: All us kids loved those dogs. Even my father did. What did I do to incur such wrath? I forgot to de-poop their large out-door pen....once.


Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #42

A follow up thought now that i have a whole half a brain awake. The biblical stories show us how individuals meet chaos and overcome. No government, no regulations or social police. Merely the individaul and their beliefs. We dont sleep in tents or can we break off into tribes and live this life. But it shows us that chaos is in fact an individaul issue. It can be shared and walked with others who can support and help. Somehow we are now starring that individaul chaos is causal. You did it, they did it or regulation didnt cover it. I appreciate the thought that we can legislate chaos from the human paradigm. But several of the past leaders have tried the utopian society where chaos is eliminated. This ended in wars and tragic outcomes for many groups of people. No the framers of our constitution new chaos was something that could only be held at bay by the individaul. The Bible shows us how to manage this chaos, not eliminate it. But most religions offer a way of balancing chaos and order. Beware of those who see government, the new religion, relieving you of your chaos. I believe the serpent is fooling us yet again. Oxymoron, Hello i am from the government, i am here to help:)

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #41

Yes unfortunately i fall in the “deplorable” group as decided by Ms. Clinton. I believe in what happened at the mid 1600’s, individuals have inalienable rights in which they were born. Although history shows some poor execution around this right, we shouldn’t throw it away because we missed the mark a few times. Some of my comments with you have expressed these ideals. Chaos visits and we want solutions and the government is setting there with a possible solution. But each time the government fixes something we give up a few more of the individaul rights. Here in America not only are we deplorable but if you have any flavor of religion that is not in vogue you have reached an under catogory of Neanderthal deplorable. Yes lets throw away thousands of years worth of hard won thought and civil understanding and rewrite everything. Starting with our constitution and moving back. From the Bible to the Constitution i dare say that their are only a few who rightly grasp its full concepts and meanings. Specifically as it would apply to the future. Seems as though many here think they have come to the edge of knowledge and wisdom. Now they want to lead us to nirvana. I am starting to feel like Pinocchio.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #40

Adroitly put Harvey, as always, you leave me with more questions! Yes, chaos is the order of the day; too many have either dangled 'the fat juicy steak' for their own devious designs or just used the tenderizing mallet. I am curious to 'I am in the group that needs to die right now'. The obvious answer lies in our mutual faith, but I wonder if you have a different meaning? Essential as Government is, it has come a long way from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. No matter, our individual responsabilities and values are up to us, not human authorities; I think so many have forgotten this or become lazy?

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #39

Absolutely, Rom Emanuel of Obama days made no bones about it, "we should never waste a good crisis". When chaos presents itself, it came form somewhere. My lack of knowledge or understanding of what my behavior would bring upon me or it was existential. Right now we see a small group of folks attempting to blow up various chaos bubbles of identity politics while they can be the savior. Chaos is an opportunity to understand humanities evolution or a chance to grab power of solution. Although i wish solutions i am always afraid of folks who think that the government and authority is the answer. Chaos is a condition that allows us to understand the worst parts of our behavior and seek to understand and add to our body of knowledge. But it is the fat juicy steak that humans can also use to attain power. I know it is a power grab when the chaos is explained as one group has to die in order to move forward. I am in the group that needs to die right now. But like in most history the methods of dealing with chaos always circle back to those who imposed the death penalty to the first group. Chaos is a none discriminatory aspect of life. As for Patton, a man who was born at the right time with the right attitude to meet what we were up against, much as Winston Churchill was the same. But each was lost without the enemy.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #38

Thank you my love!! Yes, I'm practicing exorcism of my own demons, which a fairly legion as you know, lovely Lana Liniger!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #37

I can just see you shouting out 'Pardon me, ma'am!' in the native tongue of whoever's plants were flattened - such a Gent, Harvey!! Order is mere idea until one understands the nature of chaos and identifies the source. Of course, there are always those that don't want order, I guess. Seems to me people like Patton (no disrespect) thrived on the fight between what some have called 'good v evil' but really it's a battle of order v chaos. The question is, in a corporate world, would [he] be tempted to 'create' chaos in order to restore codification?

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #36

When others or ourselves expose chaos it can over run us and force us down a path. Or we can seek order within the chaos as a path out to where we can not only serve ourselves but others also. Been in some tough spots before and it was only the seeking of order that held me from the brink of disaster. It wasn't pretty, matter of fact it was ugly, Patton would have been proud. But in a few weeks i was no longer in the grips of chaos. Did have to level out some apologies though. People take offense when you drive a tank through their flower bed.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #35

Too many to count I suspect, sweet Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador - so much for the 1st world. Funny; I say that with all the guilt attached (and presumption) to being a 1st worlder. Sounds absolutely do children that survive such terror and horror survive where 'we' wouldn't? As Harvey Lloyd once told me (we were having a discussion about the Book of Job - I'm sure he won't mind), life was short and extremely brutal those many ages ago. Few survived to adulthood even in the middle-ages. But I digress; your pain is real. It matters not the 'quantity v quality'. The ONE time (around 10 years of age) I found an air-rifle, I shot a pellet at a bird at the top of a very tall Oak; 300 feet?. My hit - I killed it. The grief and accusation stayed with me for years (buried privately, but in the same somber way as yout beloved cat + terrible regret...who knew I could do this? it's like I deserved it. Prattling further, our boys 'Hammy'; the hampster after 'brownie', 'whitey' (young kids are color-orientated! in names :)) he was dying of old age around a couple decades back; kids in school so I knew what would end his suffering...just couldn't do it. So I held him in my hands for a couple of hours - crying silently- until he breathed his last. I confess, it was sorta silly, but really difficult and painful! He was buried under the porch.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman

4 years ago #34

No child should endure situations like yours. Inhumane treatment is hard to forgive and harder to forget. When I was a child, probably 7-8 yrs old, I remember when my cat died my father dug a little grave in our backyard and we said a prayer. Even though I was sad because I lost my cat, I knew she went to kitty heaven. Thank you for sharing this post-@Lisa Vanderburg, because it's stories like yours that help others who have endured similar experiences.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman

4 years ago #33

No child should endure situations like yours. Inhumane treatment is hard to forgive and harder to forget. When I was a child, probably 7-8 yrs old, I remember when my cat died my father dug a little grave in our backyard and we said a prayer. Even though I was sad because I lost my cat, I knew she went to kitty heaven. Thank you for sharing this post-Lisa Vanderburg, because it's stories like yours that help others who have endured similar experiences.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #32

Yes, I agree my friend. It has taken me a lifetime to even start putting into words these things. Not because I am bitter (no matter how broken), but because I am curious as to what makes people who they are or become. Some of us kids told our occassional school friends (after we left home) about some of the 'going-on's', but to a ONE, they didn't believe us, so strong was the power of those who kept us. That said, as you have mentored me before, I do forgive them. I may try and snatch it back at times, but am reminded of who's the real boss here - thank God! Thanks always for your wisdom and agape love Harvey Lloyd!

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #31

I am truly sorry that these things happen in our world. Many things get done under the authority or religion, parenting and other platforms that self-righteous indignation leads a set of twisted moral values. I work with students each day that come with these stories. Some of the stories make you understand why public hangings were a part of our past. With these students we cant undo the past. With legal stuff done and arrangement made we are left to help the student gather their life and proceed forward. It is difficult to tell a child that doesnt have a fully developed brain yet that time will heal what has happened and that a future exists that is just like you remembered before this happened. The first step is to get them to understand that yes, this did happen and here as how we are going to move forward. The first step is getting them to come to grips with what happened. Its mystical and real at the same time. They cope by thinking its a dream then someone or something reminds them of the reality. Most of these kids wont find peace until they are thirty and then only if someone has walked with them the entire time building a new life expectancy of the future. It did happen, draw from it what is useful and build a new set of experiences based on values you create.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #30

You're right, John...too many kids (partcularily) cannot help but blame themselves for the sins of others - divorce being the most common-place. Adults and parents forget the fragility of youth and don't always nurture with enough care. But I'm grateful to air some of these things - get them put to bed. I forgive them, though it has taken many years. Thanks for coming back - an act of love John Rylance!

John Rylance

4 years ago #29

I agree totally with Ken. Lisa, aside from forgetting to poop scoop, a minor misdemeanour, you did nothing wrong. You are not to blame or to feel guilty about the over reactions of others. How often do we hear those on the receiving end of cruelty, blame themselves, when it is the perpetrators who are at fault? 

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #28

And for my beloved brother Harvey Lloyd; I forgive him - my dad. The Vet too....

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #27

oh...God love you Ken Boddie! I'm meant to be writing my 'story' but my recall is so full of holes. What you understood was that even though I was 12, I had the emotional age of someone far younger; this had been going on for ever. Hitting adulthood was a bitch - totally unprepared! Thanks with all my heart, Dude!

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #26

Such indifference to suffering, of not only the trusting animals, but of the child and the associated mental torture of a fragile developing mind, goes beyond cruelty and enters the realm of sadism. I can only hope, Duchess, that you may one day throw off all remnants of guilt, so inappropriately and criminally planted in your young mind, and fertilised by such savagery disguised as paternal discipline.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #25

So right sister! It was those days when lines were not drawn, no one could hear our angst and others bowed to what they perceived as greater than themselves. Mercifully, life has changed for us 1st some extent!

Cyndi wilkins

4 years ago #24

I have heard it said that too much intelligence leads to a lack of compassion...I get that...But this was a sinister act of a mentally ill man...Intelligence does not make us immune to that...Regardless darlin' and I both know we are all responsible for our actions...on humans, animals and all forms life. That is the only thing we take with us in the end. I'm sure he has met with those beautiful beings on the other side and they have forgiven him. The vet will have his day in court too...if he hasn't already.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #23

Dear Ian Weinberg, I am touched by your sage and compassionate you know how 'touched' I am! :) We had Retrievers, Labs and Rhodesian Ridgebacks too (between the Danes). All hugely loving and adored in return. The most noble and BRAVE of all human-friendly mammals. Grateful for your comment!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #22

BIG ouch Pascal Derrien! Thank God for your Grandpa, but I feel your empathy. Animals are....animals; we just don't expect that from humans. There again, I once went to rescue a squirrel that had been hit by a car. As a wee kid, I thought it only reasonable to take him to the nearest vet. Went to pick him up and he bit me on both my forefingers. I dropped him like a hot potato & went to the vet myself...thinking I'd bleed out from the anti-coagulant. So much for humanity :)

Ian Weinberg

4 years ago #21

The cruelty of man lnows no limits. In some twisted way he derives some perverted gratification from inflicting pain. Sadly it's been like this since the beginning of recorded time and will surely remain the eternal dark side of human nature. And still the dogs trust us and befriend us. Who indeed are the more noble creatures on this planet? Thanks for sharing this extremely well written and touching narrative Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #20

Thanks for the vote, dear man!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #19

The Vet had no chance in Hades; my father knew his prey well. Of course, these days it couldn't happen - took me years to figure that out. My Pa woulda found another way - hugely intelligent man :) Thanks, Angel!

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #18

What a gripping read, super, a sensational write up !!!! It reminds me of an event involving a German Shepperd at my grand dads, I was eight or so and did not want to go into that cellar but was persuaded to get in but the dog had other ideas and did not let me and got a good bite of flesh behind my knee. Next thing I heard was a large deflagration...… my grand father had shot the dog as reprisal. I was on crutches for a while and I have a large scar on my leg but I felt sorry for the dog it was not his fault..... humans misunderstood him and it did reinforce my weariness towards adults.

Debasish Majumder

4 years ago #17

after a brief hiatus i came across your intriguing and fascinating buzz Lisa Vanderburg! enjoyed red and shared. thank you for the exclusively delightful buzz madam.

Cyndi wilkins

4 years ago #16

Speechless...Other than to say my real contempt here lies with the cowardly man, (a Veterinarian I presume) who allowed himself to be a participant in euthanizing two perfectly healthy dogs. Your father was a very wounded man Lisa Vanderburg...I'm so sorry he inflicted his own internal pain onto you and your family instead of seeking care for himself...Tragic story:(

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #15

I am humbled that you commented Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee! You and your fellas who are beBee have made a home for me. I am deeply grateful!

Ali Anani

4 years ago #14

Big yes

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #13

I hear you Jerry Fletcher - I know...and I feel your pain.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #12

oh yes - a truly poignant movie; Atticus was played by Gregory Peck, I believe. Humans are a devilish and delightful complexity, no?

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #11

thanks Lisa Vanderburg for your stories ! I have no words by the way... Google loves your blog on beBee

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #10

thanks Lisa Vanderburg for these stories. I have no words... by the way ... not bad !

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #9

Lisa, I have no words.

Ali Anani

4 years ago #8

I wondered if you watched the 1962 movie "To Kill a Mocking Bird"

Ali Anani

4 years ago #7

As much as I hesitated to comment, equally I am overwhelmed by your courage and openness my dear friend Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #6

oh my manners!! Thanks all for the shares!!!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #5

My friend Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee, I know this was not the buzz you were probably expecting - I have another one that is way more fun to post in the next couple of days! Somehow, I just needed to get this out first! I know your heart bleeds at such cruelty and that's why you don't like to comment, but it is cathartic for me; readies me to get in the 'now'. You are even more precious to me for finding the words that bring salve. Thank you dear man!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #4

You know, I feel sad that I have saddened you, dear John Rylance, because I been there and come through it (not exactly unscathed :) ). I think my father's 'god-complex' was a misnomer; at least on the first word! And I thank you for the beauty of your heart, John!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #3

Such a beatiful quote - I loved that book Bill King! And I am comforted by you words; thank you. It took me a long time to figure out I didn't kill our beloved dogs, but it felt like it. Healing comes with being a Mockingbird!

Ali Anani

4 years ago #2

This is a rare case in which I failed to comment my friend Lisa Vanderburg. Sometimes, cruelty makes us better. How on earth would you have written with such moving scenes and descriptions without having been exposed to such cruel experience? For example, " understanding, stayed locked on mine, were filled with unutterable love, absolute acceptance, a complete yet terrible trust that broke my soul into a million shards". You are a brave lady my friend to share such cruel experience.

John Rylance

4 years ago #1

I found this cruel in the extreme. I barely understand why you were punished in this way. There is no justification for the dogs fate. This is the stuff of horror movies, wicked parents in Victorian novels, Grims Fairy Tales. Worst of all its real life. 

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