Dignity Against The Swarm

, , , , , , , , | Hopeless | February 20, 2018

I’m living next door to my grandfather and renting one of the units that he owns. There was a beehive on the property that we were going to hire someone to remove. Unfortunately, before this could happen, the bees ended up swarming. Even worse, I had stepped out to run some errands and was gone longer than I had planned, just over an hour, and had left my two dogs outside. I didn’t realize what was going on until I got out of my car and felt something buzzing around me. I ran into my yard and passed one of my dogs lying there, dead, and the full impact of the situation finally struck me.

Thankfully, I already had my key in hand and managed to get inside while only being stung once. I called 911, but I was trapped inside while the fire department and an exterminator were called out. I was shaken and upset, receiving multiple phone calls from family, and also from a deputy and the battalion fire chief, as my place was difficult to find. I watched everything through my sliding glass doors and was able to speak to the firemen through the glass, letting them know about the dogs.

It was dark when the fire department cleared out and the exterminator came and spoke with me, letting me know that I couldn’t go out because the bees were still active, and that they would have to return in the morning to finish removing the hive. My dogs were still in the yard, and I didn’t want to leave them outside like that all night. I called the battalion chief back to see if any of his crew was still on scene. He told me they had already cleared, but asked me what I needed all the same. I let him know about the dogs and that I was hoping that his crew would be able to pick them up. At first he believed that I meant for the dogs to be taken away altogether and said they could come back in the morning. But when I clarified that I only wanted someone to take them next door to my grandfather’s so that he could bury them, he told me he would see what he could do.

He ended up coming out himself in a truck and protective gear, asked me where the dogs were, and advised me not to watch while he took them away. I later found out he was stung a few times for his troubles, but treated the dogs very gently.

It was a horrible life lesson to learn, and I will always regret not taking the necessary precautions, but I will always be grateful to the battalion chief for going above and beyond.

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