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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
So I'd thought I would share the story of why I left my previous job in a pet shop.

It happened one day when I was scheduled to open up the shop alone. I woke up late because I only slept at 4am-ish the day before. Rushed to work and was still late for an hour. By the time I got to work, there were already two customers waiting outside to bring their dogs in for grooming. One had a dog with her, the other had five dogs with him.

I admit that I was kinda in a frenzy because I was alone and also because I didn't want to let the customers wait even longer if I were to take my own sweet time. So then I opened up the shop, let the customers in and asked them how they wanted their dogs to be groomed.

The first thing I did when I opened the shop was to let Coco(a boarding dog) out of her play area, as instructed by my boss, so that I could place the five dogs who were waiting to be groomed in it.

The lady(Let's call her Aunty A) then decided to cut queue and approached me in a rush to let me know how she wanted her dog to be groomed. At this point, Coco was still inside the shop, loitering around like how she always does.

Aunty A then left after informing me of how she wanted her dog to be groomed, so I proceeded to attend to the customer who brought his five dogs for grooming. While chatting with him halfway, Aunty A opened the glass door infront, paused for a good 3-5 seconds, before exclaiming, "Girl, your dog has ran out of the shop!"

I glanced around, realized Coco must have slipped out of the glass door while the not very smart Aunty A was stoning for the 3-5 seconds, and panicked. All it took me was 2 seconds to react before I started giving chase to Coco.

Saw her running for her life in the carpark behind the shop, with 5-6 other aunties and uncles chasing after her. I shouted for her and she started running towards me but changed her course of direction when she saw a not very smart uncle behind me screaming and yelling at her. There were many occasions when she was running for her life at the carpark that she ran towards me(because I was the ONLY familiar person around) but got so frightened by the other people around me that she ran towards another direction.

I continued giving chase as she exited the carpark towards the main road. This was when I made the greatest mistake. The slipper I was wearing lost its grip and slipped off my left foot, so I stopped and put it back on, seeing that there were other people already chasing after her. My stupidity annoys me to no end at times. I should have known better Coco will NEVER respond to the strangers running after her.

After putting my slippers back on, I continued running in the direction where Coco was headed only to have the girl who was previously chasing after her turn around to WALK towards me, completely breathless. I asked her where Coco was, and she told me her mom(Aunty A, was giving chase in her car). I went mad.

Continued running in the direction that Coco was supposedly heading towards, saw no signs of her at all, asked strangers, and headed in the direction that Coco was last seen.

At this point, I was completely breathless and wuzzy. Couldn't breathe normally and my head was spinning. Passed by a pet shop and a Vet to leave my details in case anyone brought Coco in. The staff nurse at the vet told me she saw Coco running towards the direction of Hotel 81.

Ran towards Hotel81, while passing by a tyre shop, the uncles seated outside told me they saw Coco running towards the expressway. I started crying. I became flustered. I was so angry. With myself.

Didn't know where to run to and decided to betray my gut feeling(I knew she must have ran towards the expressway) and turned left(after Hotel 81) to continue searching for her. Combed the entire area for 3 hours non stop, in the rain, all the while crying like I lost my kid.

Called up my mom and the bf to come down to help me. After searching for close to an hour, I knew that chances are Coco would already have been knocked down by a car on the expressway, but I kept praying and hoping that she would be fine. So I continued searching, while receiving calls from my bosses who were reprimanding me.

I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't stop searching. At 3.30pm, after 3 hours of non stop running, I was left completely exhausted and dehydrated. My body couldn't take it anymore. I sat down at some void deck, called the bf and the mom, and begged them to come down to help me out. My mom was so worried she thought I was going to run on the expressway to search for Coco. The bf kept on telling me it wasn't my fault.

T o cut the long story short, after my mom and the bf arrived, I was left completely immobile because I'm super unfit and running for 3 hours is just NO JOKE to my legs. Went back to the shop after much persuasion from my mom and the bf(I had really just wanted to leave for good because I was so engulfed by guilt).

Narrated what exactly happened to my bosses who stopped searching TWO HOURS BEFORE ME, and right after I finished my story, my boss very calmly and sweetly told me, "Coco is dead."

Went out of the shop and asked the bf to follow me to one corner before I started crying like a mad woman. I had caused the death of a dog due to my negligence.

Apparently Aunty A, who was supposedly chasing after Coco, saw her getting knocked down by a lorry. It was 12.15pm when Coco ran out. She was knocked down by a the lorry at 12.25pm. In only ten minutes.

I cannot stop telling myself I'm a murderer. Coco was such a sweet dog. She was only 2 years of age, had no temper whatsoever, and would follow me around while I do my stuff in the shop. She would also make sure she's out of the way when all of us are busy. She would jump up on a table/chair when we are sweeping or mopping the floor. She would shake her butt and wag her stubby tail when we call out to her. I don't think I've ever seen another Shih Tzu that's so well behaved and intelligent.

And I killed her.

After a whole night of mental exhaustion, I told my boss I couldn't continue working anymore because I really didn't expect myself to be so involved emotionally and mentally. I loved this job although the pay is peanuts. I loved how all the animals that came in adored me and vice versa. I ignored anyone who told me I was stupid to be working in the Pets Trade despite having a degree in Mass Communications. I loved all the animals(well maybe except for the stupid hamsters who bit me)that I've come into contact with for the past 3 months. I've learnt so much about animals that I'll never have the chance to if I were to be working in a magazine firm.

I'm guessing it'll take me a couple of months more before I can forget about this entire incident.

I didn't receive any updates regarding Coco's owner's reaction to her dog's death after I left. The last I heard, my boss refused to break the news to Coco's owner(about her death) because Coco wasn't microchipped and we are not a 100% certain that the dog that was hit down was her.

It has been close to 2 months, and I still feel like crap at the thought of this incident. I just wished I had been a little more alert. :(
 

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Oh My Gosh!

What a nightmare of a story.

Between your story, and Criosphinx losing her pup, also in a tragic accident, there is a lot of heartbreak here on dogforum today.

If this had been a friend's story, you would probably tell her to not be so hard on herself... she tried her best..

Hope you find it in your heart to forgive yourself and to find peace...
 

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It was a freak accident...

ACCIDENTS HAPPEN! THEY DO!

forgive and move on... its best...
 

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Please do not beat yourself up over this. Like the members who posted before me, it was a complete freak accident and you did everything in your power to try to get Coco back to you. I'm am very sorry that this happened and I hope you will forgive yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh My Gosh!

What a nightmare of a story.

Between your story, and Criosphinx losing her pup, also in a tragic accident, there is a lot of heartbreak here on dogforum today.

If this had been a friend's story, you would probably tell her to not be so hard on herself... she tried her best..

Hope you find it in your heart to forgive yourself and to find peace...
It really is hard for me to accept the fact that accidents do happen, I keep thinking of the possible "What ifs" for weeks after that, but I still tear at the thought of Coco's demise.

She was such a sweet dog, and I feel so bad for her. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It was a freak accident...

ACCIDENTS HAPPEN! THEY DO!

forgive and move on... its best...
I'm trying but very best to move on, but I still avoid Shih Tzus when I go out because I'm afraid my crying would freak the owner out. Trying my best! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It was a tragic, freak accident. We all have accidents in our lives. God bless you. You are a good person. Forgive yourself.
I just wished I had been more alert, I should have been because Coco was trusted under our care...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Please do not beat yourself up over this. Like the members who posted before me, it was a complete freak accident and you did everything in your power to try to get Coco back to you. I'm am very sorry that this happened and I hope you will forgive yourself.

I'm still trying my best to remind myself that chances of similar accidents happening would be minimal and that I should just get over it. But there are so many "buts" and "what ifs"!

I live in Singapore and in broad daylight(when the accident happened), vehicles aren't supposed to be speeding at all. The dude who knocked Coco over simply fled away!

It still haunts me from time to time though...
 

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How was that your fault? You were doing what the shop owners told you... did they not require signs on the doors alerting customers to potentially free-roaming dogs? It sounds like that could have easily been avoided had they done that. I am sorry about what happened, though. But, like everyone else said, it was an accident.
 

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Don't beat yourself up, it wasn't you that got Coco killed. Accidents happened, and everyone has done them before. Coco is in a safer, better, and more beautifuler place.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How was that your fault? You were doing what the shop owners told you... did they not require signs on the doors alerting customers to potentially free-roaming dogs? It sounds like that could have easily been avoided had they done that. I am sorry about what happened, though. But, like everyone else said, it was an accident.
My mom was extremely pissed when I came home that day because I couldn't stop crying over Coco's death and my bosses couldn't stop giving me hell. Eventually my mom called them up and told them the incident could have been prevented if they had been early for work.(They were supposed to reach at the same time as me).

But oh well... I'm just glad coco is in a happier place now.
 
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