Will to Kill Versus Will to Live

Before I was born, my parents had a black cocker spaniel named Seven.

She was the seventh puppy in the litter, and the runt, so my parent’s decided to keep her.

One day, when Seven was one-year-old, she disappeared. My parents drove around looking everywhere for her, calling friends to be on the look-out, and also posted signs in the local stores. Although there was no city dog pound, my parents contacted the police and the post office in case they saw Seven during their patrol or mail delivery routes. They also placed an ad in the weekly newspaper.

Two weeks later, my parents found Seven lying in their front yard, barely alive. Because the town was so small, my parents then placed a display ad in the newspaper with a picture of Seven. The photo was not cute at all. Instead, the photo showed Seven’s bloody stomach, which had no fur or skin left on it. It showed Seven’s tongue almost completed detached, held on by a ¼” piece of skin with the remainder of her tongue hanging out of the side of her mouth. The ad also mentioned Seven’s two broken back legs, and the skinless, bloody pads on both front feet. My parents offered a monetary reward for information about what happened to Seven so they could inform the veterinarian.

Three days after the newspaper was published, a witness came forward. This witness told police she had seen three 13-year-old boys take Seven from my parent’s yard. Because it was such a small town, the witness also knew the boys’ names.

During police questioning, the boys admitted they were angry at my parents for yelling at them about destroying public property. To get even, they took Seven to the overpass and waited for a train.

As the train was passing underneath the overpass, they threw Seven off the bridge. It was a near 20-foot fall so they assumed Seven would be hit and killed.

Instead, Seven’s will to live was much stronger than their will to kill.

Nobody saw Seven because not only was she a small dog that was now lying flat on her stomach, but the brush and weeds were very tall and dense since the land was unmaintained.

The veterinarian speculated that Seven bit her tongue and broke her legs when she landed. Then due to exhaustion, she likely rested for up to two full days. Because of her will to live and loyalty to my parents, Seven dragged herself the two miles to my parent’s home little by little. Due to the dragging, her front paws and stomach were in very bad condition.

Seven had surgery.

Seven’s tongue was wholly reattached, and she wore casts on both back legs for months. Seven’s front paws were wrapped, and other than the specific scars themselves, Seven’s skin and fur grew back on her stomach.

Seven lived happily another six years. Ironically, she died of cancer at the age of seven.

I don’t share this story to depress you, but to help inspire you to be like Seven. No matter how many times it seems like “life” wants to destroy you, it’s essential to find your will to survive, and to focus on those you love – especially during times of uncertainty.


Ms. Mozelle MartinFMHP, FHWE, PhD.

  • 35-year  International Forensic Handwriting Expert
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