Today our dog ripped the greenhouse netting to shreds, pulled the ducklings out from under the wire netting, and mauled them to death. It was hard enough finding the pitiful little bodies. It was worse when the children demanded to see them. How do you hide one of the more bitter realities of life from your babies? Should you even try? The dog was being a dog; the protection that I thought was adequate was not. I chose not to hide the consequences from them; I didn't see how I could, given all that needed to be done to deal with the situation.
How do you deal with a child's heartbreak when they realize that Mommy can't sprinkle magic dust and make everything all better? My five-year-old still seems to think everything is going to be all right in the morning. My seven-year-old is angry with the dog. My 8-year-old wants everything to be a nightmare she can wake up from. Oh my darling dearest heart, would that it could be so.
My husband made an executive decision on his way home after hearing the news. He called his mother up and our dog now has a new home. My MIL thinks of this canine as her first grandchild, so it will be a good home, probably better than this one in many respects.
I feel awful. I feel awful that I didn't protect those ducklings better, that I wasn't there to rescue them. I feel awful that we're getting rid of the dog, who has been with us for so long and really is a good dog. I feel horrendously guilty for feeling glad that we're getting rid of the dog. Conflicted is not even the beginning of this feeling. Some time in the night the tears will finally come and I will weep the ending to this terrible, terrible day.