Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It Doesn't Get Grimmer Than This

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.


Bobbisox said...

I feel your heart breaking and wish I could make it all better too. I suspect that the fairy tales we were exposed to when we were young set us up for unrealistic expectations. I am sorry to say it but I am glad Brandy is gone, and am feling better still that your MIL is taking her. She was being a dog, she just didn't have to be SUCH a dog. What an awful day for you and the banshees; I am glad DH made the decision.

thrrrnbush said...

I had a very sweet stray dog that I fostered for a little while and which I knew needed a cat-free home. I was also fostering kittens at the time. It worked on the theory that the dog was an exclusively outdoor animal and the cats were exclusively indoor animals. Unfortunately I failed to convince the kittens of this arrangement and eventually they escaped into the beyond of my backyard. The next morning I discovered one ex-kitten and when my son woke up I had to tell him ('cause he and that kitten cuddled every morning in the sunny spot under my front window) and comfort him through his tears. Then my daughter woke up and I had to share in her grief. Then my husband got up... and well, if there's ever a next time I'm waking them all up and doing the grieving all at once because I will never repeat that experience so many times in one day again without jumping off a high bridge into shallow water afterwards. Your dog is sweet. I'm sorry you'll be losing her, even though I see great wisdom in it too, a good call but a hard one. Your ducklings were adorable, and I'm sorry for your loss; fingers crossed for good hatchings in your not too distant future. Your greenhouse was lovely and I'm sorry for that loss too, I hope it can be readily repaired for the sake of your citrus obsession.

If you want to come over for Dr. Pepper and chocolate I could give you $20 for gas. I don't know what else to offer besides condolences. Take care.


Dana said...

Oh, that is so sad. Our dog attacked a neighbor's dog and we had to get rid of her. It looked like she thought it was a rabbit...not aggressive like a dog fight and she stopped and ran up to the owner wagging her tail when he yelled at her (she was a great big malamute and the other was a miniature poodle.)

Anyway, it was just too big of a risk to chance it happening again. But it was so hard because she was such a good dog. At least you had somewhere to take her. We had to give her up to the pound where we were reasonably sure she'd be put down.

Stephanie said...

Brandy has been settled and already seems happier where she's at. I can deal with feeling like a failure for that.

Dr. Pepper and chocolate can cure almost anything. Thank you for the offer, Crystal. I will probably take you up on that eventually.

Dana, I'm so sorry to hear about your dog! It's so difficult to make that sort of decision -- I was a wreck and I knew the pup was going to a good home. I can't imagine what you must have gone through.

Thank you, everybody. It really does help to have access to friendly ears when the universe decides to drop a corner of itself on you.