Pal - Sweet Happy Boy 1.5 years old Lost in a Tragic Back Yard Accident
by Monica O'Keefe
Six days ago, I was sitting in my back yard with my two dogs, Pal the Whippet mix, with a delightful personality. He brought light and laughter to any semi dog person he ever meet. He would make friends at the dog park with every dog. He sleep next to me. He was a funny, fun and loving boy. We got him for his nature. Adopted him a six months because he was the only dog that our then 5 year old lab/chow mix seemed to tolerate at the pet store on adoption day. Toleration led to fondness and watching them play was a daily source of entertainment and laughter.
I wish now I was a more cautious / aware person. He died in front of me in my fenced in back yard. Pal, the Whippet was playing with Bella the lab/chow mix. We had left one of those chain collars on him, not the kind with spikes. Bella's mouth slipped under and in their play they twisted. At first I thought oh no they are attaching each other. I ran over screaming and continued screaming for many minutes to come. I pulled on Bella to separate them. Then I realized what had happened. I tried to get the chain off her mouth. It would not budge. I tired to pick her up (80 lbs) and try to turn her. I realized I could not. I keep screaming, thinking my husband would hear and help. The two of them were both pulling on each other trying to get loose. I saw Pal stop pulling so hard and realized I had to do more. I ran inside and yelled to my husband. I could not explain, I just yelled emergency, the dogs are stuck in the backyard, as I ran to the garage to find wire cutters. We got the cutters under the chain, but they did not cut the chain. (The chain was small). I than ran in again to look for another pair and found them in a different spot. My husband had been using them earlier and they were on the kitchen counter. When I got out my husband said it was to late. I did not want to quit however. That pair cut the chain. We tried mouth to mouth and CPR. Still not wanting to give up, we rushed him to an animal hospital.
We screamed and cried for the first few days. We would not sleep in our bed. We slept little, and sometimes I would wake up horrified. Sometimes, I would remember him looking at me as I was trying to free him, and I would just feel horrified. At times I have felt so guilty about now being aware of how dangerous that chain collar could be. Sometimes, I felt so horrible that I did not act quicker, find the good pair of wire cutters faster. I even feel bad I did not call out to Jesus sooner.
I am a believer, and now my God is good. I have always believed, God was protecting me and my family. I still believe he is good, I can never believe different, but this is a challenge emotionally to my faith.
I have tired to go back to work. I have vacation, but there seems to be so much to get done. It is hard to concentrate at work, and I have quit the day earlier than usual. One day I worked from home and was productive Today, I came home to work and I just could not.
The grief is tiring in addition to the sleep I missed over the weekend. I am not breaking down now, but I do feel depressed and concentration is missing. Work has been supportive, but I am concerned about how long this will take and how much my performance might be effected. It is easy to make mistakes, when your in a fog.
Unfortunately, we are between churches right now and have been shopping for a new one. This makes it more difficult right now, as I don't have much community at the time. We don't have allot of close friends, but some and have received some support. But it does make me realize how much more I need community.
My dog Bella is fine. Her lips where swollen for a few days. We did decide to get a new dog. A 8-week old puppy. A boy who is a rescue. A mix of some kind of hound and terrier. His markings reminded me of my Pal. He is sweet and spunky, like my Pal. He keeps us busy. We are being very protective of him and will not allow him alone. Bella and Jackson are beginning to bond some. Little Jackson does indeed make us laugh. I do not expect him to be Pal, but I am happy he has some similarity.
I miss my Pal dearly.