Snickers and Moe Deserved Better.. I failed them

by Heartbroken
(Upstate New York)

Snickers

Snickers

Snickers
Moe with Mario (not one of the killers)

I live alone with no children. At least not the 2 legged ones. I have two dogs, a female shepherd and a Heinz 57 male with maybe a little pit bull in there and 2 beautiful cats. I am active in dog rescue and at a clinic one day a woman dropped off a 10 plus year old cat because she didn't get along with the new kittens they had brought home. Snickers was scared and aggressive and I took her home that very day. That was almost four years ago. She kept to herself but never had a problem with any of the other animals. Moe was a male gray tiger cat. I had him from the time he was a kitten over 12 years ago. All of my animals are neutered and the dogs have been thru advanced training and well socialized. Never so much as a dirty look was cast. The cats had their area to eat which was a dog free zone but they rarely stayed in there. The animals slept together and the cats could often be seen balancing to get a drink from the dog bowl.

Fast forward to Dec 23. To my horror I could not find Snickers. She had been known to hide out sometimes when she wanted some alone time but a search for her found she had passed away. I found her in the basement with no visible sign of trauma. Horrible yes, but when you adopt older pets it is to be expected. All of my animals get annual vet exams etc. and I assumed it was her time. Cue Christmas. Still struggling to deal with the loss of Snickers, I came home Christmas night. Walked the dogs, gave them extra treats as it was Christmas after all, got in my new Christmas jammies and turned on the light to my bedroom only to see Moe dead on the floor by the water bowl. He had obviously suffered a single bite wound but that was enough to take his life. Neither dog had a single scratch mark on them. Neither dog acted like anything was amiss. I really have no idea which dog was responsible. It was obviously not a pack thing as poor Moe only had the one wound. He must have been so scared. Moe loved the dogs and was always rubbing up against them. I lost my collie pictured above in June of this year. He was 14. He and Moe were inseparable. Hopefully they are cuddled up together at the Rainbow Bridge now. That is the only thought that gives me any comfort.

So here I am a few days later. Barely able to function. The only stable in my life was that my home was my sanctuary. No matter what the world threw at me, my animals made it better. That is gone. I can't even bear to look at the dogs that held a place in my heart as children would. I am overcome with guilt for so many reasons. I pride myself with being so animal saavy yet my ignorance cost my two babies their lives. They both deserved so much better and I failed them.

I made an appointment with my dogs' agility trainer for Sunday and plan to talk to her and try to somehow wrap my head around what happened. I don't want to give them away, I don't want to keep them, I don't want to euthanize them.. I don't know what to do and if I can get past this. I feel so responsible and so stupid for not realizing the dogs had something to do with Snickers passing and perhaps could have at least saved Moe. But they all lived together for years happily. I never saw this coming.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am glad I found this site as only people who had this happen to them would understand the range of emotions that you go thru when you combine unbearable guilt, all consuming grief and confusion with what to do with the things you love the most. Thank you to everyone who read this until the end.

I want to end this by apologizing to Snickers and Moe for failing them so miserably and hope to see them at the Rainbow Bridge (where dogs aren't a threat to them) :(

Comments for Snickers and Moe Deserved Better.. I failed them

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Jan 07, 2014
Beautiful Snickers and Moe
by: Diane

My heart just breaks for you, I do know that it was in no way your fault, there was no way you could have known this would happen..... it was a horrible, horrible accident. I know it will be incredibly hard, but you can't blame both your dogs, only one is guilty and the other is an innocent. I don't know how, but you have to find out which one is the guilty one, maybe a trainer could help you. There was no hair evidence around, or caught in your poor cat's claws? It has to bring you some comfort to know it must have been very quick if there was no signs of a struggle.Bless you for caring so much, that's why it hurts so bad now. Moe and Snickers knew they were loved, and I'm sure they would not want you to be so sad now, try to remember the good times, not dwell on their passing. I know your heart is broken, let us try to share your pain. RIP beautiful Snickers and Moe!

Dec 30, 2013
People on this site are so kind
by: Anonymous

Thank you for responding. I am just wandering around in a dark cloud of grief. I know that sounds dramatic, but that is exactly how it is. I spoke at length with the agility trainer who knows both dogs very well. It helped but at the end of the day, I am still left with two dead cats and the dogs who did it. I am pretty sure it was the German Shepherd as he had a couple of scratch marks on his nose. Their trainer said it was probably safe to leave them alone together as the mix is definately submissive to the shepherd, coupled with that fact they would totally freak out if they were separated, but I am still not comfortable. I am left with only bad choices and a whole lot of pain.

Your words of comfort do help and I can see I am not the only one this has happened to. I am hoping that time will help. It hasn't even been a week yet and I don't want to do anything while in this state of mind.

I am going to run a tighter ship, that is for sure.

Dec 30, 2013
Snickers and Moe
by: Nadine

I'm really sorry you lost your 2 beautiful cats recently. I'm a cat lover and we have several. I like dogs but we have too many cats right now to get one. I understand the guilt you feel. We lost Sammy, a one-year old orange tabby a few months ago. He was a house cat but snuck outside one night when the door wasn't closed tight. We looked all night for him but unfortunately found him dead on the neighbors lawn with a bite would in his rear area. Their dog is a pit bull but really quite gentle normally. We have had him in our yard a few times and he was very tame. We never feared him. I figure Sammy was spooked, not being used to the outdoors, and he must have startled the dog. Animals are great to have as pets but they are unpredictable creatures. Whatever happened to cause your cats deaths wasn't your fault.

Dec 28, 2013
My heart breaks for you
by: Heidi

My heart breaks for you. It’s hard enough losing a companion animal let alone two and in such a way. I feel so bad for the pain you’re going through. But you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. You’ve given them a second chance and gave them a wonderful loving home. They’ve gotten along so well for so long - there would be no way you could know that this could happen.

Maybe ask your vet for a recommendation for a pet behaviorist. It’s possible that the dynamics of the pack changed when your collie passed away. Animals grieve just like people do. We had a dog unexpectedly pass away 3 weeks after our other dog had died of kidney disease. (I’ve endured the pain of losing two at the same time as well.) But maybe one of the dogs was acting out in grief of losing their collie family member. Maybe the dynamics has caused confusion as to the pack order or maybe introduced food/water bowl aggression.

Or maybe one of the dogs has a health issue. Our dog that had passed away unexpectedly was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease – but she never had any symptoms. Like you, I always take them in regularly to the vet. I had even taken her in for blood work which the vet said on Saturday everything looked fine. The very next day our little dog started vomiting. On Monday, I took her back in to the vet and new blood work showed she was already in multi organ failure. She had held on as long as she could while our other dog had struggled with kidney disease but when he passed, she let go.

Just remember you didn’t fail Snickers and Moe. You gave them food, shelter and most importantly love. Unfortunately, we can’t protect our furry companions every minute of every day – even though we try. One of the dogs could be innocent, and maybe an expert could help you find answers that will end well for all three of you.

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