Snickers and Moe Deserved Better.. I failed them
(Upstate New York)
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) :(