Violence Changes Everything.
by Cyndi S. Crawford
(Peachtree City, GA, USA)
Twenty-four hours ago, I was the proud owner of three dogs. Today, I'm down to just one.
I had Alvin (who was a yellow lab/hound mix), Trixie (a black lab/pit bull mix), and I have Rufus (a full-blooded pit bull).
Trixie and Rufus had a habit of ganging up on Alvin and picking on him. Most of the time, he would run away and position himself in a place where they couldn't easily get to him.
Well, yesterday, I walked into the kitchen to find something to eat, but saw Trixie standing over Alvin, who was lying on the ground and covered in blood. Rufus was nearby, but keeping his distance.
My sister had witnessed the fight--Rufus and Trixie had, as usual, decided to pick on Alvin, but apparently Alvin decided to fight back instead of just running away, and this made Trixie so angry that she went from merely picking on him to getting into a full-on fight with him.
She won. Alvin was lying in a pool of his own blood and refused to move because he was so hurt. My sister (or her husband) had called the police by this point, who had come over to investigate. I offered to take Alvin to the animal emergency room to see if he could be fixed up, and my sister and her husband were going to follow me with Trixie to have her put to sleep for viciously attacking another animal, as ordered by my father (who is out of town with my mother to visit and help out with their elderly parents).
The police officers who showed up were very kind and helped us put Alvin in my car, and gave us the address to the emergency room. Then, we were off.
To make a long and agonizing story short, Alvin's injuries, while not the worst that the staff had ever seen, were too extensive (and expensive) to take the risk of keeping him alive. Not to mention, the very likely possibility of PTSD for him, having been torn up so badly, made it too risky to consider letting him live--his personality might have changed for the worse to where he would be violent to Rufus or to my sister's three children--so we opted to have him put to sleep.
I volunteered to stay with both Alvin and Trixie while they were put to sleep--best decision of my life. I've never had that opportunity before and was glad that I took it this time.
I haven't been able to cry about this yet. I feel numb and indifferent, but angry and upset all at once. It doesn't seem real, and I have no idea what to do with myself because of it. I don't know what to do, or how to deal with it. I've lost pets before, I've hurt deeply from those losses, and I grieved--but I had never lost a pet, let alone two in the same day, due to violence.