Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Loss with Guilt

When I was in eighth grade, my Mom and Dad let me get a Corgi puppy from one of the litters at the barn. Eeyore was his name and he only had one ear that stood up. He was super cute and had tons of personality. One spent the night at a friends and the next day when my Mom picked me up, she said Eeyore had been let outside and never came back. I was really sad to say the least. The best we could determine was that he had pulled out of his collar and someone had picked him up thinking he was homeless. This dog lost tons of collars so it wasn't the first time and I guess I knew it was a matter of time before this would happen.

When I was a sophomore in high school, my Mom and Dad let me get another dog from the pound. It was actually a program that linked the pound and a childrens home. The kids at this home would train pound puppies the basic skills like sit, stay, down. Nothing fancy, but it was definitely something that gave their life some purpose. Allie was the dog I chose. She was about 3 years old and 25 pounds of fluff.

The first year at home with Allie was ridiculous. The dog had severe attachment issues. She would hear an exterior door open and run for it and when she got out she kept going. Miraculous catches were made during that year. At some point, she decided that living inside was ok and she liked her new family. She got along great with our Yellow Lab, Shelby, and had even learned how to go outside and then come back in without running for the hills.

Even after that first year though, Allie kept things interesting around the house. Socks and underwear would disappear under the bed to be shread into a million pieces. And guests. She did not handle having guests over very well. She bit a few different people. Mostly men. Especially, men with baseball hats and/or sunglasses on. She was obviously letting us know something about her past. (Because of this we decided that she should not go live with me in my apartment at college.) She even figured out how to grab onto a chain link fence so that she could climb out. At this point, the fence became pointless and Allie was allowed to roam my parents 7 acres freely.

The only time Allie didn't return at this point was while there were baseball games going on at the neighboring fields (where hotdogs were served), when the pool was open, and during thunderstorms. At the end of the day at the baseball field or pool, we would get a phone call letting us know Allie was down there and she should be home shortly. And sure enough, she would come home in about 20 minutes.

Thunderstorms were a different story. She would run and run and run until the storm was over. The furthest she got was 5 miles away from the house. Then she figured out she could just go to the vets office down the street (her vet's office). Because I now at a cell phone at this point, I would get a call from the Vet and I would go pick her up where she was laying on a bed in the waiting room after her bath. Some how every time there was a storm, someone would find her and call us. Every time.

Until Sunday. Allie was out for her normal daily adventure. The short of it is that she tried to cross a major road and didn't make it.

My Mom called my husband and he told me on Monday night after I got home from work. Initially, I was shocked and cried a bit. It hit me hard, especially since Buckley gave me a big scare on Sunday (whole nother post). But, then, later that night I was overtaken by guilt.
- What if she had come to live with me after I got married?
- What if I had called Mom to remind her to leave Allie in the house because it was going to storm?
- What if I had done something differently?

The guilt crushed me.

I know that she lived a very full life and was much happier at her second home. I know that she loved running around and doing whatever she wanted. I know that she was always fed and loved at my parents' house. But, I couldn't help but question all of that.

No real ending to tie this up, just raw feelings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That breaks my heart. Praying for you!