the day the dog did something unforgivable

That’s right, my incredibly cute, fluffy and seemingly innocent and cowardly little sidekick did the unthinkable yesterday. She killed a poor and helpless bird.

You see he was trapped in dad’s makeshift greenhouse, covered on all sides in bird netting to protect his precious vegetable garden. I hadn’t realized he was stuck inside until she started howling at it. At first I thought it was just one of those tiny lizards running rampant but soon enough he flapped his little brown wings and got my attention. I let out a sad little ”awww” knowing this small creature got more than he bargained for when he smuggled himself inside somehow. I immediately wanted to help him, to set him free.

So I began deliberating ideas, making mental lists and weighing the pro’s and con’s. I could leave him be until my father got home and let him handle this since I was positive situations such as these had previously arisen. Then again I could leave the door ajar and let him finally free himself. I went with the latter wanting to end his confined torment as quickly as possible. I opened the door to let him escape, but I forgot about my sidekick who barreled right past me, charging into tomato plants and grainy dirt like a bull in a china shop. And so the chase ensued. I didn’t think much of her vain attempts of threat as he soared high above her head until somehow she managed to thwart his flight path and got him by the neck. They battled in what felt like forever. His squeaks of shock piercing my eardrums as I attempted in vain to pull her away. But I was too late.

By the time I had her in my arms she had him dead in her mouth.

I dropped her in disgust then quickly gathered her up again in my arms to separate her from the slight limp body that lay broken on the grass. I chucked her inside, I mean literally chucked her back inside the house, despite her ear numbing protests while I ran back down hoping this innocent creature was just playing dead with us. But there he was, a stationary pile of brown unruffled feathers with eyes closed shut. I couldn’t bear another look at him as tears began to well in my eyes. I felt hopeless and unsure of how to proceed so I reached for my cell and I dialed the first number on my phone. Kristy. She has dogs! She has a Labrador and two Staffy’s, she’ll know what to do. Sure enough she did and plainly informed me to simply bury him and there was nothing more to do. She was right. I knew that. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I stood there watching, weeping and replaying the events that transpired. Knowing full well it was my fault this precious fluff of life is now meeting his maker. I begged Jesus to forgive me for the slaughter of such an innocent being, of one of God’s creatures. Why didn’t I put my dog inside before opening that latch? Obviously she was going to run in and give chase, I just never expected her to actually harm him, let alone murder. She’s as frightened as they come! A complete wimp, only daring to be brave from a safe distance and in the company of humans and yet here we are. There he is and now I can’t even find the strength to bury him.

To give him final rest from this cruel, cruel world.

I forced my legs to move and I chose a burial site; under the canopy of the fig tree that birds enjoy perching themselves on. I dug a shallow grave beside its trunk, an area were I knew she could not reach him. Then I tried to collect him up with a dustpan. Still hoping he was alive but his limp body said otherwise. It was almost like prodding jelly; warm jelly. For some reason I felt like I could sense heat radiating from his body and for a second I swear I caught a whiff of rotting flesh. Through the metal tipped spade his feathers were soft to the touch. It took me a while to maneuver him onto the dustpan, I didn’t want to disrespect him further by just carelessly scooping him away. I made sure I was gentle.

And as I lay his little body in the shallow grave I realized I didn’t have the heart to cover him in dirt. Not just yet. He could still be alive and the thought of possibly burying him alive was just unthinkable. We had done enough damage to that poor bird. And he, I bet he didn’t think this would be his last days on earth when he ventured into the forbidden garden of delights. The horror. I returned after an hour or so to find him still unmoving; eyes remained shut. Reluctantly I carefully covered him with dark soil, starting from the bottom of his body, making my way up to his head. Paying my respects and asking for his forgiveness over my stupidity and carelessness.

Now how do I even look at my puppy? I can’t. I know it’s animal nature and instinct but a part of me, the irrational, the motherly, animal lover in me says I raised you better than this! How could you? I feel like I don’t know her anymore and it’s all I can do but point my finger in disgust and scream bloody murder.

So how do I go on? How do we go on?

xxx

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