Most of this was written in a mixture of the day after it all happened and scattered through the past weeks, so it's really rambly, and I apologize for it not being in better order, but I just really don't have the head to rewrite it.
It all started when I found my moms dog mutilated and beheaded some 30 feet from out back yard.
We'd done the nightly routine on the sunday before last, me at my computer, my mom turning off the TV and calling for her dog to follow her up to sleep. Usually, she only needs to call a few times. This time, she kept calling and kept calling and nothing. Despite the fact that that dog was *never* away from my mother's side, *entirely* dependant on her, and completely blind, It didn't take us long to figure out the dog was not inside the house. It was 11:00ish, maybe 45 degrees and raining. Out we went at night with our flashlights, inside the car, and rounded the neighbourhood. It was a terrible, horrible mistake, and quite frankly I don't know when I'll get over that.
While we were warm and in our car, driving around the neighbourhood, Max had wandered off into a cluster of trees and bushes to the left and behind our house. And there he stayed in the cold, rain and dark, for God knows how long before whatever lead to his death, and to what I found later.
For three days we drove around the neighborhood and further out, called the police, called the ASPCA, called the neighbours, and nothing. We looked and looked, but we didn't look in the right place. We went far away and back and far away again, but we just didn't check a few metres off our back yard. Then came wednesday. My mother had gotten home from work and we went to put up flyers when we saw a man walking his dogs and asked. At first, he didn't have a clue. But then we gave him the flyer and he just got this *look* to him. Nothing could have really braced me for what would happen in the next 15 minutes.
He told us he'd seen some turkey vultures earlier. At this point, I'm starting to get an idea. He says 'it looked like a baby fox or something.' at this point, even despite everything, deep in my head I'm still in deep and heavy denial. Growing up with having dogs run away *all the time*, for up to a week at a time, and be unharmed and safe in even comical fashions had made me almost certain my moms dog was okay.
But even still, I ask for him to show me. Just to humor him, my mother, and even somepart of myself. Just to be sure. I tell my mother to stay in the car or to go home, and she refuses. So he walks us to the place, and I go ahead, telling my mom to stay back. He leads us to that small place, with maybe 5 or 6 trees clustered together, and points. I see a dark object and walk towards it. The object is blurred because I have horrible, horrible long distance vision. I get near enough and discover it's a manhole. I'm hoping he was wrong in what he saw, but he tells me to look to my left, and I realize what he's talking about.
The first thing I saw was the little cluster of pink ribs and pink skin underneath it. I can't tell you if my heart was racing or if my breath caught or if I was entirely calm, because all I remember is a complete nothingness. By the time I'd seen those little ribs and the torn skin I was still sure it was, in fact, a fox. Especially because the head had been ripped off, and was nowhere to be seen. It didn't have a head, it didn't have Max's head. But then I saw two fuzzy little legs and paws sticking from those ribs, with tiny little black claws. The clumpy, dirty, long fur wasn't a fox's, and neither were the tiny little black claws I'd had to pry away from my arms so many times. My eyes wandered back up, just to see that glaring pink of his ribs and torn upper body again. Attached to those little fuzzy paws. That was the last thing I saw before I yelled to my mom to stay back, and that it was him.
When I was younger, I was a real crybaby. Didn't take much to make me bawl, and I suffred constant migraines from it. The last time I got a migraine from crying was 1999. 20 minutes after we'd started putting up those flyers and came across that man, I had just one such headache. When my mother and I were walking back to the car I don't know if I was crying because of grief, or if I was doing it because it was all I could do not to scream. I always hated it in movies when characters would give those long, wordless screams over a dead body. Always thought it was so fake and pointless. I was quite wrong. All I could think about was that little dog in the sofa, wrapped up in blankets that smelled of my mother as he dutifully waited for her to get home, and that torn, empty, bloody, headless carcass with that dogs two little paws and swirling tail. Somehow, that A had become B seemed to be the most horrific concept ever, and I just kept wanting to scream over it.
When I tell you I have a stomach of steel, I'm not saying it to try and sound like some internet badass. Actually, for the longest time, it had worried me. Like maybe I was incapable of empathy. Crime scene photos from my Crimonology textbooks of dead women and children slashed and bloodied didn't bother me, and I spent a good amount of time on shock sites like Ogrish just to fulfill some type of curiosity for what accident victims and surgery patients *really* look like.
(For the next day what got me, what I couldn't stop thinking about obsessively, was that we never found his head. Most of this was written in the meanwhile, and I'm too lazy to change it to past tense, so:)
I keep going to the windows and doors to check if *then* I'll find his head, but at the same time I'm scared to death of looking at the windows and doors just in case I do. I just want to hide in my room for two weeks until I know it won't happen, but I have to check. Because if that were to happen and my mom were to find it, she'd stop believing the calming story I told her.
I keep needing to talk about this to someone, because if I talk about it I don't *think* about it. I focus on my words, not my memory, and not my active imagination. But I can't talk to my mom about it, because if she sees me losing my cool, she'll know I don't believe the story I told her. And my becoming hysterical is only going to make her more hysterical.
But it's always when I'm alone in silence, or there's nothing else going on. Waiting for an IM online or not paying attention to the screen and I can see it again. These flashes of images between the dog I knew and the remains I found. Thinking that those remains were once the dog I knew, just three days ago, kills me. Tucked up in the sofa, all big eyes and perked ears and fluffy, stinky fur. That little small pink mass of ribs with no head, only the tiny little fuzzy front paws and black and tan tail showing that it was really him.
Today I think I've gone past the shock slightly. Yesterday I would start shaking or crying when I just wanted to scream, or my head would feel like bursting because of how many times I'd come close to hyperventilating, or I'd start shaking hysterically. I don't know what's worse. Being alone, or having my mom around and act like nothing is bothering me, and keeping a straight face to help her through.
A lot of you know the words 'You think too much.' I've heard it from most of you at least once. Well, you have no fucking idea how true that is. How annoyingly true, and that's very likely one of the things that lead me to this state. I keep thinking about it, going over it, going over it from all the angles, never satisfied with one story, never satisfied with one explanation, and getting as gruesome in the theories as the thing I found last night. My first story was so comforting, and convincing, but it didn't take me three hours to realize it was an impossibility. And then they started getting worse, and worse, and the more realistic they get, the more questions they answer, the more disturbing, frightening and horrific they become.
Question. Why would he leave the house when he never did? Why wouldn't he go to my mother when she called when she was only 15 feet away from the spot we found him? Where was his head? Why was the body there, and not the head?
One of the common signs of violent tendencies, and even sociopathic behavior, is cruelty to animals. It's one of the basic signs of violent behavior, and one of three warning signs of sociopathy in children and early teens. Why would he leave the house when he never did? He didn't, he was snatched. Why didn't he go to my mother when she called whn she was only 15 feet away? Why didn't he react to other dogs and people since people go walking around that area all the time? He wasn't there. Where was his head? People who kill small animals for the above reason usually like to keep a 'trophy', much as serial killers will.
Of all the possibilities, it's only the above that answers all questions.
My mom sent me a grieving site. Rarely can we say, "no one was at fault; it simply happened." Rarely can we accept that nothing could have been changed or done differently. Ironically, that's what I always do. I'm sad about things, but usually can keep my cool because that's what I think. For the longest time, both I and my mother worried there was something wrong with me because of it. But this time, I really _was_ at fault.
And that was the last I wrote on it, really. The next week was spent in an odd fluctuation of watching my mom and trying to pick up cues from her. I had so much going through my mind, and I needed to talk to someone, but I couldn't talk to her, because the last thing she needed was to think about what *I* was thinking about and see the things I was seeing in my head. I couldn't tell her I didn't believe the story I was spoonfeeding her, and I couldn't tell her I was nearly sure her dog had either been eaten alive or tortured to death by someone who was in current posession of his head.
It's a bit scattered, since it's a word document I've had open eversince the incident. I always wanted to get around to writing about what happened, but could never really finish it. Like I said, there's no need to worry about me anymore. I went to my mom's therapist yesterday, even if it was under a trick of sorts, and got it all out. The therapist, predictably, had nothing constructive to say or add, but it was still some good ol' venting.
Looking at it, there are a lot of things I didn't go into. I guess I just didn't want to think about it at the time. But one of the most painful aspects was the dogs blindness, and complete dependence on my mother. The thought was of him alone, in the dark, in the cold, in the rain, blind and lost without someone to guide him, wondering where home was, why my mother wasn't with him, why she wasn't calling out to him, why was he alone, etc. was likely the most haunting and depressing aspects. Dogs are already helpless, in a sense. A blind, 10 year old dog who'd know nothing but my mother's presence suddenly being without it in a cold night before it's death was just.. Horrible. I'm past crying, I'm past shaking, I'm past hysterics, but even know it gets that tightness in your throat.
My mother, on the other hand, is still.. Odd. She's still just at odds with the how it happened. For example. We went outside to go see the therapist. Our neighbour pulls the car over. I see her coming to the window and I'm thinking 'She *can't* say it, she *won't* say it', and, predictably, she *did* say it. That's when things, once again, took a whole new strange turn. My mother turns to her and tells her Max was attacked and killed by animals.
This was the exact thing I was hoping she *wouldn't* think. So, on reflex, I jump back to the hypothermia bullshit. "No, mom, he had a weak heart. The *vet* said so." "No, mom. That's cold enough. The *vet* said so." "It wasn't the cold alone, mom. It was raining, so he got his fur wet, which made his body temperature drop. It's not about outside temperature, but the temperature of his blood." but then she says that makes her feel *worse*. The story I'd been telling her and religiously feeding her made her feel *worse* about him getting attacked. Before I can ask WTF, she just snaps that she doesn't want to talk about it.
(One thing I forgot to mention was, ofcourse, right after it happened, I had to come up with a story to make my mom try and feel remotely less bad about the state she'd found her dog in. So we buried him shortly after we found him besides it being dark and cold on my insistence, since i didn't want her having to do it later. And mostly, I didn't want her to feel what I was feeling inside that bag, which was a mess of bones, fur and raw meant. We got back inside, and I told her he had likely died of hypothermia during the night he went missing. I am an expert bullshitter. I told her how the rain and the cold (it was 38 or so degrees) likely had done him in during the night, and he likely went to sleep to regain his energy before he could find his way back, and never did. This was my story, and I stuck religiously to it. Every time she'd bring up how much he may have suffered, how alone he was, how cold he was, how confused and lost he was, I'd promptly chime in and say he didn't have time to think of those things. It was all bull. 38 degrees is not enough for it to happen. I knew it, but she didn't have to. Or so I thought until the above incident.)
And then we went to the therapist, where I pretty much spent 1 hour in one huge sentence and breath. Honestly, I didn't know I could talk *that* fast, but there you have it.
So that's basically what happened on that account.
The latest development is that she found a blind, 9 year old chihuahua in a nearby rescue she's got her eyes on. I don't think it will pan into anything since we're off to Brasil in 2 or so weeks, but whatever keeps her mind off him.