Friday, March 26, 2010

Trying to Forgive

Today is a difficult day.

I woke up this morning to a house that was entirely too quiet. Rob had left early for work, the dogs were basically hiding from me and the lack of the puppy whimpering to go outside was hard to deal with. I got in the shower and cried.

People have been unbelievably supportive. All of your comments have been so sweet & people from work have gone out of their way to call or stop by and tell me that this wasn't our fault, that these things just happen, that I can't hang onto this, that they love me & they don't want me putting my health or the baby's health in danger from being so upset.

Yet, last night and most of today has been spent alternating between crying and being sick over this.

I'm trying to forgive us.

I have an overwhelming sense of guilt right now. Obviously, there was no way for us to know that something like this would happen. Out dogs are extremely sociable-- we take them to the dog park, they're great with children & we've rescued multiple dogs and brought them into our home. We've never had any problems. The dogs had happily played in the yard together for days and had spent evenings in the kitchen together, with no conflicts. We made sure to feed them separately so that no one would get territorial over food & we made sure not to give them any bones or toys that they could potentially fight over. We did everything right.

I'm trying to forgive our dogs.

I feel like I can't even look at them right now. I have not spoken to them or pet them since I got home last night. I don't know what happened. I don't know who did it, yet I'm punishing both of them. I realize that if they did get aggressive towards the little guy, that it was an instinct, something beyond their control. I'm trying to remember that they are not experiencing the same emotions that I am, but because they are dogs, I don't really know what they are experiencing. They might be traumatized by what was a horrible accident. I really don't know & I never will.

What I do know, is that our dogs are not mean, vicious animals-- even though I know that recent events suggest otherwise. They are a precious part of our lives. Tate is smart and small and while he is extremely hyper, he can be a snuggler. Chloe is big and shy and kind of dumb, but has the sweetest, calmest disposition of any dog I've ever met. In fact, we've discussed training her to be a therapy dog where she could go to retirement homes and hospitals for people to play with her. She's really even tempered and doesn't get riled up easily. I have my suspicions about which one of them may have done this (probably not your first guess), yet it just seems impossible.

Red & Jin asked about my feelings about bringing a baby into a home with these dogs. It's a very fair question to ask but honestly, today, I don't know the answer. I brought this up with Rob last night-- I've never feared our dogs being around our baby. I've considered making them spend more time outside once the little one gets here, to cut down on dirt and dog hair. I've always assumed the baby will get licked in the face at some point & unfortunately ingest some dog hair in its life, but I've never worried about the safety of having our child near Tate & Chloe.

But now, these fears are a little hard to shake. Granted, we won't be going to work and leaving our child in the backyard with the two of them, but I'm thinking about smaller things. Will I ever be able to leave my baby in the swing while I take a quick shower without locking the dogs out of the house? When I give my baby a toy, will I have to worry that it might be something that the dogs want? Will my heart constantly jump every time a dog gets near my baby? I can't live like that.

I don't know what the answers are & I'm not sure when I will know.

I'm trying to let some of the drama and emotions calm down a little bit before I start seriously thinking about this. Because right now, I just can't think about it.

I'm focusing on forgiveness.


  1. Oh Stef, I can't believe it. I've been thinking about you all day. I'm so sorry.

    I feel like dogs act differently with other dogs than they will with your baby. Try not to give up hope of having one BIG family with them once the baby arrives. I can only imagine how devastating that would feel, as I love my dog like a baby as well.

    Hang in.

  2. Aww that poor sweet puppy! So crazy :(

    What kind of dogs do you have again??

  3. :-( My stomach is just in knots thinking of this, I can't imagine how unsettling and worrisome this is for you with a little one on the way. I'm hoping that with time you will be able to forgive and trust your pups again.

    Hang in there.

  4. They're lab mixes-- LABS! Like the friendliest dogs ever.

  5. I don't even know what to say, Stef. Both of your posts have had me in tears. I just can't imagine what you are going through right now. Please know that I'm thinking of you and your DH. (((hugs)))

  6. Steph is there any way that maybe your dogs didn't do this? It just seems so out of character for the breed and the dogs themselves. Did they have blood on them? I know that here in Toronto (big city) there have been a few cases of puppies being killed by coyotes that jump over the fence and get the pups! Any way this could be the case? I'm thinking of you guys.

  7. Stef, don't worry that being upset is going to hurt the baby. You have some really complicated emotions to deal with right now, but you're not going to harm baby Blakely by working through them however you need to.

    If it will set your mind at ease, maybe you can bring in a dog trainer to work with your pups before the baby is born, to help prepare them for the new arrival. As scary (and heartbreaking) as this is, you know you are not going to leave your child unattended with your dogs-- no one should do that, no matter how calm and obedient their dogs are.

    It's going to be okay. ((hugs))

  8. Stef, I am so sorry you're going through this. I can only imagine how devastated you are. You are right, though, if the dogs did anything, it was purely instinctual and they couldn't help it. I agree with some of the other comments, are you sure it wasn't a coyote or another animal?
    Thinking of sorry this happened.

  9. *hugs* I am so sorry for your loss and your mess of emotions you're going through right now. I believe that if you listen to your heart you will make the right choice for. And no matter what that choice is - you don't need to defend or explain it to anyone.

    My heart aches for you, you all have been in my thoughts & prayers since I read the news. Sending lots of hugs and support for your difficult time.

  10. Oh Stef, what a heart-breaking situation. I think you,re doing the right thing by just taking some time to digest and get over this ordeal before wondering about it's implications.