Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Twas a few weeks before Christmas, 2 years ago

I'm feeling so frustrated lately. What with my girl problems and my job, everything is just getting to me lately. (Girl problems seem to be improving - knock on wood, job is not) However, now I am PMSing so that definitely doesn't help. Hormones suck. I think I was better when I was on Depo, but of course, that is what triggered a lot of my girl problems so I just can't win!!!!


I dragged out all of our Christmas stuff yesterday. I have a lot of stuff. Like 2 trees, enough ornaments for probably 3 trees, and 50 gazillion strands of lights - but they are the little lights and R likes the BIG lights so I have a bunch of lights I won't use. Not to mention all of the other decorations. I think we pulled out something like 8 boxes and they are all in the living room. Poor R only has 1 box of decorations and a manger left since the divorce. And I broke the little people in the manger (accidentally) during the summer and felt horrible when I remembered
about it. We haven't even looked at all the pieces yet. I don't think either of us want to see how bad the damage is. They are all still wrapped up in their paper towels. But I know they shattered. I wouldn't feel so bad, but they were his grandmother's, I think, and they are old Hummels and so I feel REALLY bad.

Z-dog was distressed by all the mess in the living room. Poor pup couldn't find a place to lay her 115 pound frame down. I wonder if she remembers the fight...

2 years ago, after my divorce, I had decorated for Christmas in my sad little empty house. Not sad because I was divorced, but sad because I was all alone. I actually called my mom when I was putting up my tree. I just started bawling like an idiot because I couldn't get the stupid tree topper to stay on and was so angry that I had to do it all by myself. So like a good little mom she came over, after calling my brother, who dutifully came over armed with a dowel rod and zip ties so as to hold my ugly star atop the tree without it flopping over.

I cried about how pitiful my life was and how stupid it was to even decorate for Christmas because nobody would be there to see it anyway. My mom hugged me and told me everything would be ok. Little bro averted his eyes and looked uncomfortable. Poor kid. I know he didn't like that I was upset, but I think he wasn't quite sure how to deal with his irrational, sobbing, older sister.

Eventually I calmed down and they left and I got all my decorations up. I started to feel a little better - I love Christmas, after all. Everytime I started to feel sorry for myself, I would cheer myself up playing with the doggies, and listening to Put a Little Holiday in your Heart" by LeAnn Rimes. At the time I had 2 doggies. Z-dog was my baby. My big baby. I got her at 7 weeks when she was just a 13 pound fuzz ball. She was about 3 now. S the dog was a smaller, nippier, more aggressive version of Z-dog. I got her from the SPCA (when I was still married - I had no original intentions of trying to take care of 2 Rotties all by myself). S the dog was caught in a claw trap when she was found, with seven puppies nearby in a garage. They guessed she was about 2 or 3. Originally, the plan was to get a puppy, but I felt soooooooooooo bad for mommy-S-dog with that pink cast on her front leg that I decided I wanted her. She was in a foster home with her pups and a few other dogs, so getting along with Z didn't really seem like it would be a problem.

Foster home lady brought S the dog over to meet Z-dog. They looked at each other through the dog gate, did a little growly-growly and a lot of sniffing. We opened the gate, and they did that scary posturing thing where they stand next to each other facing each other's butt, ears back, eyes wide, head turned, and ready to attack. We just let them, and soon they relaxed and sniffed and S the dog took to walking around the house. Immediately, she found Z-dog's toy box and picked up her favorite Kong. Uh oh.

But Z-dog didn't care. She sniffed at it in S the dog's mouth and then went to the toy box for another toy. S the dog was content to chew on the Kong, and Z-dog had her Nylabone, and all was well. Foster home lady chatted a bit about S the dog's leg and puppies. Her cast would be off soon, she would be spayed, and I could have her. Yay!! Foster home lady left with S the dog that day, taking a toy with her, so S the dog might be familiar the smell when she brought her back.

I waited patiently and finally S the dog was here. The re-introduction to Z-dog was a little more rough this time. Perhaps Z-dog knew she wasn't leaving this time. But they seemed ok, and Foster home lady left and I had 2 doggies!!!!

The dogs would argue for attention. S the dog was very jealous. Which made Z-dog jealous. After all, she was there first. They would get into little fights. Nothing that a yank on the collar and equal distribution of a chew toy couldn't handle. Soon that graduated to squirting with a water bottle. Everyonce in a while jackass-now-ex would have to pull them apart. I was starting to realize that mixing two mature female Rotts may not have been the best choice.


Fast forward 9 months. 2 months after jackass left. Z-dog and S the dog were both very protective of me. One night, and old schoolmate came to my house. I was uncomfortable to have him there, but was polite. As soon as he was in the door, S the dog had his hand in her mouth. She never bit people, she would just grab their hand or arm and hold it in her mouth with a look that said "One false move, and you're dog food", and then let go. Which is exactly what she did that time. Z-dog stood in the doorway to supervise. Schoolmate left shortly thereafter, which I was thankful for, as I was also starting to realize how men will prey on sad, lonely, divorced, young women. Until they meet their Rotties, that is.

One day the protectiveness took a turn for the worse. S the dog was in the living room by the recliner. Z-dog was sniffing the presents. I think she knew all the presents under the tree were doggie toys. (Remember, not many people to buy for that year being divorced and friendless. I probably spent $150 on the dogs.) I walked into the room and saw S the dog chewing on an ornament.

I said "*Gasp!* S the dog! What do you have?!?" in as stern a voice as I could muster.

The vet told me when Z-dog was a puppy to be stern with her. He also taught me how to restrain her, to show her I was dominant (Ha!) because she was going to be bigger than me. He must have foreseen my divorce and knew my nasally girl voice would not be intimidating to a Rott throwing a temper-tantrum. Obedience school taught the
same. Stern, not mean. You need to be able to hold their attention.

Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next. I must have gotten their attention. S the dog looked up at me and stopped chewing. As I was reaching down to get the ornament from her, Z-dog attacked. I mean ATTACKED. Looking back, the only thing I could figure was that she thought S the dog did something bad to her mommy and Z-dog wouldn't stand for that.

At first I wasn't worried. They had scrapped a few times since jackass left. I pulled them apart, no problem. Not this time. Before I knew it, they were growling, snarling, slobbering, biting, scratching, looking to kill, rolling around the living room floor, tangled together.

OK. I panicked. I didn't know what to do. I tried pulling them apart. They were much to strong. My hands just got in the way of the teeth. I threw water on them. Didn't phase them. They broke my footstool. There was blood on the entertainment center. I got frying pans. I banged them together hoping the noise would startle them for just enough time to could get them apart. Nope. I HIT them with the frying pans. They didn't flinch. I tried pulling their mouths apart again. People are not kidding when they tell you a dog can lock it's jaws. They were locked on each other's gut, twisting, and rolling. I thought of the alligator death roll. How alligators will grab their prey and then roll under water, drowning them. "That's what my dogs are doing," I thought to myself. "They are going to keep rolling and twisting and ripping until one or both pulls the other's guts out."

You know how they talk about adrenaline rushes, like the lady that supposedly picked up a car when it fell on her husband because the panic took over her body and gave her amazing strength? I know what they are talking about now. Once the realization hit me that these two BEASTS were going to fight to the death in my living room in front of my Christmas tree, I snapped. Z-dog was about 125 pounds at the time, and S the dog was at 82 at her last vet visit. I can't eat when I am distraught, and was down to 107 from 122. And I am probably one of the wimpiest girls I know. Ask R.

None of that mattered then. I grabbed hold of both dogs and rolled. And rolled and rolled and rolled. I don't know how I was holding on to both of them but I was. The pressure in my head was intense. I hit the wall. I was by the kitchen. I got my hands in between them and SHOVED. S the dog slid into the kitchen and across the floor. I whipped shut the dog gate. I looked down and I had hair and blood and slobber all over me. There were a few teeth marks on my left hand, the first three fingers on my right had some deeper punctures. I don't know which dog it was was from. I didn't care. I crawled over to the phone and called my mom. Sobbing again, I tried to tell her what happened. Suddenly I had NO strenghth. I just collapsed on the floor.

Mom and Dad arrived. Mom immediately was trying to tend to my wounds, I, of course, was more worried about the dogs. S the dog was bleeding from the mouth and Z-dog had blood on her neck. Turns out it was from me, when I pulled on her collar and twisted I did it so hard that it actually cut her neck. Dad was ready to take S the dog out back and shoot her. He never liked her.

"Please no. Please! It's my fault. I yelled at her, Z-dog attacked! They just shouldn't be together, she is not a bad dog!"

I finally conviced them to let me take S the dog back to the SPCA. My mom called and the SPCA lady said to bring her in. I cried and sobbed the whole way there. I brought a Kong and a fuzzy squeaky toy. I held a paper towel on her muzzle. She just had a puncture wound, probably from her own tooth when she was biting Z-dog.

We got there and I led her inside. She looked around and turned back to me, as if to say "What's going on?". The SPCA lady and mom talked. I made sure to tell the SPCA lady to please, please call me if they said they were going to put her down. She said not to worry. I turned to leave and looked back at S the dog. She looked so sad. Her eyes just cried, "Why does everyone keep getting rid of me?" I broke down again and just cried "I'm so sorry S the dog. I love you." The SPCA lady said not to worry, S the dog would be fine, and they were going to fine her a nice home with no other dogs.

To this day I don't know what happened to S the dog. I was so sad after that. As if I could be any more sad. I bought her a Christmas collar and had to return it, and I cried when I remembered she had all those gifts under the tree and was probably still in a horrible cold metal cage and nobody loved her except for me and that didn't matter. I felt guilty giving Z-dog her toys.

I still get sad when I think about her. I hope she's ok.


Blogger evilsciencechick said...

Oh...that's so sad! But you did the right thing. They might have kept fighting after that, and maybe might have hurt you worse the next time!

I'm sure S dog found a nice home, and somebody got a very protective and sweetie dog for Christmas.

I can't believe how early you decorate! I can't do it until after thanksgiving. It's just too early for me!!!

1:21 PM  
Blogger j said...

I hope so too.

I usually wait until Thanksgiving weekend, but R wanted to decorate early, so I figured what the heck. We actually didn't make it any further than dragging all the boxes out, the CMAs were on and we watched that instead. I'm sure people might think we're weird decorating so early, but R said that last night He saw a house that already had their lights up.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Patrick H. said...

I've always loved my pets, and I've usually grieved more for pets than I have for the people in my life, with only the rarest exceptions. Right now, we've found ourselves with a regular herd of dogs, five altogether, and we're nuts about every one of 'em. The favorite of the lot is Grimmy, who is jet-black and 85 lbs of square-headed PitBull-Labrador mix. He's a scary looking dog, but a big-baby lapdog, not seeming to understand that his big 85-lb ass is a bit much for most laps. But we wouldn't trade those dogs for a truckload of diamonds.

I'm sure "S" found a very good and loving home. The ASPCA is good at that sort of thing, really. Smiles.

Keep the faith, okay?

6:41 AM  

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