Our poor Petey, so happy in this recent Christmas photo. Sadly, he was quietly, painlessly put to sleep last week after a shocking and frightening event.
It is startling to process what happened. Hard to understand that our funny pup, hyper as a hot wire, who, when he ran, looked like a deer on a trampoline, had a dangerous streak so hidden and unpredictable that he attacked a guest at my house. Not nipped at a guest... attacked.
I had asked a new friend over for lunch, a woman I'd been emailing over the past year, another Elizabeth from Connecticut, a friend of a friend. Finally she crossed boarders and I invited her to lunch. Petey was scratching at the kitchen slider throughout our visit, tail wagging, wanting in. But over the past few months, only since our move, we had noticed he barked increasingly and aggressively at passersby and visitors. So, when he wasn't cuddling with us or playing with Larry, we relegated him to the back yard.
Petey was so eager to come in that day I thought I'd allow it. And as he wagged and panted at us, so happy to be in, and as Elizabeth reached down to pet him, he attacked her, faster as lightning, biting her arm and hand maybe three or four times, her clothing at least twice. I couldn't pull him off her. He was in another state.. Finally Elizabeth tossed a glass of water in his face, and I virtually kicked him out the door.
I looked down and noticed the drops of blood on the floor. "Oh my God!" I said, horrified. "Let me see your arm!" Elizabeth had been bitten to the veins. She was bruised and bleeding. Talk about shock and horror. So, off we hurried to the doctor to dress wounds, get boosters, bandages, antibiotics, and ointments. It was horrible. Thank God he didn't get her face, or go deeper into a vein.
This attack was vicious and unprovoked. It was terrifying. And risking another, with children around, with all the left-open doors and gates and coming and going was simply not an optioin. Neither was leashing this beautiful creature to a fence all day, especially since we ourselves were now afraid of him. And giving him to someone to use as a guard dog where he was likely be tied to a fence and abused was also not something we were willing to do.
For me, this is new territory. I'm still processing the shock of having someone over for a meal and a mauling. Not an event I can easily wrap my head around. I guess I'm going to have to pass up that "Hostess of the Year" award. Second, I've never had to put to sleep a young and healthy dog. I've put dogs down before, but it's not quite the same as your very old dog -- covered-in-warts-and-bumps kind of old, barks-after-the-stranger-leaves old dog -- has a stroke and is spinning and vomiting on your little sister's bedroom floor, unable to focus or function. Okay. That's a euthanasia no-brainer.
So as we come up on two years, we add one more loss to our list of losses. A lovely but ailing hen, our funny, fat rooster, all those spiders, and now our goofy, nutty, un-fixable but beautiful dog.
Farewell Petey. We loved you.
Get well, Elizabeth, brave woman, trooper girl, kind lady.
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