*Warning: This post is rough. Violence occurs, you might not want to read it. 🙁
To catch you up: Dave picked up a sickly rez dog and decided to get him healthy and find him a home. After the vet visit, the dog is deemed non-contagious so he has been introduced to our other animals (3 dogs and two cats). All is peaceful…..until now……….
Dave took the rez dog to the doctor for his neck surgery. The doc had never seen anything like it. It was full of pus and icky-ness. He appeared to have been in a fight or two and another animal had him by the throat, and the doc was amazed the bite didn’t take out his entire throat. It missed his throat by centimeters.
Dave nursed this dog back to health. It was nothing short of a miracle. The dog now had a name: Eli the rez dog. Eli was not as skittish but still had food issues. He would not take food from either of us and would not eat with us even near him. He was becoming more social with our dogs but didn’t play.
It was time to bring him inside. This was HUGE for this animal. I will never forget his first experience inside our home. He timidly walked in and looked around but just stood there and watched the other dogs – our furniture is really the dogs’ furniture as they own the couch and have two dog beds on the tile. He sniffed the area and watched but didn’t move for the longest time. Finally, he checked out a dog bed and he actually sighed as he layed on it. It was adorable.
He was starting to gain weight, starting to interact with our other dogs, and just starting to stare at the cats. He was not threatening to anyone or anything and in fact, was the most submissive dog I had ever seen. That is why this next part is so difficult to write.
Cloey, our little rat terrier plays with cats. She always has. They wrestle. The cats get a genuine kick out of it and taunt her. Ivy the orange cat was Cloey’s favorite playmate. It made sense because Cloey doesn’t know how to play with dogs. But she is AWESOME with cats.
I was taking my daughter to school. We were not gone for 5 minutes and I get a panicked phone call from my neighbor across the street. “THE DOGS HAVE A CAT, THEY HAVE A CAT.” My heart sank. I asked if she was dead. My neighbor said “YES”. Our daughter knew what I was saying. I made my daughter go to school knowing that the dogs have killer HER cat. It was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. I didn’t want her to see her cat in whatever shape she was in at this point. I was absolutely sick to my stomach. The stupidity of us. How could we have left Ivy with a rez dog that was 2 years old and the only thing he knew was to hunt small animals? HOW COULD I HAVE LET THIS HAPPEN?
I raced home. My other neighbor helped me get to Ivy. She was still alive but it wasn’t good. She felt like mush. I had to grab her from under a bush and wrap her in a towel. Our neighbor had seen the whole thing. The three big dogs were on her and the little one was barking like crazy. He yelled and gave Ivy the opportunity to get away but it was too late. I raced to our vet talking to her the whole time. Apologizing profusely……but what does that even mean to a cat? She was trying to stand up and cry the whole ride. Our vet is 20 minutes from our home. It was the longest car ride of my life.
I called my daughter’s school and told her I was going to get her. My husband met me at the vet and I went and retrieved my daughter. We went home and cried. She asked me point blank if I thought Ivy would make it and I said no. Sure enough, Dave called with the news. Ivy was too hurt. The dogs had crushed her entire rib cage and they put her down. We cried some more. We then sat on the couch staring at the floor. My daughter, being one of the strongest people I know (she was 11 years old), said she would like to return to school. It was too painful at home. I agreed and took her to school. Her teacher had been through something similar and handled the situation with love and grace. To her, I will always be thankful.
It was hard to look at Eli. It was hard to know what to do. He had been a catalyst for killing our cat. What do you do? He is not violent. He is submissive and soft. And he’s a KILLER. We have another cat. She is 15+ and living with a KILLER. What do we do? The obvious answers were discussed. 1. Put him down 2. Take him back to the rez 3. Call the shelters and get him OUT OF THE HOUSE.
We chose number 3. No one could help. They were all full and/or didn’t take rez dogs. I didn’t feel good about this because he was already so freaked out. The shelters would just end up putting him down. I didn’t want his last days to be lived in fear. He had already been through so much.
Dave and I save animals. We don’t hurt animals. And what happened in our home was unthinkable. But it wasn’t right to kill a dog for doing what he intuitively knows how to do…it was quite the life lesson. It was hard to believe we couldn’t find help. We were at a complete loss. Dolly the cat was moved into our bedroom and the door was shut to protect her. What were we going to do? We let a wild animal live with us. We were responsible. The dog was doing what the dog knew what to do.
FAMILY MEETING: What to do about ELI…………the rez dog…..