I wrote the following for Sondry – A Matter of a Dog’s Manner of Death. Since I really don’t want to talk about this anymore, I’m going to repost it here as well.
Ella is gone. She died in a cruel, evil manner for no real reason other than she lived in a world tainted by human depravity that seems to flow unchecked anymore. That, and I couldn’t keep her from jumping the damn fence in the backyard of this shitty house in this shitty neighborhood.
Our hope is that this world, mankind, and everything laboring under this curse will one day be made right again. My hope comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth, and who made Ella and Rebekkah, too. My prayer is for justice, and hopefully, soon…..because I almost don’t trust myself not to dismantle this man’s life piece by meticulous piece in the way only a true Sicilian can. Never have I had such a battle rage within me between what I know I have to do — forgive — and what I’m more inclined to do — make him cry like a little girl. Right now, I’d rather make him cry and wet his pants. Obviously, the battle isn’t going well for God’s team.
Here’s the end of Ella’s chapter in our lives.
A Matter of a Dog’s Manner of Death
I can’t remember a time I didn’t have a pet to love. Now in my forties, I look back through the waves of endless
memories I have collected, and I can have no doubt in how their subtle existence in my life was crucial to my mental well-being. I have lost so many pets along my journey through life; some too early, through illness or tragic accidents. Others have lived decades with me, and had merely fallen peacefully asleep in my arms to leave this life. All of them have been grieved, missed, and their memories cherished; but never until this day did I actually consider never loving another animal again.
A few years ago, a dripping wet, scared stray puppy emerged from the dark night into the unsuspecting lap of my eldest daughter, Bekkie. After the loss of a beloved puppy to distemper a year before, Bekkie had refused to allow herself to love another pet again. Yet, that night, Ella Grey, as she would be named, chose Bekkie, and never once showed any interest in what Bekkie’s thoughts on the matter might be.
Ella, a smallish large dog, could jump like a gazelle, and run twice as fast. These traits became a problem when we moved to house in a lower middle class neighborhood. Things like fences are the least of the problems the houses on this block deal with, and dogs constantly jump, climb, or crawl under the fences.
They run in packs that their wolf ancestors would be ashamed to have played any part of. Pet owners are always calling their dogs home, scolding them in mock fury that wagging tails easily belie.
A week or so ago, Ella wasn’t one of them returning home to useless scoldings and empty threats. Sparrow, my other dog, came home different… quieter than usual and somewhat easily frightened. Ella had never been gone for very long, and when an hour slid by, Bekkie began looking for her. When my son and I got home from work, Ella had been missing for eight straight hours, and Bekkie was beside herself. She had looked everywhere. Days of social media, Craigslist, City of Tulsa Animal Welfare sites, the pound, and investigating even the thinnest of sightings all proved useless.
Yesterday, Sparrow dragged up part of Ella’s body to our back door. My son and I quickly handled the mess, hiding our instant horror and grief from Bekkie. As clues and body parts began to come together, the manner of Ella’s death had not been an accident, or illness, but one of pure evil, fear, and cruelty.
Ella had been caught by a neighbor of ours, and her mangled, ripped body told a story about how she had been thrown to his vicious pit bulls he keeps chained in his backyard. They had been feasting on her body for days. As a message to me, that horrible man threw her headless, limbless torso in my front yard. I imagine that is the way to show you mean business from the country he is from. I hope he is ready for my reply to his message.
His six foot wooden fence has always hidden away what monsters were back there, but the sounds they make daily are plain terrifying. This man would threaten Ella and any other dogs roaming around, yelling his intent to let his dogs out to kill ours. He has chased Ella with a sledgehammer before, all for the simple reason that she ran through his yard on her way back home.
Sadly, I didn’t take his threats seriously,and now, Ella is dead. I have contacted the authorities, and am cooperating to get his dogs and hopefully, his murdering ass, away from anyone else he would want to hurt. But none of it will unbreak my heart; none of it will bring Ella back.
I still have Sparrow, who was Ella’s puppy, and as time goes on, I will love again. I just know the manner of a dog’s death matters, and I hope her death won’t be for nothing.