It's been one year since we adopted Puppy.
Puppy is a retired racing greyhound. He's a joyful addition to our family. Kitty, however, will tell you otherwise. She's a bitch and doesn't like Puppy. Puppy wants to play, but she just hisses at him.
It's chaos if they're left to roam the house together, so Kitty lives happily sequestered in the master bedroom. All her toys are there, her food is in the corner and the walk-in closet houses her 'shitter' (as The Husband calls it). She stayed in the bedroom all day anyway, buried beneath the covers, so this isn't really any different from her life pre-Puppy. Or at least that's what I try to tell myself. I figure if I say it often enough, I'll begin to believe it.
The other night, I let Puppy out for his evening pee. He did what he normally does. He bolted out the door and ran to the back garden. There is often a neighbour cat lurking about and Puppy has a good time chasing it away. It's all harmless fun for everyone. Well, maybe not so much for the neighbour's cat, but we get a good laugh out of it.
But this time was different.
This time he caught something. I heard the most horrible squeal and a crunch. My heart leapt into my throat. I couldn't catch my breath. Puppy turned around and came running back to me. In his mouth was a baby bunny, feebly moving.
OH. MY. GOD!!
I yell for The Husband who, hearing the panic in my voice, comes running. He stops in his tracks. Oh my God, he mutters. He walks towards Puppy slowly so as not to make him bolt. "Drop it!" Puppy won't let go. The Husband tries to pry Puppy's mouth open, but he won't budge.
After much effort, Puppy finally drops the bunny. The bunny flops a bit, then dies.
We look at each other, The Husband and I, and I know that the sadness I see in his eyes is mirrored in mine.
We bury the bunny in silence.
Later that evening, The Husband says to me, "I saw the bunnies in the backyard. I even took a picture of one of them." He's really broken up about this. We both are.
The next day, The Husband is working a double shift. I'm on my own. I let Puppy out for his evening pee. He's running around the back yard, sniffing in various places, trying to find just the right location. He stops and sniffs in one spot. His sniffing becomes more animated. Suddenly he lunges and I hear that horrible squeal again and crunch.
He comes running towards me with this bunny flopping around in his mouth. Puppy drops his present for me at my feet. This tiny, helpless bunny is flopping away.
I lose it.
I was OK last night, but two nights in a row … how much can a girl take??! I get Puppy inside the house. The bunny is still thrashing around. I call The Husband at work cuz I'm freaking out now and I need some advice. The answering machine kicks in, so I leave a message: "Call me!" I'm crying and hiccoughing.
I go back out to the backyard and the bunny is still thrashing. Shit! I know what I have to do. And I know that it's the only merciful thing to do, but I'm sick about it. I go to the shed and get a shovel … and I end the bunny's suffering.
I start bawling. I don't mean just crying. I mean BAWLING! I'm hyperventilating and hiccoughing, all the while asking the gods not to smite me for taking an innocent life … I'm really losing it.
The phone rings. I answer the one in the garage. I'm still hiccoughing. The Husband asks what's wrong … thinking someone died, someone hurt me … all sorts of things are going through this poor man's head. I tell him what happened, stuttering the entire time. I can hear it in his voice; he's sick about this. He feels bad for the bunny, but even worse that I had to go through it alone.
The Husband did what he does best and he calmed me down and made me feel better. I love this man! I thank the gods every day for him.
It's been two weeks and, as the saying goes, time is slowly doing its healing thing. I can still hear those squeals and crunch. It knocks the breath out of me every time I think about it.
I know that Puppy was only behaving in the manner in which Mother Nature intended. And I know that I did the right thing by ending the bunny's suffering. But I can't help but think that Puppy is now a serial bunny killer. In fact, I'm an accomplice in all of this, since I had to kill the second one. And we're only aiding and abetting by burying the bodies in the backyard.
I can still see Puppy's face. He was so excited -- ears up, tailing wagging. I'm sure he was thinking: "Look Mom!! I've been chasing these things for years and I never caught one before. Look at this! I finally caught one and I'm going to give it to you cuz I love you so much! "
Thanks Puppy. I love you too. Next time, just get me a card.