I didn't go to work today. I spent all night crying and coughing, and now I am just waking up from a migraine.
As you know, Edsel was sometimes attacking Lottie, and that the trainer and the vet said this sort of thing happens at the beginning when you have an adult dog and a puppy, and it's best to let them work it out themselves within reason.
And I did. Mostly Lottie and Edsel got along, and I know Eds enjoyed running around the yard with her in the mornings. I'd see him smiling; he looked gloriously happy. But every once in awhile he'd get fed up and bite her in the face, and she'd screech, and it was awful, but I did what they told me to do, which is not mollycoddle Lottie and not get mad at Edsel.
She had a little scar on her snout from what I assume is Edsel. The cats would give her a whack sometimes, too, and trust me, she deserved those. She was not mean to the cats, but she had no idea her...Lottie bulk was intimidating when she tried to play with them. When she'd plunk all 40 pounds on them and be all, why you not play?
And just Saturday night, on what I did not know would be my last walk with Lottie, I passed Ava's house, and thought about how sturdy Lottie was, and how I was glad she was my puppy if Edsel was going to be an asshole. She clomped her big paws on the ground contentedly while we walked, and I thought about how much I love her.
On Sunday morning, I let her out of her crate, and we were going back outside after breakfast. They went outside together and for no reason that I could see, Edsel pinned her down and attacked her. And it wasn't just one bite, it was several. I ran outside half-dressed and got her away from him. She had a bad gouge on the side of her face, near her eye.
I got on Facebook and started asking you what I should be doing. Lottie was sort of cowering around Edsel sometimes, and I didn't like the fact that he was seriously damaging her, and not just warning her about her place in the pack.
I was reading your advice posts about an hour later when Lottie jumped off the couch and as far as I could see, just tried to walk past Edsel. That's all she was doing.
All I can remember is that Edsel had Lottie pinned down after that, and bit her over and over. She did her terrible screech, then she did this low cry that I will never forget. I was screaming as loudly as I could, pulling Edsel by his scruff, and I know from over there all quiet at your computer, you're saying, "You need to be calm in these situations. You need to speak to him quietly." Try it in real life, is all I can say. My dog was trying to kill my puppy, and I'm not being dramatic. He wanted her dead.
I can't remember what happened next, except I stopped breathing. I have this weird...cough thing, that I thought was maybe allergies, and I'm starting to think might be asthma or something? I don't know. But I'm coughing constantly, and while I screamed and bent over to get Edsel off Lottie, something closed up in my throat and I found myself not able to breathe. I don't know if that got Edsel's attention or what. I just know she ran to the back room, screaming, and my living room was dog pee and blood, and when I got my breath back I said to Edsel in an unnaturally calm voice, "Go outside."
And he did. He walked right out the door and stayed there. I ran to Lottie, who wouldn't come out from behind the chair. I was crying and gasping for breath and I didn't even think about it, I just grabbed the phone while I was still crouched at the chair, and when Ned answered he didn't even say hello, he just said, "Oh my god, what happened?"
"Please come over now," I said, and he did. He lives four minutes away and he was here in four minutes. Lottie came out, finally, and her whole face was...I won't even tell you. Ned got hydrogen peroxide and cotton and we cleaned her little face, and as I held her, I said, "She can't live like this."
I knew it was true. I called my old trainer, who said to at least keep them apart for two days, and then maybe try to re-introduce them, but there was no way I trusted Edsel. His attack came from nowhere. She hadn't goaded him, there was no toy or food in the way.
I found friends of friends who are middle-aged, childless, and who had lost their 11-year-old dog four months ago. He wants a big dog and she wants a little one, so they took Lottie ("a dog who'll ride in my truck with me") and they're going to get a little puppy for her.
"Lottie would love a puppy friend," I told them when they came over yesterday afternoon. By this time she was back to being Lottie. Swollen-faced Lottie, but Lottie. She freaking adored the guy, a big sweet alpha guy who's had dogs his whole life. She was all up on him, wriggling and flirting. They live right near the woman's parents, who also have a puppy Goldendoodle, so right away she'll have a puppy friend.
They took her bed, her food, her dishes and her sweet pink and purple collars I had ready for when she got big enough for them. They took what toys we could find, but mostly Lottie buries her toys in the yard, which I warned them about. They have a huge yard, in the country-ish, and they said, "We don't have kids, so we love our pets like they're our kids."
And now my kid is gone. This house is so empty and quiet. I've tried to not hate Edsel, and I've petted and hugged him and didn't punch him clean in the face when I finally let him in from the back room and he started looking for Lottie.
I can go maybe 15 minutes before I curl into a fetal position and cry again. Lottie was a ridiculous puppy. She was full of energy like I'd never seen, and her absence is so obvious. There was no one wriggling under the toilet paper roll every time I go to the bathroom. There were no noises as she turned around in her crate last night. Ned quietly took the crate apart and put it in the attic for me while I wasn't looking.
Only one dog to feed, and the screen door didn't burst open when I let Edsel out this morning. He just walked calmly through it.
There's no joy in this house. Lottie took all that with her.