There was a very bright flash of light followed by a clap of thunder that rattled the house. The lights flickered then died. Tyger Lynn wanted to go out and bark at all of this and I let her out. Everyone Lilith and Tanya stayed with me on the sofa. Tanya has learned to give me space while I’m writing but she has also learned that crowding me may mean more pettings. She doesn’t understand how I can man handle her with just one arm. The truth is I was used to navigating the sofa with Lucas who was about eighty more pounds of dog. But Tanya has learned, had learned, to share the sofa. She had learned to share food. She had learned to go to her crate without being told. She was learning some manner in public.
But there was the attack on Lilith that left Lilith with a serious gash on her leg. We came home from an adoption event and Tanya was always ramped up when we got home. I had to grab her by her hind legs and swing her around to get her to come down off of Lilith. And there was the time she attacked Tyger Linn and I had to drag her out of that fight too. There was always some triggering event, and after every adopt event I would force Tanya to stay away from the other dogs until she calmed down. Last week I took her straight into the house with the other dogs and let them all out into the yard and Tanya was okay. I thought we had turned a corner of sorts. I thought she had come down from where she was.
There were two trucks out here last night, men talking to one another just outside the fence, and all three girls were pretty excited. I put Tanya in her crate until the lights were back on and the guys were gone. I had let Lilith and Tyger Linn out. Tanya seemed fine. She was happy to get out of her box and when I let her out she didn’t seem ramped up at all.
I heard the fight and I wondered if it was coyotes. It didn’t occur to me that it was my dogs. I found Tanya on top of Tyger Linn and tried to pull her off by her collar and it didn’t work. I grabbed her hind legs and pulled but she wouldn’t let go. I grabbed the water hose and it seemed to make her madder. There was blood everywhere. I went back into the house and got the shotgun. I really didn’t think I would have to shoot Tanya but I knew the sound of the gun might be enough. They were still fighting but Tyger had managed to escape and get about halfway to the house. I put the barrel down as close to their heads as I could and pulled the trigger.
A twelve gauge is a very loud gun and up close it’s even louder. They broke up the fight and Tyger Lynn ran for the house. I tried to grab Tanya to keep her from going after Tyger and she lunged at me. I kicked her, hard, as hard as I could, and I screamed at her, “NO” and Tanya lunged at me again, and I kicked her again, and I screamed at her and she came after me again, and I dropped the barrel of the gun down and I killed her.
The blast tore a hole through her but she managed to run towards the house.
I went inside and Tyger was hiding under the table. Her neck was a mess of small homes, torn flesh and blood, so much blood. I clean her off and gave her a bath. Shew as covered in dirt and blood. She sat in the tub and trembled and let me clean her off. I got her out of the tub, cleaned her neck off and she ran under the table again.
I knew I had to bury Tanya. I knew as long as she was above ground I wouldn’t sleep, couldn’t sleep, and it had to be done at night. I went and got the wheelbarrow and the shovel and thought about calling someone. But close to midnight no one is there. My crazy little girl was torn up bad. I had done this to her. Her face was contorted and covered in dirt and her blood and Tyger’s blood. I went back inside and got a wet towel to clean her face off. There in the light of the flashlight she look like the girl I loved. She looked like she was asleep.
This is the third grave I’ve dug this year. The dog of my heart and his companion are buried in the woods outside my home and now, Tanya, the Destroyer, lies cold in the ground.
I’m good with dogs. I can solve any problem. I can take in any dog, right? I can take the crazy little girl and teach her manners and because I love her I can save her. That’s all arrogant bullshit. I fucking failed Tanya. Now she’s dead.
What have I done?