Saturday, September 10, 2011
Where have I been?
A week after this last post on March 6th my life changed in a horrid, totally unexpected way. On a sunny Saturday afternoon we came home from grocery shopping and found that our oldest Bichon, Whimsy, age 12, was missing from our house. In shock, we tried to figure out where she could be. We had left the doggy door accessible to the fenced in back yard as it was a beautiful, "false spring" sort of day. A day that brings a sigh of joy to the heart, in most circumstances. An "ending of winter" sort of day. Or so it began...
The following 2 months were filled with agony, exhaustion, tears, and pain like I had never known. We searched for her everywhere. We put out fliers over a 10 county area to every vet, groomer, pound, Humane Society, pet shop and up and down all the roads in our county. We even consulted a pet psychic who sent us on an agonizing "wild goose chase" after a fictitious "man in a 4 door white older model car" who supposedly had come up on the property and stolen her off the porch.
I fielded calls that led me out into the night at all hours: 3 am, walking a nearby road where someone claimed to have sighted her; 6 am near a school bus stop where a woman swore she saw her; 20 miles across the county where a man claims he had her and she got away. I got prank calls, calls asking me to adopt another found dog, and calls were made, often 20 a day, to follow up with pounds to see if anyone had turned her in. I began to feel that my crushed heart was giving out and if I did not stop I was going to die. Literally. And I wanted to, so I was ready to lie down and get it over with.
I rode the Ruckus all over country roads. Putting up posters on telephone poles, sticking fliers in mailboxes, parking alongside wooded areas and culverts and climbing down to pipes and streams looking for her body. Her poster was fixated on the front of my scooter in neon green with a photo for all to see. My car was plastered with same. Nothing.
Then in early May, after storms had come through I was out in my back yard with my other dogs and happened to look down and see a clump of brown and white hair. Then another one. I picked them up and knew that the white hair was a Bichon curl. The brown fur was not that of my Walker Hound and I googled on-line to see a photograph of a coyote's fur. It looked the same. I recalled that a week after she disappeared a neighbor came to tell me that she had seen 6 coyotes down by a creek a mile from our house, though back in the woods. Reality hit me.
I had looked in the days after she disappeared for signs of any predator fight in the yard and seen nothing. I had not been looking properly. I remembered then that a stack of bricks along the porch had been toppled, as if a dog was trying to crawl under the porch. It made sense now. I saw a slight bow in the fencing with pine branches near by. That seemed like where the "exit" from our yard had happened.
Then I discovered a website called Nashvillecoyotes.com. I read everything on there. When I got done reading everything on there I knew without a doubt that our baby had been taken from our yard by a coyote. The physical evidence pointed to that and the information about the physical prowess of coyotes from the website had been clear.
The night she was taken I remembered crying and screaming and looking out into the woods and calling her name. I always felt that she was out there. But now we had a sense of closure. Now the grieving was to begin after the exhaustion and agony of not knowing.
I've lost my mom, mom-in-law, and grandmother, plus others over the years. I have to tell you that there is no hurt as deep as losing your "child", be they human or furry. The "not knowing" is the hellish part. I can't even begin to tell you how it hurts and I feel a compassion and sorrow for anyone who has lost anyone, human or animal, in this way. I tell people that "our daughter was abducted and murdered" and that is what it is to us.
Go to Nashvillecoyotes.com to see Whimsy's in memoriam photo and read about ths in the comments section if you like. Learn about coyotes. If you have pets or small children just know that these predators are on the rise and are everywhere, city or countryside.
This post and blog are dedicated to Whimsy, Jan 30, 1999-Mar 12, 2011. May she rest in peace and be waiting on the other side for me, frisbee in her mouth, love in her heart, for our next playtime together.
I love you and miss you, sweet Bichon girl.