|Mattie's journal entry the day we saved Lucky|
|Lucky meeting Daddy and Sparky|
There were signs. He was aggressive toward other dogs which we attributed to his being in the shelter. He was very protective and was uneasy when people came to the front door. All of this stuff seemed workable and he was improving all the time. We let our guard down and believed we had hit the doggie jackpot with our sweet Lucky dog. This weekend, we unfortunately lost it all.
One of Mattie's little friends came over unexpectedly for a visit on Saturday. Lucky had never met her before. There were a few other neighbor kids over and the usual noisy chaos was in full swing. This little girl reached down to pat or hug him. He was confused and stressed and he lashed out and bit her in the neck and hand, and scared her to death. Her ear was cut and she needed medical attention. We cleaned her up, comforted her as best we could and David and I drove her home. After we were sure she was okay we got into the car, looked at each other and I burst into tears, knowing that Lucky would have to go. Even though he was wonderful with our kids and had never done anything like this before, there was no other choice. Biting someone is one thing but he had intentionally gone for her throat. Of course we could never risk that happening again to anyone. Ever. After consulting with the shelter and the vet, the decision was made that Lucky would have to be put to sleep. We were crushed. Devastated. We were emotionally wrecked and I was wracked with guilt.
The kids took it hard, all of them sobbing and begging us not to take him away. Michael wrapped his little body around Lucky's kennel, trying to shield him as David came to take him out. His agonizing cries of "Nooooo, don't take him away, he's sorry...he didn't mean to" will haunt me for the rest of my days. The kids insisted on taking a picture with him which I did all the while my stomach was churning and I was trying desperately in my mind to think of a way to save him, knowing there really was no way. We all took turns saying goodbye. As I cried and hugged him for the last time he nuzzled my face with his velvety soft nose and licked the tears from my face. Loving me and comforting me as always. I was undone with grief. I felt I had failed him miserably. I felt guilty and wished I had never seen his picture on Facebook, never set my kids up for this trauma. If not for me, that little girl would have been safe. Guilt and regret washed over me in relentless waves.
David asked me to promise we would all stay together and grieve as a family until he returned, which we did. We cried and shared memories and laughed through our tears. Michael said that he thought maybe God knew Lucky only had a little more time to live so he gave him to us to love before he had to go. We all took great comfort in that. As we were holding onto each other in our grief, David was in a veterinary clinic in Beaumont holding our sweet Lucky in his arms, whispering words of love and praise into his ear as he peacefully passed away. This was a terrible, tragically beautiful moment etched permanently into our family story. Painful but peaceful. We held on tight and prayed and wept and we loved each other through it. It is amazing how the worst moments in life tend to unearth the treasures deep inside of us.
I've struggled to make sense of all of this but quite frankly, I haven't been very successful. It is senseless. Period. But I've learned that God really can take any bad situation and turn it around for our good. That God is purposeful and that He is the great Master Conductor of this symphony we call life on earth. There will be moments of discordance. Things may seem off beat for a time. We will feel that we are suspended and holding indefinitely with no rhyme or rhythm to the process. And yet with one wave of His hand, there is resolution and resonance. Harmony is restored and the movement is complete. All that is required is that we obey His direction and let the music flow in His perfect timing.
Today, we are beginning the process of healing. I am drifting with the tide as calmly as I can. I'm so grateful for the ebb and flow of tears and emotions which allows us to release the pain and cleanse and heal our wounds without overwhelming us all at once. Our heavenly Father put such loving care into us, His creation. He truly is an awesome God. We were never promised a life free of pain or troubles. He did promise that He would never leave us or forsake us. We experienced that promise this weekend first hand. We felt the prayers and the love of friends and family. It has been hard but we are on the mend and all will be well in time.
|Rest in peace, sweet Lucky|