Friday, May 6, 2011

Survival of the Fattest

I’m going to break my rule and post twice today. Maybe. I have much to say about this week, but it really needs to be said in two separate posts. Given all that our beloved Bella Boo has gone through, I think her story is worthy of its own post and doesn’t need to be cluttered up by some external factors that likely had an impact on how quickly she was found.

As my rotten dogs are prone to do when it’s spring time and the air smells yummy, they knocked me out of their way as I was taking Lola out on Wednesday night around 7:30. Since they were overly brutal and rude I was pissed and yelled something like, “Go ahead! Take off! See if I come and look for you.” Poor Sugar was horrified and ran outside with dog treats to coax them back into the house. I put Lola in the house and yelled for them myself.

I got the girls tucked into bed and went downstairs, expecting to find Indy and Bella waiting at the back door with their tails between their legs. My heart dropped when I saw that they weren’t there. At this point, I have a tough choice to make. I am home alone with two girls and have two dogs running loose. What is a girl to do? In retrospect, I could have pulled the girls out of their beds and taken them with me, but I wasn’t thinking clearly.

Instead, I got in my car and took a quick ride up our neighbor’s ½ mile long driveway, as that was the direction the dogs were heading in. I saw no sign of them, so I returned home. The girls were waiting to hear whether I found them and were disappointed when I came home alone.

Around 8:30, Indy came running home without Bella. What a chivalrous little man, leaving his fat girlfriend to find her own way home. He seemed off and followed me around as I kept going down the driveway, calling for Bella. I called for her out the back door and at the bottom of the driveway for four hours. There was no sign of her.

At 9:45 EN called and asked me to please call Mr. M, the neighbor, and let him know he’d be up there when he got home from work. Mr. M is somewhat reclusive and it’s rumored that he doesn’t like trespassers and is armed. I called him, told him who I was and he said, “Oh, are you calling about those two little white dogs?” He told me to come up right away so he could show me where he saw them. I drove up quickly, but still found no trace of Bella.

EN arrived home around 11:30 and immediately went looking for our girl. He walked and drove around until 2:30 am. It’s pretty hard to search for a dog when it’s pitch black outside. As we were going to bed, Sugar woke up and was devastated that we still hadn’t found Bella.

We started looking for her again before 7:30 am and the woods around our house seemed eerily quiet. I wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad sign. I worked on “Lost Dog” signs, EN drove and walked some more, Sugar rode down the street countless times on her bicycle, Spice called and called for Bella. Skinny Bitch drove around and looked, Michelle helped post notices on various local websites. My heart felt heavier and heavier as the morning wore on.

Spice and I were home alone when someone came flying up our driveway, honking like mad. I ran outside and it was Mr. M from next door, waving, smiling and pointing down to the passenger floor. I flung the door open and there sat my sweet Bella Boo. I completely fucking lost it. Mr. M said, “Hey, she’s ok!!” Spice is screaming in the background and I can’t get Bella out of the car. She growled, whined and tried to snap. Mr. M looked surprised and said again, “But she’s ok, she scratched on my door and jumped in all by herself.” Given her condition, I believe that she used her last bit of energy to find her way to safety.

Bella Boo was covered in blood. She had a gash on her head and there was blood all around it. When we finally got her out of the truck I could see that she was covered in puncture wounds. She was filthy, her beautiful white fur was matted and crusty… and just blood everywhere. She was sad and terrified and bolted into the house. The other dogs sniffed her and ran in fright. She sat in her bed and shook with fear. She had the most pathetic look on her face.

EN came home and took her to the closest vet immediately. At this point I’m fuzzy on what happened when, but Bella Boo is badly injured and will require surgery so they can put drains in the worst of her wounds (belly and chest) and suture the rest of her injuries. They did lots of tests to clear her for surgery, but were unable to do it yesterday because one lung had a lot of fluid in it. EN brought her to an emergency vet in the evening yesterday so she could be cared for around the clock.

For now, we wait to hear whether she’s cleared for surgery today. We had no news through the night, which is good news. We are hopeful that today she will have surgery and can come home tonight.

Through it all, I feel completely at fault and should have handled their escape differently. I never let them out without leashes so I was pissed when they pushed me and bolted. I should have immediately put the girls in the car and gone after them. I feel incredibly guilty that my inaction had such a horrific impact on my sweet Bella.

It is thought that Bella Boo came across a lone coyote. Given her friendly, sweet nature, I think she probably tried to be friends with it. The worst of her injuries were on her belly and chest so I wonder if she rolled over in the standard doggie submissive pose. Her sparkly eyes radiate fear and sadness and I pray for her mental recovery as well. That poor sweet dog loves everyone and is always so happy. It’s her household job to be the happy, goofy one. Possibly her extra girth helped her survive. Had she been thinner, it might have been easier for the coyote to get to her internal organs. I don’t know this to be true, I’m just guessing.

I’m sure she’ll have nightmares about this for a long time, I know I will. 

Ice Princess

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