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acking01
Jun. 22, 2010, 06:00 PM
I lost my once in a lifetime dog on Sunday afternoon. I cannot put into words how much he meant to me or how much I loved him and will always love him. The following story is very long and very upsetting at the end. I am typing this all out in hopes that it will relieve some of my pain. Thank you in advance for listening.

Elliot was a black and white Chihuahua just shy of 6 lbs. He was 11 years old. He had ears that never fully stood up and was constantly mistaken for a puppy by strangers. He never seemed to grow older other than a face that went from nearly completely black to a much more flattering white as he aged. He was never fond of meeting new people no matter how hard we tried to socialize him; he was my dog through and through.

My mother bought Elliot for me from the PetFair in our local mall. He had been there for weeks and we felt sorry for him. None of the die-hard Chihuahua lovers would buy him because his ears were floppy. We went to the PetFair week after week just to see him and finally, after much begging and pleading from myself, my mom purchased him. I was 13.

Elliot didn't like me for the first 3 or 4 years of his life. I was young and probably much too loud for him. He would never come to me no matter how much affection I lavished on him and he was never excited to see me. It wasn't until I went on a summer vacation with my boyfriend (now husband) and his family to Florida. When I came back, something had changed and Elliot jumped into my lap (voluntarily) for the first time. I was speechless. I left for college a few weeks later and knew I had to take him with me. He lived with me from that moment on.

Last Tuesday, after arriving home from our honeymoon, my husband and I noticed that our back neighbors had acquired a 2nd dog while we were gone. The first one was fairly new as well (acquired in March), but was never a problem and was usually contained in a chainlink run in their back yard. Thursday of last week we noticed that the dogs were being let out of their run more and more and that the new dog was poking his nose under our fence. That small section of fence sits about 2 inches off the ground. These are unfamiliar (large) dogs and I was uncomfortable with the proximity to my 4 small dogs, but this one seemed very sweet. We could go rub his nose under the fence and he would try to play with my rat terriers through the fence. (typical suburban, wood fencing) We vowed to fix this section of fence over the weekend, but in the meantime just decided to keep an eye on the dogs. We usually stayed out with them anyway as my one rat terrier likes to dig. We had bricks blocking that section just for that purpose.

Saturday was my birthday.... so we put off fixing the fence. We spent a busy day shopping, using all of the giftcards we received as wedding gifts. Sunday afternoon I let the dogs outside around 2pm. I couldn't see the neighbor's dogs so I assumed they were in their run. I decided to quickly run to the bathroom. I was gone only a minute when I heard my two rat terriers barking. I went outside to scold them and immediately noticed my Chihuahua was missing. I looked through the fence to see that their dogs were out and playing across from mine. I spent the next minute running through the house calling Elliot's name. Told my husband he was gone and to come help me look. I ran back into the backyard and I could feel that something was horribly wrong. I could still see my neighbor's dogs on the right side of their yard playing, but I knew exactly where to look for Elliot. I looked through the fence on the left hand side into their dog run and I saw him lying on his side. I could immediately tell that he was dead. I ran screaming into the house for my husband, completely out of my mind sobbing and yelling "they killed him, they killed him!!" My husband wanted to jump the fence, but I was afraid of what those two dogs would do having a stranger jump into their backyard. I made him drive around the block to retrieve Elliot's body. The neighbor's were horrified and extremely apologetic. No one heard anything. My side neighbor was in his backyard and never heard anything. I can only hope and pray that it was very instant. It was no longer than 3 minutes that I let them outside to when I discovered his body. There was little blood, and no real visible wounds. It wasn't a vicious attack. I am positive it was an accident. My poor, sweet baby.

My grief is immeasurable and I am feeling extreme guilt over what happened. I lost my soul-dog, my heart, and I can never forgive myself for not fixing the fence sooner. Elliot turned 11 this year and I cried on his birthday. Just thinking about him getting older was horrifying to me and I could not imagine living with out him. Just a few weeks ago my brother asked me, "how are you going to survive when Elliot dies in a few years?" I didn't have an answer for him, but in my head I thought "I won't." Losing him to old age would have been heartbreaking.... Losing him this way, and knowing I could have prevented it, is just unbearable. I am beside myself. I lost a piece of my heart and I don't know what to do.

Diamondindykin
Jun. 22, 2010, 06:07 PM
I am SO sorry for your tragic loss!!! Please do not blame yourself........it was an accident.

I just lost my lifetime horse recently at the age of 6 :no: I had always told my family that if he died young to just shoot me and bury me with him because I didn't think that I could survive losing him. Four months later I am still here and managing without him although it is difficult. It is tough but we get through it!! Hang in there and keep your chin up;)

jenm
Jun. 22, 2010, 06:12 PM
Oh no, I'm so very, very sorry. I can understand why you would feel guilty but please don't let the guilt weigh you down. Your grief is going to be tough to work through without you blaming yourself for this tragic accident. Losing a beloved pet is excruciating under any circumstances so you have to allow your heart time to heal.

I don't know if you buried him or had him cremated, but I hope you find a special way to memorialize him. I wish I had some magic words to take away your pain, but I don't. I can only offer hugs and support. Your grief will ease with time, but your fond memories of this very special dog will keep him alive in your heart.

Sending many, many {Hugs} during this difficult time.

Perhaps when you are ready, you can share a picture.

acking01
Jun. 22, 2010, 07:45 PM
Thank you both for the kind words. Just typing everything out seems to have helped me a bit. I also had a good, long sob on my 1.5 hour commute home. The grief comes in waves, but for now it's at bay.

We are having him cremated. I think I will be holding onto the ashes for a long time.

Here is my favorite picture of Elliot:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/40658225@N03/4726040010/
That is him on a picnic in the spring of last year. He was 10.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40658225@N03/4725392931/
Looking cute in a close-up

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40658225@N03/4725392875/
Him and his best friend Raiyu sunning in the backyard

:sadsmile:

Zu Zu
Jun. 22, 2010, 07:48 PM
Thoughts and prayers and huge hugs for you and the family Elliot left behind ~ RIP ELLIOT ~ I am so sorry ~ :cry:

BasqueMom
Jun. 22, 2010, 08:30 PM
What a sweetheart...am so sorry for your loss. Lots of hugs!

shea'smom
Jun. 23, 2010, 08:41 AM
I am so sorry!! I bet it was quick and those silly big dogs might not have known what they were doing. We all have one of these really sad stories. It is so hard to accept that we can never fully protect our babies. We just do our best.
Hugs to you. and again, I am so, so sorry for your loss.

monstrpony
Jun. 23, 2010, 08:59 AM
So very sorry. He was a darling.

NeedsAdvil
Jun. 23, 2010, 09:31 AM
I am so sorry for your loss. :(

LauraKY
Jun. 23, 2010, 09:42 AM
I am so sorry you lost your dog in such a tragic way. I just lost my dog of a lifetime too, with an infection from a fungus. If only I knew the fungus existed, I could have prevented her death. The sadness and the guilt are just tearing me apart. It does grow a bit easier with time, but when you have the dog of a lifetime...you never forget. It does sound like it was an accident. And it sounds like he probably died instantly. Hang in there. My thoughts are with you.

Godspeed Elliot.

acking01
Jun. 23, 2010, 09:58 AM
Shea'sMom: I do believe that it was an accident and that those dogs didn't mean to kill him. They were probably just trying to play. People are asking me why I haven't reported it because a child could be next, but honestly, I don't get the feeling that these are vicious dogs. Definitely not a potential threat to people.

LauraKY and Diamondindykin: I am so sorry for the recent lost of your beloved pets. My thoughts are with y'all as well.

Thank you again, everyone!! He was an incredibly special dog. Realistically, I know it will get better, but that's just so hard to believe right now. I'm starting to feel that this was just one of those situations where every circumstance you never thought would happen lines up exactly right for that one split second..... and this is the outcome. Something tragic.

Rockfish
Jun. 23, 2010, 11:01 AM
HUGS

pj
Jun. 23, 2010, 11:08 AM
I am so sorry for your loss and sorry how it happened.
I am one who can totally feel your pain as I lost our little Gizmo in almost the same exact way. Our Gizy looked just like your boy except in brown instead of black. He thought he was a hundred lb. dog and totally fearless. We had a rot and the two were never allowed together as Giz was constantly threatening the rot telling him if he'd just come out of the fence he'd eat him for dinner. the fence was a good fence, no openings anywhere with the exception of one small place at the corner of the house where it had been cut to allow a hose to go through. The only thing I can figure is that Giz stuck his head through the small place to once again threaten the rot. When I found them the rot had hold of him trying to pull him through the hole. He was alive and I rushed him to the vet but a short time later he died.
I'm still in pain all these years later when I think of him but it does get better and you'll finally not think of this every single day.
It seems as if no matter what we do to insure our animals safety nothing can be guarnteed.
Again I'm so sorry and I wish you peace and healing.

acking01
Jun. 23, 2010, 11:42 AM
Pj: Your story is just heart-breaking and I'm SOO sorry you had to go through that with your baby. Our stories are so incredibly similar, though. My two neighbor's dogs are both Rottweilers. I hope my Elliot meets your sweet Gizmo over the bridge. :sadsmile:

dwbonfire87
Jun. 24, 2010, 10:08 AM
im so sorry about your dog, your not alone, i understand how you feel with the sadness and guilt. i just lost my mini lop eared rabbit two days ago, and im still very upset. i have had her for 5 years and every summer i promised her i would make her a big outside hutch, but every summer i got caught up in other things and never got to it. i had told my fiance that, and while i was gone for a week he took it apon himself to start building her one. we finished it the other night and it came out so good and i know she would have loved it so much. we spent alot of time perfecting it for her and it was like a bunny palace with two floors and everything. we never got her into it yet, and she died the other morning. i feel so awful and so guilty i was too late. i promised for so long i would get her out of that cage and into a hutch and i never made it happen. we burried her, and i plan to put the hutch standing over her grave because its hers. i considered creamating her and putting the earn in the hutch, but unfortunetly it is quite costly and i cannot afford that right now. i bought flowers and made a pretty cross for her grave, but i feel no matter what i do i will just feel awful she never made it into her new house. i know time does help heal the sadness, but like you said i feel thats not true right now.

Tazzie
Jun. 24, 2010, 11:18 AM
I am so sorry for loss.

I had to euth my barn dog, Timothy Lee, 2 sundays ago. I know it was the right thing to do, and yet I feel terrbily guilty that I had to make a decision to do so. 11 years is a long time, and it sounds like Elliott had a great life.

I am still heartbroken myself.

I have hope that I'll see my little Timothy Lee some day again, and that you will be reunited with Elliott too.

Whitfield Farm Hanoverians
Jun. 25, 2010, 11:21 AM
I am so sorry for the loss of your Elliot. Hugs & prayers to you.

acking01
Jun. 25, 2010, 03:50 PM
Rodawn: I'm so sorry to hear about Simba. Just remember that at 15 he lived a long, full life with you and it sounds like you gave him a fantastic final day. My thoughts are with you this afternoon.

Thank you everyone for all your kind posts. Re-reading this thread is certainly helping me and I'm feeling a bit better today. I was even able to laugh and smile yesterday evening watching one of the rottweilers bound back and forth across the yard, trying to play with my rat terrier through the fence. It was definitely an accident and I feel no animosity towards those silly dogs.... just a shame it had to happen this way. :cry: