“The Bad Man is Bad because he is Sad”

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This is a something I say to River often. We watch scary movies (like Disney-scary, but scary enough to a little kid) and I always want him to understand that the bad guys, who are trying to hurt the Princesses, the Heroes, and Good Guys, are only bad because of something that has happened to them in the past. By wrong choices they made, by bad people before them, or bad circumstances that put them there.

Now, a piece of me was taken. A piece of my family, a piece of my heart, and a piece of my love for the human spirit has been tarnished by a “bad person.” The “me” who said those words in the past will not be the same “me” that will say those words in the future. Now I just wonder why a person would take a little family member from me for no good reason.

Who could kill a dog and still be human?

My puppy, Winter, was killed senselessly last week. A week ago today my puppy was sleeping on my feet, being my foot-muff and giving me more love than any person in the world deserves. He wasn’t the best of dogs- he pooped in the house sometimes, ran straight through the invisible fence that we had, and even snapped at a few people. Ya- he could be a little sh…. But most of the time? He was my little love. The moment I sat down on the couch he was right there with me. Making sure I had a warm lap and a happy heart. He was my constant. When I have been sad and frustrated with my dissertation, my various, random “issues”, and even the frustrations of being a mom, he was there, looking up at me like I was the world, and he just wanted to give the world a little love.

That was taken from me one week ago today.

One week ago today I went to go get River from school, and an hour and a half later came home and found him in my kitchen on the floor wide-eyed and dead. One week ago today, I frantically ran around my house searching for my other dog, Inu to make sure he was okay, and he was frightened beyond belief in our bedroom upstairs- so much so that he didn’t want to come out for 2 days. One week ago today, I took Winter and my kids to the vet to confirm what I already knew. One week ago today, my son cried because of the loss of his dog. And today, my daughter still asks where “dinter” is.

One week ago today, the moment I confirmed to River that Winter was gone, he told me that there was one more star in the sky.

Yes, River, there is. And it, or he, is shining brightly over us every night.

I am devastated. I am sad. I am mad. That night, I thought it was my fault. I thought somehow Winter got out, and then was run over and then brought back into my home by the person who killed or found him. The guilt I had was overwhelming. If ONLY I had made sure the doors were closed (they were) if ONLY I had put him in his crate before I left (I was only gone a little over an hour- so short- but…) If ONLY I had stopped home for some reason before getting River.

But in the end, most of those things didn’t matter.

The next morning, I found out that another house close to mine was burglarized and two dogs were killed. With the confusion over Winter’s death, I called the police to tell them my story.

They, and now I, believe that Winter was killed by a “bad man”. Someone who was in my house most likely trying to find valuable stuff to take, but because I came home when I did, I stopped him before he took anything.

Except my dog.

 You can read about what has become of the situation here. You can read about the other family who lost their dogs here. And you can read my story about my little, 10 pound love here:

Winter was a rescue. He had a hard beginning to his life. He was a victim of an animal hoarder who had too many dogs. That person left the dogs in their crates to pee/poop and be restless. They were given no freedom to be dogs. They were treated as prizes that rotted on a shelf, and not family member like they should have been.

Winter was rescued by this organization. In a desire to give our other dog, Inu a friend, and me another child to love when my second adoption was seeming to fail (which it did) I found Winter (or Patch was his name when I first got him) on the website and I fell in love.

I met him at his foster mothers house and he was such a scared little boy. Terrified by me, but in love with the first person who cared for him. I became the second. From the moment I took him home he was mine. He truly loved me endlessly, and soon came to love (or at least put up with) River, Autumn and Kyle. He was my lap buddy, he was my friend, he was my responsibility.

Inu and him soon became inseparable. This last year as I’ve stayed home writing, when I’ve had my lap occupied by my computer, Winter is curled up in Inu’s “lap”. They loved each other. They played, snuggled and took care of each other. I would notice many times Inu laying down and Winter licking his face. Whether it was out of love or out of cleaning him up I don’t know. It may have been both.  Inu seemed to love it, and Winter just obviously was saying “I love you, Inu, thanks for taking care of me.” Winter made Inu act younger. I always said he was giving Inu years of life.

Now, I don’t know what this will do to my older dog.

The police have been working endlessly to put everything together, to make sure justice is served. I have been so thankful for their concern in this matter.

But all I want is Winter back.

I want this “bad guy” to say sorry. I want to know what drove him to this state. I want to be able to have answers for my 5-year-old son when he finally learns what really happened to his dog. I want to understand why, why, why.

I DO believe the statement I tell my kids. I DO believe that something happened to this person who killed my small puppy that made him this way.

But my biggest fear, my BIGGEST fear, is that there is no good reason.

And I have no more words. I want to shed some light on the human spirits fragility, and its desire for good, I want that, but now I just don’t know. A week ago I could have written something, but now I just can’t.

A piece of my faith in the human spirit is gone.

But my depth of love for our pets is stronger. Knowing that Winter was probably trying to defend my house, defend me and my family, defend all that he loved, gives me strength to move on.

His love, his sacrifice is what I truly believe in. That I will never forget.

Rest in Peace, little guy. I love you.

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