They say that hindsight is always 20/20. I don't know that that's true - especially when you are looking back through misty lenses. I am sure that there were signs that I ignored or missed and, if I could rub a lamp and ask a genie for one wish, it would be to rewind my life to last Sunday morning.
Saturday I had thrown in the towel on coop-cleaning, having staggered through four giant economy-sized loads of cement-like chicken manure. Sunday morning, after going through the usual chores and routine, I suited up, gave the dogs their marrow bones early - since I was going to be ignoring them for most of the day - and went out to finish the job. After two loads, I came in for water and a break and all was well. I finished up the last two loads and came in to get the rhubarb cake I had made for the barn guys and my LLG, who was out putting up the finishing touches on my lawn care. I walked in and knew right away that all was not well.
I found my Pepperoni in the kitchen. Dead. Apparently, he and Lovey had an altercation and he was the loser. The details after that are a little fuzzy. There was screaming (mine), which brought the LLG on the run. I am so glad that he was there, as he bustled in and took care of my little man. I made a series of fairly incoherent phone calls and texts, one of which was to my vet. I fully intended to have Lovey euthanized. I am very thankful that she talked me out of it, as I would have had another heavy load of guilt added to my already unbearable burden.
Lovey will eventually be going to live with a friend who will provide her with a good life. She is a dog rescuer, lives by herself and has no animal smaller than a cow to worry about. In the meantime, I am trying to come to terms with this dog that I loved so much and now hate/love. I honestly did not think that I could ever hurt as much as I did when I lost Scrappy. I was wrong. I hurt so much it is white-hot. I have discovered the opposite of 'white' noise - my head is now filled with 'black' noise. I can't wait to leave in the morning to go to work and, when I return, I sit in the driveway dreading the moment when I walk in the house to no yodeling. I dread meal time - no Pepperoni to circle the kitchen island, yodeling away. I dread mornings when he is not snugged up against me. I dread evenings for the same reason. I dread going to bed and waking up. I am waiting for time to deaden the pain, which, I know, will happen.
Thank you all for your kind thoughts, love and prayers. Life on the homestead goes on. It's just going to be more difficult for a while.