I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You) -*John Mayer*

The Legacy of Baby (the superdog)

In the fall of 2007 my Rottweiler, Hailey, was hit by a car and killed right in front of me and my sister whom I was giving a ride home from a formal High school dance. It absolutely traumatized me. That was my childhood dog and I witnessed her murder, it was the car directly in front of me. I tried to attack the driver. He showed no remorse he was more concerned about the damage on his car. It was my fault.

As I was leaving the house I saw her on the front porch. I kept telling her to come in the house. She was stubborn and wouldn’t listen but I just had a very bad feeling. She wouldn’t budge. So I just ignored my intuition and I left to pick up my sister from the dance.

I felt like watching her die was my punishment. A part of my heart died with her. I can still remember the picture of my father and brothers digging the hole to bury her in. The sun was just coming up. All of us were around her lifeless body, sobbing, petting her. My father and brothers digging harder as not to cry. My brother’s girlfriend was there, rubbing all of our hair, healing us. I always loved her the most.

So, spring of 2008 my parents decided it was a good idea to get another Rottweiler. My heart had already decided I would never love another dog again. This puppy’s name was Allie and she was demon possessed. I was infuriated that my parents named her something so close to Hailey. Like she was just her replacement, like it didn’t matter what kind of spirit she had, just that she looked like the other dog. How can you just use things like that and not be loyal? I never understood the way my parents think.

I had just gotten into a new relationship with a guy, he was my first so I was obsessed. I was distracted by talking to him all morning. No one was home and the puppy kept crying. I let the puppy out on a leash. My parents have a deck in their back yard. Every dog we had ever had gotten was already grown and we adopted so I was not use to caring for a puppy or what that entailed. And I was just a selfish 18 year old. I left the puppy out there for I do not know how long. Well, the puppy had fallen thru one of the spaces between the spindles and the leash wasn’t long enough, she basically hung herself off the deck. By the time I ran outside and had her limp body in my arms, it was too late. I rushed to the vet and they put her on an emergency ventilator but they could not bring her back to life. I was a murderer. All because I did not care about this dog because my Hailey was murdered and I didn’t want to love her like I loved Hailey and lose her. It just hurt too much. But now my cold heart did this. I looked at the broken faces of my family and it crushed me in a way I could never explain. I had to turn my heart cold. It just could not function like this. I cut out this piece of me and cauterized the severed place because I just could not go through this again, the loss of a pet. The brokenness of spirit after. The laments of my siblings. The tears of my family.

In fall of 2008, after my relationship had combusted, I tried to rebuild my whole life so I moved out on my own.

So in winter of 2008 when my baby sisters had finally convinced my father to get a puppy, they did not even tell me. I just remember my baby sister calling me one day asking me to come over that she had a surprise for me. I don’t know why I just knew it was a puppy. I went over there and she was this fluffy furry floppy thing. She was nothing like that other puppy she slept all the time. She had the softest fur and the softest spirit of any animal I had ever seen. But do not get it fooled, if the UPS man came to the door, or any other unfamiliar person (or familiar person she did not care for) she turned into a vicious attack dog.

She guarded my family for 12 beautiful years. And I never let my heart love her like I wanted to. I respected her. More than a lot of humans. But I wish I gave myself in to loving her.

I can’t believe she’s gone. I feel like this hurts worse than losing Hailey because of all of this regret that I feel. But how can I forgive myself for taking the lives of two beautiful animals? How can I ever trust myself again to care for another one? I try to tell myself it wasn’t my fault. But it was. I was careless and lazy. I feel like it’s just better for everyone if I just stay away. How am I so selfish that even the tragedy of losing my sisters’ childhood dog I try to make about me? Because I need to heal this trauma. Because if I do not heal the trauma that happens to me, I will try to piggyback off everyone else’s traumatic experiences. I do not want to live like that.

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