I have thought about writing about this in my autobiography and haven’t worked on this part yet. It is a daunting task but very therapeutic. I don’t suggest reading it if you are faint at heart because it is a horrible experience. It is one of the reasons I struggled for years with panic attacks when I felt I had to rush back home. I knew that something horrible was going to happen or had happened at home. When I first started going to AA I would be in a mad dash to get back home and would leave as soon as the meeting was over. Once I quit drinking I found that I wasn’t medicating my fear and pain and I was one raw gaping wound. It took a long time to get over those feelings. I have written before about having a hard time during the holidays and there are many reasons for this. One is that I lost my dear beloved Grandmother in December. It was a very sad, hopeless Christmas for me. I wouldn’t except that she was dying until she was actually dead. My brother and I had to be pried off of the casket when they closed the casket for the last time. She was the only one that we felt actually loved us.
I also have a deep love for dogs. I have had several in childhood and have had only one negative experience with one when I was about 15 months old. I mean negative in the sense of my relationship with them. That is a story for another time. I was attacked by my mother’s dog who she kept separate from me. My grandmother as much as I loved her was pretty neurotic in some ways and believed that big dogs will eat babies. My mother had a devoted Doberman Pinscher, Frosty before I was born. We never bonded and were kept away from each other. (So much for another time for this story.) I remember it distinctly, although my mother told me that it wasn’t possible. I don’t think that it is without reason that she didn’t want me to remember something at that young age as there was a lot of things that she wanted me to forget. Interestingly enough she would ask me if I remembered such and such a time when I was young and I would tell her I didn’t. She would say, “Oh come on you have to remember that! I can remember things from back when I was 2 years old.”
I would get really pissed off and say, “I don’t remember it!” I am sure that she was relieved. But when I told her I remembered the dog attack she demanded that I couldn’t and that it was from stories I was told.
I was sitting in my high chair in the middle of the kitchen floor. I don’t know why it was in the middle of the floor and not at the table, maybe because of the dog. I was of course by myself, know one else was eating in the kitchen. I don’t even remember that there was food on my tray. Maybe I was just being contained in the high chair. I heard my biological father tell my father (well I thought he was my father and so did he) that he was going to go check the furnace and to watch the baby. I was thinking in my little baby head, “Now is my chance to pet the doggy.”
I climbed out of my highchair and as quickly as I could went to the table which Frosty was lying under. It was attached to the wall so there was no way that Frosty could get around me without going over me. I started crawling over to her to pet her. She had a bone in front of her, which later my mother said she thought Frosty was guarding. I think that Frosty knew she wasn’t supposed to be with me and felt trapped. I reached out my hand to pet her and she lunged. I only remember her huge teeth and the inside of her mouth. That is all I remember about it. My first father told me I had over 100 stitches and that she just missed my jugular vein and temple. I still have the scars to prove it. Frosty was put to sleep and I am sure my mother blamed me for it. It wasn’t long after that that she got another Doberman. She raised him with us and he was one of my best friends. We just knew to leave him alone when he was eating. He was actually a better mother than my mother was. Another story for another time, I must move on.
I had a little terrier named Chico. Most of our dogs were named Chico. I loved him so much. He was my confident and best friend. He slept by my bed and I would have had him sleep in my bed if I could have gotten away with it. Most of our dogs were killed on the main street in front of our house. My parents never got it through their heads that if you want to keep a dog alive, especially on a main highway that you either have to have a fence or you have to keep them tied up.
I don’t remember which year in high school that I was in but I know it wasn’t the year that my grandmother died. I wasn’t driving yet which was in my senior year, which was the year that my grandmother died. I didn’t participate in after school activities because I had to come home right after school usually unless I was working somewhere or other. It had to be within walking distance if I worked other than taking care of my little sister. I think it was in my sophomore year. I was vice-president of the Art club and we were painting murals on the windows at the high school. They were Christian inspired murals, which alone would have pissed off my mother. I actually felt a part of the school at this time because of participating in the mural project. I usually felt like an outsider and a loner. Ironically to hear othera talk about how I was in high school I was not perceived that way.
I remember going down to the auditorium and watching them rehearse for a play. I would have loved to have auditioned for one but was terrified of rejection. The school was a hub of activity that evening.
I will never know the truth of what happened to Chico. I don’t know if my mother was pissed off because I stayed after school. I don’t know if she was pissed off because she had to take care of my dog. I don’t know if she was just behaving in her usual sadistic bitch way. I will never know.
A friend must have brought me home after we were done. I was greeted with, “You dad had to take Chico out to the garage and shoot him! He was having some kind of fit, and foaming at the mouth and jumping as high as the ceiling!” She was dancing up and down all hyper and excited.
I don’t know if he was buried in the back yard. I don’t know anything. I know it was in December and my heart was broken but I just packed more ice around it and went to my room. I never saw Chico again and I never had another dog until I was on my own and married. I don’t think I ever cried about it either until now.
I hope to God that maybe they gave him away because she was sick of him. I can’t bear to think that he was shot and I never got to tell him good bye. I will tell you one thing; I never stayed after school for any other fun activities for a long time. I started drinking and hanging out with others who did too and really didn’t give much of a shit about anything. There was another story about having one of my dogs shot but I don’t have the heart to go into it. I am sure he was another Chico and I know my heart was broken then too.