Little Jokes and Sobs

Life continues to be busy. This past weekend we had B’s brother and his family over – they’ve spent the last month travelling around and their last few days they were here in Chiswick. I met them of course when we went to New Zealand in February-March 2014, but now we really got to spend some quality time as opposed to briefer visits with lots of other family. B’s boys came down too, which was brilliant, and Monkey was around as well. B’s brother’s son is the same age, and to boot the two boys look scarily similar. In fact, those two look more alike than anyone in the family who are actually related, and they hit it off just as we thought they would and it was so lovely to see.

Beyond all the loveliness, there was sadness too and once I was past feeling upset for Monkey, I ended up so angry with my ex. Not even sure how to sum it up, but basically Monkey has (or HAD, as the case is now) a dog at his dad’s. They got him early this year, so the poor thing was still just a pup and one Monkey obviously loved endlessly, being his and all. Apparently the people they got him from met up with them IN A BLOODY CAR PARK (warning bells ringing, I ask??) and the little puppy petrified. They still went ahead and took him home. To be fair, had it been me, I would have wanted to save that little dog too. As Monkey’s stepmum put it, he would have met with a terrible fate had they not taken him. But who am I to place blame? All I know is that a poor animal was mistreated/abused and developed aggression as a result, through no fault of his own.

It all culminated with said pup ending up lashing out as two small children, one of whom was a two-year-old girl whose cheek and lip Monkey’s dog punctured. My ex had to file a report, then had to take him straight to the vet where Monkey’s beloved puppy was put down in accordance with the Dangerous Animals Act. My ex asked me to keep it to myself as he needed to be the one to tell Monkey the following day. 24 hours I spent fighting back the tears, knowing such a devastating blow was about to be dealt to my 11-yearold boy who loves/loved his dog so much.

The following day, B and I took Monkey to Waterloo, where the ex and Monkey’s stepmum met us to take Monkey. They both looked like death, and despite Monkey’s stepmum trying to be cheery and make little jokes, I welled up and thought I was going to go hysterical for Monkey’s sake. For that very reason though – FOR MONKEY’S SAKE – I somehow just pushed things back, swallowed the sobs that threatened to spill out of me, squeezed B’s hand hard and tried to say goodbye in as normal a way as I could muster.

Lesson one for the ex, I hope, is to acquire a pet in a responsible manner in the future – just how this little pup came to be theirs had disaster written all over it. And a punctured cheek and lip could easily have been much worse. Our own child or someone else’s.

Naturally, it broke Monkey’s little heart, and I hope he will get over it sooner rather than later. In some ways, important life lessons to be learnt, but even so I keep thinking it was all so unnecessary. Poor Monkey, and poor puppy. People who allow animals to suffer should be shot without a trial.

To get back to happier things, the writing is back on track and I’m feeling confident again, having a very productive week so far and looking forward to the rest of our lives unfolding. So much to be grateful for that I can’t even begin to count my blessings as it’d take forever.

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