I killed my dog.

Perhaps it was justified.
Perhaps it was the reasonable thing to do.

But I am feeling, today, that reason & justification can't wash away consequence.

Here is what I know:

I am a woman who has spent her entire life trying not to be her mother.
I have overcome unthinkable obstacles.
I have endured great torment that has resulted in triumph, and I also know that these triumphs - as signs of hope - are celebrated by many.

These triumphs to me... are empty.
As I am empty.

A bottomless well, believe me when I tell you
I am a woman incapable of being satisfied, for after all ...
I am a woman not unlike my mother.

Here is what I know:
My mother could make an entire room fall in love with her in an instant,
but couldn't keep one person in love with her for very long - at a distance
people could, and did, worship her glow but those close enough to know her - were often destroyed by the fury of her flame.

My mother broke things without realizing it, drove people mad, and drove them away... it is safe to say
she was a terrible driver.
She was surrounded by people who loved her company, yet she was devastatingly lonely.
She was kind.
She was good.
She was generous without reason.
She was magical & special, and she never meant any harm.
She always eventually caused harm.
She suffered an untimely death ...

and she killed her dog.

According to my father, who was forced to love my mother from afar until the day he died, my mother killed their cocker spaniel.
He had no reason to lie, and besides - why would he? he loved her in spite of her treachery.

As the story goes, she'd grown tired of the dogs antics. She shot the dog & threw it in the dumpster... still bleeding, she left it for dead.

My dad said he received a call from the convenient store owner, as his name was on the dogs tag. Hurt beyond repair, my dad put a slug behind the dogs ear and put it out of it's misery.

. . .

A friend once told me a saying that will stick with me always.
He said "I strive to be the person my dog thinks I am".

My dog thought I was wonderful.
Both my dog & I, now, know better.

When retelling my story, and outlining my justifications, I can easily show reason for killing the only being in the world who looked to me with out judgment.

She was clever beyond control, vicious, and destructive.

Front seats of vehicles, couches, miscellaneous furniture, whole rooms, carpet, and countless shoes fell victim to her tenurein my life. Other dogs were attacked, and finally a child was bitten.

Did this make Chica a bad dog?

In retrospect, I have come to accept that I am a bad master.

I was negligent, often too busy to spend time with her, loved her when it was convenient for me, and punished her for acting out towards my abuse.

Did I love my dog?
Without question.
Did I try everything I could think of to keep her?

Did I create the very problem that I, inevitably, could not fix?

. . .

Today, in my solitude - I am crushed by my loneliness.

I am sitting in silence with myself holding my own feet to the fire of the mistakes that I've made. Forcing myself to feel my own flame... the way I expect others to. The way my mother expected others to.

I have reasoned many of these mistakes away with justifiable reason ...
but justified or not
righteous or condemned...
it doesn't seem to matter.

The end result is the same.

And even if I'd set out with malice in any of my actions, were she alive... my dog would still love me despite my treachery -
the way my father loved my mother
the way I am now alone
because I killed my dog.

. . .

I have wished for many things in my life. I have many regrets, too many to try and share with you here today...

but of this list of wishes, as I lay awake in my empty bed, deafened by the echo of an empty soul, drown in the silence of an empty house - no children, no laughter, no scurrying feet abound...

I wish I wasn't like my mother.

... and

I wish I didn't kill my dog.