Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Major Trauma and Minor Sadness

Thank you for all of the kind words, thoughts, and prayers in the wake of the tragedy that befell my family this past weekend. Layla Sabreen Guentouri was born on Sunday, weighing a tiny eleven ounces. I was present in the delivery room at her birth and graveside at her burial the following afternoon. I will not go into details about the situation because it is not my story to share. It is not my pain to try to put in words. And really, words could not possibly do the experience justice. I know that I am a changed person because of it. I feel the need to tell people I love them. I feel the need to kiss and hug and hold onto the ones who are dear to me. I see my mom and my sisters for the amazing, phenomenal women they are. My sister, my bother-in-law, and my nephew have a long road ahead of them. Recovering from this loss will not be an easy task, but it is one they should be allowed the privacy to do on their own terms. So I will not be writing about it again. Thank you for all of your continued prayers and good thoughts. They are abundantly appreciated.

To change the subject completely, I do have another small sadness to share with you. On any other weekend, it would have been a devastating blow. This weekend, it was just par for the course. A minor sadness in a weekend of major tragedy. We are having to return our beloved Stella to the animal rescue where we adopted her. Her separation anxiety has worsened to the point that we cannot leave her alone at all. It came to a head this weekend. Saturday, after spending the morning at Pride, we came home to find that Stella had been howling and screaming in her crate for four hours straight. She was covered head to toe in drool. She had broken her food dish and was laying in shards of glass. She was frantic, to say the very least. Then yesterday, we decided to put her in our basement family room for the graveside service. Actually, Ruanita and the kids did not attend the service, but came to my sister's house afterward to eat and console one another. My family handles grief by feeding it. A lot. In this particular instance, our grief took the form of $50 worth of KFC chicken and two large pizzas. Ruanita was at Jennifer's house for about an hour. We came home afterward to find that Stella had ripped all of the carpet off the landing to our basement stairs. She had ripped it down to the padding underneath and had shredded the padding. In addition, she had torn huge chunks out of the molding around our basement door. At that moment, we decided that her separation anxiety is too much for us to handle, despite a month of efforts trying to get it under control. We contacted the animal rescue people, who agreed that we needed to return her. They felt she would do better in a home with another dog so she is never alone. We are being given a credit to pick out any other dog from the rescue.

Despite dealing with the crazy separation anxiety, I am still pretty sad about giving Stella back. She really is a phenomenal dog. Sweet as can be. Gentle with the children. Calm demeanor. Just an all around perfect dog with the small—or rather GARGATUAN—exception of the separation anxiety. Tomorrow, the kids and I are driving to Albertville to return her to the animal rescue people. We will also be checking out a small, female boxer who the rescue feels would be exactly what we are looking for in a family dog.

I am sad today.


Anonymous said...

Shannon, I am so sorry for your sister's loss and her family. So sad.
WOW on Stella, who knew. I know my neighbor has to leave her radio on when they leave the dog or leave him outside. Either way he wears a bark collar so at least he can't be heard. Only a few times has he ruined something as last year when he personally took down the Christmas tree and ate some ornaments until he bled everywhere. When they came home they decided he will be outside from now on when they leave the house. He seems to be okay but he is older and has some form of cancer so soon he will be be in his final resting place. Hope the boxer works out. They are great kid dogs.

Barb said...

:( and :(

Both of your stories are so sad and so honest. I love that you say it is not your story to tell, but the pain really does come right off the screen into my dining room and you have done your sister justice. I know families that have been through it and gone on to have other children but there is always a hole in their hearts. Hopefully your family can find a way to heal and make a special place in your hearts for the little girl. Thanks for sharing the story with us so beautifully.

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