I used to own a dog called Chutney. She was a Basset Hound.
You get people who will always choose animals over people. I am not that kind of person. I like animals and I will gaga all over baby animals (chicks, puppies, lambs, etc) but I will never choose an animal over a person.
Chutney was different.
Chutney was an anniversary present. One that my husband lied about. One that he (we) couldn’t afford. One that I should have declined. The best present ever.
I had 10 blissful months with Chutney before she was killed. See, my husband decided to breed with pit bulls and despite our every effort to keep the dogs separate from one another. One afternoon as I got home from work I noticed Chutney was outside of her section of the yard. The goal was to separate them as soon as I had taken my things inside the house.
Roxy seemed okay with her. Roxy’s puppies were playing with Chutney. She was good with them and secretly Roxy seemed relieved to have a break. Chutney must have snapped at one of the pups when they pulled on her ears.
Roxy went ballistic.
I got the puppies inside the house. And went back for Chutney. It was ugly. Roxy was biting at Chutney.
Thankfully weeks of dog training had taught me how to pull a dog off another dog. It seemed to work. She was strong, but I was managing. Until out of no-where Bruno, the male pit bull managed to get out of his enclosure.
The rest of the afternoon was a blur. Logan was pulling Roxy, I was pulling Bruno away. As soon as we had some luck, one of the dogs managed to get free. Chutney managed to hide under a car. The pit bulls would snap at her from the side.
The next door neighbour (and landlord) stood at my front gate, screaming and swearing. Calling me names, insulting me. Insulting my husband. Our other neighbour phoned my husband.
I nearly managed to drag Bruno into his enclosure and just as I tried to get out and close him in, he pushed past.
Chutney was in a bad condition. Logan was hysterically trying to help, brute strength, pure courage. Oliver wanted to come outside, but strangely listened when I said to stay inside. I was exhausted and full of blood.
When I realized I wasn’t going to come right with Bruno, I got Logan to hold on to Bruno. I managed to dragged Roxy inside the house, safe with her pups. Huffing and puffing.
One down, one to go.
I held Bruno, Chutney could no longer run away. I told Logan to pick her up and take her inside. She was too heavy for Logan. Eventually Logan dragged Chutney up the two steps inside the house.
He was terrified. Screaming and telling me her breathing was shallow. He kept saying “Mommy she is going to die.” I remember thinking the same thing. I told him to get her a blanket and keep her warm. I finally managed to get Bruno on his side of the yard.
A photo posted by Alet Swart (@alet202) on
I knew she was going to die. And by the time my husband came home, she was dead.
The following evening we took Bruno to be put down. I couldn’t look at him. We got the puppies homes. I couldn’t blame Roxy for what she had done. But I also couldn’t trust her again. Even though I loved her. I couldn’t control her. She was stronger than me with a distinct dislike for other animals. I thought having pups would soften her and in some ways it did. She was more tolerant. She was lethal. We got her another home.
I’ve never cried. I’ve never really written about it. I’ve only told the closest people around me. And the psychologist. A couple of weeks ago, something happened and I realized I needed to write about it. I have a whole lot of unresolved issues when it comes to Chutney. I knew it would catch up to me. And it finally has.
A dog called Chutney changed my life. For better or for worse, I will never be the same again.