How Can I Love Mercy When I Feel None At All?

sadDespite my dad’s preference I stop writing so much about dogs, I have to one more time. Ella is officially no longer lost, but deceased.

I wrote the following for Sondry – A Matter of a Dog’s Manner of Death. Since I really don’t want to talk about this anymore, I’m going to repost it here as well.

Ella is gone. She died in a cruel, evil manner for no real reason other than she lived in a world tainted by human depravity that seems to flow unchecked anymore. That, and I couldn’t keep her from jumping the damn fence in the backyard of this shitty house in this shitty neighborhood.

Our hope is that this world, mankind, and everything laboring under this curse will one day be made right again. My hope comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth, and who made Ella and Rebekkah, too. My prayer is for justice, and hopefully, soon…..because I almost don’t trust myself not to dismantle this man’s life piece by meticulous piece in the way only a true Sicilian can. Never have I had such a battle rage within me between what I know I have to do — forgive — and what I’m more inclined to do — make him cry like a little girl. Right now, I’d rather make him cry and wet his pants. Obviously, the battle isn’t going well for God’s team.

Here’s the end of Ella’s chapter in our lives.

A Matter of a Dog’s Manner of Death

I can’t remember a time I didn’t have a pet to love. Now in my forties, I look back through the waves of endless

Ella Gray, Adventurer, Social Butterfly, Questional moral fiber, and a neglectful parent who won't potty train her brats.
Ella Grey

memories I have collected, and I can have no doubt in how their subtle existence in my life was crucial to my mental well-being. I have lost so many pets along my journey through life; some too early, through illness or tragic accidents. Others have lived decades with me, and had merely fallen peacefully asleep in my arms to leave this life. All of them have been grieved, missed, and their memories cherished; but never until this day did I actually consider never loving another animal again.

A few years ago, a dripping wet, scared stray puppy emerged from the dark night into the unsuspecting lap of my eldest daughter, Bekkie. After the loss of a beloved puppy to distemper a year before, Bekkie had refused to allow herself to love another pet again. Yet, that night, Ella Grey, as she would be named, chose Bekkie, and never once showed any interest in what Bekkie’s thoughts on the matter might be.

Ella, a smallish large dog, could jump like a gazelle, and run twice as fast. These traits became a problem when we moved to house in a lower middle class neighborhood. Things like fences are the least of the problems the houses on this block deal with, and dogs constantly jump, climb, or crawl under the fences.

They run in packs that their wolf ancestors would be ashamed to have played any part of. Pet owners are always calling their dogs home, scolding them in mock fury that wagging tails easily belie.

A week or so ago, Ella wasn’t one of them returning home to useless scoldings and empty threats. Sparrow, my other dog, came home different… quieter than usual and somewhat easily frightened. Ella had never been gone for very long, and when an hour slid by, Bekkie began looking for her. When my son and I got home from work, Ella had been missing for eight straight hours, and Bekkie was beside herself. She had looked everywhere. Days of social media, Craigslist, City of Tulsa Animal Welfare sites, the pound, and investigating even the thinnest of sightings all proved useless.

Yesterday, Sparrow dragged up part of Ella’s body to our back door. My son and I quickly handled the mess, hiding our instant horror and grief from Bekkie. As clues and body parts began to come together, the manner of Ella’s death had not been an accident, or illness, but one of pure evil, fear, and cruelty.

Ella had been caught by a neighbor of ours, and her mangled, ripped body told a story about how she had been thrown to his vicious pit bulls he keeps chained in his backyard. They had been feasting on her body for days. As a message to me, that horrible man threw her headless, limbless torso in my front yard. I imagine that is the way to show you mean business from the country he is from. I hope he is ready for my reply to his message.

His six foot wooden fence has always hidden away what monsters were back there, but the sounds they make daily are plain terrifying. This man would threaten Ella and any other dogs roaming around, yelling his intent to let his dogs out to kill ours. He has chased Ella with a sledgehammer before, all for the simple reason that she ran through his yard on her way back home.

Sadly, I didn’t take his threats seriously,and now, Ella is dead. I have contacted the authorities, and am cooperating to get his dogs and hopefully, his murdering ass, away from anyone else he would want to hurt. But none of it will unbreak my heart; none of it will bring Ella back.

I still have Sparrow, who was Ella’s puppy, and as time goes on, I will love again. I just know the manner of a dog’s death matters, and I hope her death won’t be for nothing.

~ Bird

21 responses to “How Can I Love Mercy When I Feel None At All?”

  1. Catherine, I’m so terribly sorry, for you, your daughter, and poor Ella. I know there are people like this in the world without souls, or if they have a soul, it’s black as pitch. I don’t know whether you remember or not, when Black Dog was adopted, I warned about people who were adopting free puppies only to use them as bait for their pit bulls dog fight training. Is this the kind of sick evil your neighbor is involved in? It’s the first thing that crossed my mind. He should be investigated, and just what he’s really using his dogs for. If they’d do that to a persons pet, they’d do it to a child. I hope the police do something to stop this man from hurting anyone else. I’ll bet he has a rap sheet a mile long.
    It’s hard to forgive such downright cruelty and meanness. Sometimes can’t be forgotten, no matter what. I’m getting to the place in live myself where too many regrets and bad memories are piling up…many of which have to do with beloved pets that I lost too. It hurts bad. Praying for you and your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the sort of person that in a different life would be in ISIS beheading PEOPLE! Or would he? So much has been discussed about nature v. nurture, it’s perfectly possible that he had a bad upbringing, and it’s THAT simple. An investigator did brain scans of psychopaths to try to discern a pattern, and he did! Then he checked his own brain scan as a comparison: he was one!!! Right there was the proof and he was told by experts that he had all the traits, but he’d never harmed a soul. He had a very happy childhood and loving family, and was happy with his own family around him, yet a true psychopath!

    It’s actually VERY natural to feel anger and want justice… or let’s be honest, revenge! Many who have had loved ones murdered have called for the death of the murderer. When a humane painless execution method is suggested to them, they’re horrified. They want the murderer to suffer!

    There’s likely not one of us who has not felt such rage at sometime, Bird. A former serious girlfriend I loved dearly had left me and shattered my heart. Then I was accused of rape by her! I learnt then how the passion of love is the flip side of the passion of hate – I wanted to kill her, and I don’t mean that like other people say it glibly. I pictured my hands around her throat!

    Later, as I gained life experience, I realised she had been abused by somebody. The signs were there that an older man would have seen; she had been trying to tell me in ways that were so non-verbal, a poor young boy with autism could not read. I have forgiven her, since I have recognised her hurt. I was just the ‘projection’ for something she could never tell, and maybe has never told anyone, for all I know now, 30+ years later. But the hatred almost destroyed me as a young man, and even affected my marriage briefly.

    This is why I believe Jesus commanded us to love our enemies. Yes, commanded! It’s probably his most difficult utterance to understand and comply with, it is SO unnatural, but if we give in to hate, the Devil wins. Maybe he’s taken that monster neighbour’s soul, don’t let him take yours too. THIS is the way of the Jesus follower – that LOVE is the truly greatest power in the universe. Apply it liberally, even when you really don’t want to. We all find it hard, but he gives you the strength and the means when you lose yourself in his love. Right now, I’m sitting listening to ‘One’ by U2 – hadn’t chosen it, it’s just by ‘chance’ on a playlist I have in the background. That song got me through that difficult period. “We’re one, but we’re not the same. We get to carry each other.”

    So sorry, I had NO intention of writing so much, but once I get started… and material for my book too now you’ve got my thoughts flowing onto the keyboard again… and a blog of my own. God bless you, Bird, and I’ll say prayers for both you and Bekkie. You didn’t say if you had let her know the truth. How’s she taking it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the reminder, Gram. You are absolutely right about not letting my thirst for revenge darken my own soul.

      Bekkie knew all along, and she broached the subject with me and we spoke a long time into the night. The anger has lessened because of this, and while I am still very, very angry, the rage is evaporating.

      I won’t lie and say I give one s**t about what may have happened to this person along the way to get to this moment. I will say, I’ll get there. It is just going to take a little time.

      Rebekkah has come to terms with this much quicker and with less angst than I have. She assured me, God used Ella to teach her a million things, and even her death carried a valuable message from God for her. I wish I were half as wise.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have started replying and deleted a dozen messages, mainly because I would hate for most of your readers to be faced with the language and graphic description of what I would like to see happen to your neighbour, I know you know me well enough to at least begin to imagine what some of it may entail, the thing you have to take comfort in is that in the time she spent with you Ella knew what it was to be loved unconditionally, you gave her the most precious gift of a safe loving home and the evil that resides behind that fence (the human not the poor creatures he has perverted) cannot rob you of the memories. Though you will blame yourself you know you are not to blame, he is the sort of person who would have happily stolen dogs from yards had he not been able to kidnap them from the street. What ever dreadful final moments Ella experienced will never outweigh the love she knew as part of your family xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That is terrible.
    I hope they take his animals away and he is banned from keeping animals ever again.
    That is disgusting and I can only imagine what you, Bekkie and poor sparrow are going through.. Never mind what Ella went through. It hurts my heart. I hope he gets charged for something because what he did was not okay 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good gracious. Sigh. Well, Bird, if I can chime in between you and Gram, I would like to add that Jesus’ command to love our neighbors does not negate the demands of justice. As I continue my studies in criminology, I am discovering a kind of ‘loving’ sort of detachment. What happened was a punishable crime. Why he did what he did is irrelevant and you are not obligated to understand or relate to it.
    You, as a concerned citizen and part of the body of Christ, have an obligation to help protect the powerless and stand in front of the lamb to slaughter. I am very, very proud of you for not overspiritualizing this, in that you called the authorities. Follow through, please, dear heart. I can just about guarantee you this was not the first time this man did something so hideous. You don’t have to allow this to darken your soul, you do not have to get into his mind. In fact, I wouldn’t suggest even trying it. As traumatic as it was to witness Ella’s slaughter and subsequent dismemberment, humans are capable of much, much worse behavior toward powerless animals. Authorities are actually getting more in tune with this, and this is a good thing.
    Perhaps, a drop of healing balm for your broken heart might, just might, be that you can contribute to this being the last time he breaks a heart as tender as Bekkie’s and yours.
    With much love to you both,



    • I can agree with you, certainly. I realise I did not comment that she was right to report him. He deserves justice, surely. I was simply addressing how these things can affect us personally, and cause us to enter into a similar place of darkness and just further personal loss. We must keep our own light alive in a world that seeks to quench it. I apologise if I implied in any way that he was not to be dealt with by the proper authorities, especially to stop his cruelty.



  6. there are no words – I am so sorry. Losing our pets is hard enough and add to your grief is this unspeakable pain. My prayers are with you – and remember our God is merciful and He is also just – your neighbor will face God one day and His punishment will be severe.

    Liked by 1 person

Feel free to leave a comment.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: