Someone shot my dog.
Tiny was born on this place. A Great Pyrenees, daughter of Chiquita. She was the runt of the litter, hence the name.
Sometimes I have to go out at night to check on an irrigation pivot. I drive when I do. Invariably when I’d get to the pivot, I’d see a white object slip quietly from the dark. My protector.
Tiny wanted little out of life. She never killed chickens, to the contrary, she protected them from coyotes and other predators, all night long, every night. She also guarded goats and cats. And us.
She’d wait to eat until the rest were done, as though she were shy about eating while others watched.
She had one litter of pups, only three. We gave two away and kept a single daughter, Pinky, due to the pink nose. Tiny got neutered after the pregnancy, so she wasn’t one to attract the attention of male dogs.
Three days ago, early in the morning, I saw Tiny walking as if in a daze, her soft white fur bathed in crimson from the neck down.
Manuel told me that a neighbor dog had been out in the front pasture, that perhaps she had been mauled.
I tracked Tiny to a farm implement where she laid down. Blood and saliva flowed from her mouth and a conspicuous small hole leered from a spot to one side of her nose.
Her breathing passages appeared obstructed. Her eyes showed signs of pain and shock.
I carried her to the house.
Tiny rarely went inside. She was an outdoor dog and like being an outdoor dog.
She spent the day laying around, bleeding. And for the first time ever, she spent a night in our home.
The next day she wandered out. I found her in a stall where she had raised her pups that night, I suppose a place of comfort for her. When I first spotted her I thought she was dead, but when I called her name, her eyes opened and she wagged her tail a bit, lifting one leg ever so slightly, as though to invite me to pet her.
Tiny survived another night.
The next day, Manuel pointed out that she could not drink, so I got a syringe and tried to squirt milk down her throat. She refused to swallow; the milk drizzled out of the sides of her mouth pink, mixed with blood and spit.
I took her to the vet, an aberration for me.
Vets charge too much money when it comes to dogs.
I held Tiny on a table in an observation room while we waited. She slid down slowly, relaxing even though afraid, trusting me. Finally the vet came in.
He looked into her mouth and showed me a groove in her lower jaw where teeth had once been. He told me he needed to sedate her to get a better look.
I left Tiny in his care, figuring I would come back in a couple of days to pick her up.
Ten minutes later, my cell phone rang.
The vet told me that a bullet had destroyed her lower jaw and the base of her tongue. He had nothing to work with.
I asked him to put her down.
A few minutes later I paid him a hundred and some odd dollars and walked out with an empty collar.
Although I never found his body, I’m pretty sure someone shot Fuzz.
I know someone shot Tiny. And I can’t understand, for the life of me, why.