Somedays It Isn't All Sunshine and Roses

We have lost one of the guardian dogs.

Lucas died this morning.

We found him late yesterday afternoon. He was not with the flock but was in the adjacent paddock, along a regularly used trail and about half way home, if that’s where he was trying to get to. He was badly injured with multiple puncture wounds and a couple minor tears. However, there were no gross injuries that we could see. His gums were pale in color. He was weak.

We took him home and placed him in the house since it was cold and raining out. We clipped the blood soaked areas of his coat (which was mostly his hind end), searched for wounds, cleaned them with antiseptic and bandaged him as best we could. We gave him a shot of penicillin for infection. He took a long drink of water. His gums returned to a more normal pink color. We placed him in a dog crate to rest. We felt secure in the choice to let him be for the night and take him to the vet clinic the next morning.

But the next morning he was still very weak and he died before I could get him to the vets.

We have no idea who tied into him. There are no injuries on any of the other dogs. Not a single nick, although Glory had some dried blood on her face and Oakley has a tiny spot of blood on his side, like he might have brushed against Lucas. We found dog fur in the paddock where the flock grazes so it seems the incident started there. But why or over what, we have no idea. I suspect Glory instigated something as I have watched and wondered about her and know that she’s a tough cookie. Or just maybe, he tangled with a coyote or two.

But I don’t want to ponder all the possibilities and implications right now. I want to get back to the person I was before this day and to a peaceful co-existence amongst everyone. I want to declare this will never happen again but I know guardian dogs better than that. I want to salve my hurt by telling you it was a heroic run in with a coyote. I want to forget this morning happened, and at the same time, I want to break down and spill the agony that is lapping at the surface.


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