Last night, I went to a charity dinner with my mom and Bob called around 8:30 to tell me that Ludella had run off. I guess she'd pooped in the studio and he'd put her outside, hooking her leash onto his carving bench, just while he cleaned up the mess and when he came back outside a couple of minutes later, she was gone. Of course, my mom and I hurried home and I changed into comfy shoes and we searched the neighborhood for our little puppy. So many of our awesome neighbors came out to help us, searching yards with flashlights and even driving around the outlying neighborhoods but she was nowhere to be found. We searched until almost midnight and I even made flyers that Bob posted in the hopes someone took her in to keep her safe overnight. She was only three months old and so tiny.
Well, you obviously know what comes next. Bob found Ludella this morning around 6:30 in the ditch on the street parallel to ours. I'd walked it twice last night looking for her and I honestly don't think she was there when I was. She'd been hit by a car and her poor, sweet nose was completely bloody. We made the decision to show the kids and Roo thought she looked like a clown. Her first question was "can we get another dog?" but I don't think she was trying to be callous. She watched as Bob buried Ludella. Jasper said "puppy hurt?" but I don't think he really understood. Roo was about his age when we had to bury our cat, Lum. I printed off the last pictures I'd taken of Ludella for Roo to put in her photo album to take to school. I'm putting them up here, I guess as some sort of makeshift eulogy.
Ludella was my first dog and it might sound a little insipid since we only had her for six days but she was such a good one. She slept through the night in bed with me and Bob and was very gentle with the kids and cats. She loved to play in the yard and sleep on the couch equally. I hate that the last thing I did with her was crate her before going to the charity dinner, since Bob was at the park with the kids. (He didn't take Ludella because she wasn't supposed to be around unvaccinated animals until she had her vaccines finalized. We actually had her first vet appointment scheduled for this morning after we dropped Roo off at school.) I wasn't looking forward to taking her on the big cross-country road trip for Thanksgiving but, then again, I'm not looking forward to spending that much time in the car with Jasper, either.
I hate that we won't have the chance to watch her grow up. I miss her already. Ludella was a great puppy and such a good fit in our family. She and Jasper had a great bond, too, I wish I'd taken more pictures of them together. She was the dog that Roo's been asking for over the last year and a half. Gone in six days. I have no idea what to do next. I can't imagine the Humane Society allowing us to adopt another dog in the future- we didn't even give this beautiful puppy a whole week of happy family life. I'm surprised I've managed to keep Piewackett relatively safe and happy for 17 years now. I feel like curling up and dying because we failed Ludella. And she was my girl, too.