On May 30 2011, a sweet, shy, docile dog named Rhett was attacked inside his own yard by a pit bull from across the street that had smashed through a gate to get to him. Rhett was a good sized dog, but he was a lover, not a fighter, and he submitted to the pit bull. But pit bulls don't recognize normal canine etiquette, as many bewildered family pets have found out too late. After Rhett lay on his back and submitted, the pit bull continued to maul the vulnerable dog, and before Rhett's owner could come to his aid, he had suffered life changing and ultimately fatal wounds.
Rhett suffered for days, his condition steadily worsening. After his stroke and paralysis, Rhett's human companion made the painful decision to put him to sleep. Like most pit bull victims, Rhett's story never made the news, but we did write about it last year in this article.
Even though the broken gate has been repaired, the murder scene washed and painted, the creature that killed her dog breathes still, and strains daily against it's screen door, a constant reminder of the injustice of the violation suffered. The sorrow of Rhett's end remains a poignant memory.
"My sister made a little monument for my garden, and I put in on the spot where Rhett was defeated by the monster. I've put plants and wind chimes on this spot, prayed but I can't get over the image of him on his back, and the blood splattered on the wall."
As animal lovers, we all sooner or later know the pain of losing a beloved pet, but when the end is so brutal, senseless and undeserved, the pain is worse.
"Every day, when I walk my other two dogs, there's that spot in the graveyard, where Rhett kept vigil, and I wonder if his spirit is still there, if he keeps vigil for the first owner who abandoned him and broke his heart, or if he's waiting for me."
"I hope that there is a kind of heaven for him"