Friday, January 16, 2015

Statement Analysis: Lost Pet



The following was a recent conversation I had with someone.  I had been thinking about "What would I say if I had accidentally shot my wife?" as we do, in Statement Analysis.  It is the "Expected"; that is, what we expect to hear.  Then, thinking of an example that, although only with a pet, was still something that bothers me, though almost 2 years have lapsed.  Some readers are familiar with Clancy the Bull Mastiff that we had.

Please note that 2 years have passed and my family has talked a great deal about Clancy.

 I said,

"I killed my dog."

Listener:  "What?  You killed your dog?"

It hurt me to even say it.  Even though it has been almost 2 years, the words startled me.

"Yes.  Clancy was a wonderful dog and I wanted him to live a long and healthy life.  I walked him every day, keeping note of how far we went up the hill, and how much energy he had when we returned.  Over the course of a few months, we lengthened our walk.  Between this, and making fresh chicken, and other healthy foods for him, he was in phenomenal condition.  His coat was brilliant, his eyes bright, and he was a happy, bouncy, lean 160 lb bull mastiff! I wanted him to outlive what the experts say about longevity and bull mastiffs."

Listener:  "So, what happened?"

"On that day, I waited until the sun went down because even though it was not hot, it was very humid.  I knew to be careful with him, as a giant breed. I think it was at least 10 degrees cooler that day.  We got to almost to the top of the hill when his breathing became loud and he pulled over to the side and laid down in the grass.  I pet him on the head and let him take this break.  When his breathing got louder and more labored, I ran home and got him water."

Clancy suffered a heat stroke.

I spent a lot of time mourning him, and considerable time comforting my family.  We love Dex, but we still talk about Clancy and what he would be like today.  We had him on the "All Natural Diet" (as Dex is, too), and I had carefully lengthened his walking distance, weighed him monthly, had plenty of fresh water, and gave him large beef bones which kept his teeth pearly white.  (Far more health issues come from teeth issues than most pet owners realize).



What is the purpose of this post?

Some of you have already cued in on my statement, using Statement Analysis, and likely can guess where I am going.

I felt terrible guilt over losing Clancy.  I felt even worse guilt looking into Christina and Sean's faces knowing how they had him since he was 7 weeks old.

Yet, what is missing from my statement?

As I spoke about him, I thought of what happened, and still felt guilt.  Yet, even in follow up questions about him, I did not use the word "accident" in any form.

Why not?

It is because I didn't intentionally kill him, and I did not feel the need to say that to my friend, asking about Clancy.  I was responsible.  Even though it was cooler, the sun was down, and the walk was shorter than just the day before, I was responsible.

Yet, I felt no need to explain it was an accident.

Next up, Domestic Violence.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation reported that they interviewed shooting victim Maggie McCollum and reported that she was asleep when she was shot by her husband, police chief William McCollum.

The word they used?

"Mrs. McCollum thinks it was an accident."

It is very likely that the word "think", which shows weakness, was used by Mrs. McCollum.

If you were asleep and your husband shot you, what would you say?

In a loving relationship, where no prior Domestic Violence has existed, (which includes threats), would you say "It was an accident" even if you were asleep?

Take a look at my statement again.  What do you see in it?

Listener:  "So, what happened?"

"On that day, I waited until the sun went down because even though it was not hot, it was very humid.  I knew to be careful with him, as a giant breed. I think it was at least 10 degrees cooler that day.  We got to almost to the top of the hill when his breathing became loud and he pulled over to the side and laid down in the grass.  I pet him on the head and let him take this break.  When his breathing got louder and more labored, I ran home and got him water."

4 comments:

Chris Hugh said...

I'm so sorry about your dog. I felt terribly guilty after my cat died. I learned that terrible feelings of guilt are normal and don't necessarily indicate real guilt (as in culpability). Your dog died, but you didn't kill him. He died with you, doing what dogs love to do. It sounds like he had a wonderful up until the very very end. Have peace, please.

Kellie said...

I'm so sorry Peter! I know the pain of losing a much-loved pet. :( And also feeling it was my fault.

I think when a person loves someone they always feel guilt over that loved one being hurt in any way, even if it's not logical, it's just how love works. And the absence of it is just as obvious as the presence of it.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry Peter & family. I did not know you had lost your beloved Clancy. Makes me feel so sad for you all and for Clancy, such a magnificent and beautiful dog. And so loved.










































































This must have happened at a time when I wasn't reading here very often as this is the first I've heard of it.

I know how much you all loved Clancy; and again, I am soo so sorry.





















































































































Wendy said...

On 'that' day-- referring to the day that this incident happened.
I waited until the sun went down 'because'--you felt the need to explain yourself.
I think it was at least 10 degrees cooler that day-- 'think 'is a weak assertion,
We got to almost to the top--- 'we' shows unity
He pulled over to the side and laid down -- dog was in control(?)
I pet him on the head and let him take this break-- you are speaking in the present tense instead of the past; you are reliving the incident that happened 2 years ago.

I had to look up Bullmastiffs to see what they’re predisposed to. “The breed does not do well in humid and hot weather, best as an indoor dog. The Bullmastiff, being a large animal, requires regular exercise to remain in good shape, which can be satisfied with romps and walks on a leash. They have a lifespan of 8–10 years."

You are still grieving over what happened. You were cautious about the heat/humidity and you tuned in to him when he pulled over to rest. When you noticed the change in his breathing, you ran home to get him water; you clearly tried to help him.
Peter, you did not kill your dog. This was an unfortunate accident.

McCollum was very cold and showed no compassion. He made no attempt to help his wife or even comfort her. She could have died lying on the floor waiting for help to arrive.