I met Rosa at the park that my daughter and I visited every day. She walked right up to me and told me that she knew I was sick and she would be praying for me. That was before I knew I was sick. I hadn’t had any symptoms yet really of the muscle disease. Somehow she knew. I often saw her at the park and she would come sit with my daughter and me and talk. She was a fascinating woman. One of the first female pilots in Honduras. I knew her for only a very short period of time before she moved to Tibet to live with the monks. I was surprised, but shouldn’t have been when I received a photograph of her and the Dalai Lama in an embrace. I knew she was a special being. She took in a stray puppy and bottle fed her. The puppy had been hit by a car and was just a few weeks old. Rosa knew the puppy’s life would be hard and short due to her injuries but she was loved. She asked my daughter to name her puppy and it was settled on Heidi.
A year later Rosa fell ill. We thought she was going to pass away. She was in a violent town at the time in India and was beaten severely. It was all over the papers and horrifying to see my friend there in those pictures. She was sick and now with a brain injury and sepsis things did not look well for her. She asked me if she could send me Heidi. We made a family decision to accept Heidi. My husband traveled a long way to get her from the airport. She had been lost in transit, stayed with a family in some other country and finally found her way here. She smelled like rotted hotdogs. She smelled like that for months nomatter what we bathed her in or fed her. She immediately bonded with my daughter and slept on her bed every night. She was in a lot of pain from her injury to her spine and hips. She was snippy and unpredictable. She loved my daughter though. And we loved Rosa. We had Heidi for the long haul. Which ended up not being long at all. Heidi lived with us for about 9 months. She and Jessy, our lab fell in love and Heidi took turns snuggled up to him and snuggled up to my daughter. But, Heidi started becoming aggressive and scaring me. She tried to bite me many times. I think it was partially due to the pain. But also something we off in her brain. We tried many remedies for her but nothing worked. She would pace back and forth. A memory that haunts me. I believe she was gravely ill when we took her in. Maybe a brain tumor. That is what my intuition told me.
She attacked our other dog and my husband one day. It was extremely traumatic for every one of us. My husband was immediately called out to a SWAT emergency right after. I asked if I could please run to my best friend’s house and ask her to come over and stitch up the dogs. My best friend was a nurse and she and I did wild life rehab. I knew about all of the equipment she had at her house from IV fluids to antibiotics to wound care. I promised to be gone for 10 minutes. I wasn’t. I was locked in the garage by my best friend’s husband for an hour as he threatened me, sexually assaulted me, and I feared for my life.
When I got home I was in shock. My husband was out the door, late to his call out, and I sat there. I looked at both dogs bleeding having no idea what to do. I had been sexually violated and both of my dogs were very wounded. One was bleeding from the eye. The other bleeding all over her body.
I had forgotten about this until this day. I kept wondering over and over in my mind all these years why I did not report David Bloomquist for his crimes. It was because of Heidi. I was so worried about Heidi. I was so in shock from David and so traumatized by Heidi I did not know what to do.
I called Rosa the next day. I told her that Heidi was suffering terribly. I felt she would need to be put down. When I called the vet, the vet immediately said she needed to be put down due to all of the circumstances of the incident and her injuries. It was Rosa’s dog though. It was Rosa’s decision.
I will never forget what Rosa told me, “ Heidi was sent to you for a reason. Had she never fought with your dog, you would have never gone to David’s house looking for his wife. He would have never attacked you. Had he never attacked you, then you would have never known what he was capable of. He would have eventually gone after your daughter. Now you have given Heidi a good life full of love. It is time to let her go. She has fulfilled her purpose.” She was right. David and his wife had just begun talking to me about putting Riley in our will to be left to them. David was a pedophile and sexual offender who would have eventually gone after my daughter. He had already gone after his own family on multiple occasions. Looking back we have over the years put remembered inappropriate comments he made to my then 7 year old daughter. So, if I wanted to look at the silver lining…Heidi came here, loved my daughter, loved my Jess, and died to protect my daughter from almost inevitable future harm. I was a bit of collateral damage but I accept the way I gained this knowledge David if it meant nothing would ever happen to my child.
We took Heidi in to the vet two days later. We waited to see if she was ok. Maybe she could be placed in another home? Maybe she needed surgery? Maybe her brain would heal? Maybe rehabbed. She was not ok. Something happened and I will never know what. She became this rabid animal. There was a look in her eye that told me she was gone. But as I took her to the vet in our car, she climbed in my lap and licked my face. She licked it for the 45 minute drive to the vet’s office. Blood dripping from her eyes.
My husband and I agreed never to talk about Heidi again. We have not. Our dog Jessy mourned her for a year. He went into his crate and did not want to come out. He barely interacted with us or our other dog. It was not until I got my muscle biopsy that he lay at the end of my bed and never left my side again.
So I did not speak of what David did to me for a week or so. I never understood why until now. It was Heidi. She was more important than David. After she was gone I had to decide what to do. I finally told my husband and told David’s wife, my best friend. I believe I stayed in shock and a dissociative state due to that trauma for a very long time. It was what triggered all of my childhood memories, the PTSD, and sent my life into a spiral. It was only a few months later that I was diagnosed with a muscle disease.
That was 12 years ago now.
Rosa just messaged me yesterday. She has suffered immensely from her brain injury and the beating. She is still in and out of the hospital gravely ill. She has suffered so. She is still thankful that Heidi came to us. She sees the good in everything. She found the good even in Heidi’s death. She still talks to me about Heidi and how she loves her and me and she knew that everything worked out as it should. Rosa has a way of putting things in a perspective that I cannot easily see. I saw suffering, loss, and trauma. She saw love and protection, and truth.
I am sharing this story because we ALL have our stories. We all have our challenges. We all have times of suffering. I was attacked by a man and was questioned relentlessly as to why I did not immediately tell. This story should highlight the many reasons why a woman does not tell immediately. There can be so many reasons. Extenuating circumstances beyond anyon’es understanding. As you have read I had many “reasons” why I was unable to speak of what had happened to me. There ARE so many reasons. The truth may not fully come out for 12 years! Maybe not for 40 years. When it does come out, it should be met with love, compassion and validation. Nothing less.
My Jess was laid to rest next to his Heidi a year ago. They finally get to be together again. It is a hard story to tell. Which is why my husband and I agreed never to discuss it again. But it is a story that needed to be told for many reasons. Hopefully one of those reasons will resonate with you.