My X was mean to his animals.
He had two horses that mostly hung out and grazed in the pasture. He gave them the minimum amount of attention to not be considered neglectful. He moved their tether around so they had field grass to eat and water to drink. But they were always tied up. A couple times a year they were brushed and ridden.
One time when he was trimming their overgrown hooves, one of the horses pulled back and kicked him. He charged at the horse and kicked her back. In the stomach. He may as well have kicked me in the stomach.
He also had a pack of mangey dogs. Their sole purpose was to protect his property. They slept under his house, and he poured their food onto the ground outside. In the summer they would be so infested with fleas that it would infest our house. When they were bathed, the water was full of their blood.
Once, the dogs had run through and dug up a newly planted garden plot. My X found the dogs, tied rope around their necks, and secured them to the back of his cargo bed. When he began to drive, one bounced out of the back, and hung from the side of the truck being strangled. The rope broke and saved its life. When he got to the garden plot, he pulled the other dog out of the truck. He carried it to the garden, dug a big hole, and tried to bury it alive. He shoved dirt into the dog’s mouth, and as it choked, it struggled to get out of the hole. It ran away and survived.
These are the things nightmares are made of. These are the things he did in front of me. In front of his children.
Sometimes I can’t fathom how this is a part of my past. That I witnessed something like this. That I even knew and loved somebody who could hurt innocent creatures.
I give thanks that I was able to leave, and that my daughter was young enough to never remember.