The two very special canus lupus spent their first two years in a tractor trailer with my wife and I, when our grey female leans over the steering wheel and watches every move every person makes, made the truck a very safe place to live for me!
Teri, As I understand - the plan should look like the brown area in the diagram below, but what you have is closer to the red lines. Assuming you can get it apart! If you can't get the nails out from the outside - you can just do-over the handle by sawing the handle in half and pulling it off from the inside (don't saw through the nails though if you want to remain friends with whomever you borrowed the saw from) What I would do, is using a ruler and sharp pencil, lay out the blue lines so that the handle is in the middle, then maybe using the saw, but if it's not too big a change probably just coarse sandpaper by hand, shape one end to the new lines. Then layout and shape the other end using your first end as a template to match it. All you have to do is make sure that the layout lines for the handle are exactly in the middle. You will lose about half an inch of height like this, but that's probably acceptable.