Can I just say: I am tired of bad things happening. No more for me, stupid universe, I've had my fill.
Last Friday, one of my dogs, Nu Nu, passed away. I'm not going to go into a lot of details in this post, because I don't want to get myself all worked up again, but that's what this weeks DL spread is about:
Nu Nu was a really good dog. He was smart and comical.
His name was really Noodles. He was part pit bull, part dalmatian, and a rescue, like our other dogs. I named him Noodles because I know how afraid some people are of pit bulls...but no one could be afraid of a dog named Noodles.
I worked at a vet clinic for several years. In all that time, I came across only one mean pit bull...his name was Ozzy, and he hated everybody except for his owners and me. I was the only one at the vet clinic who would go near him. On the opposite side, mean little dogs came in every single day...this is why I have an aversion to chihuahuas...the only dog that ever came close to biting me was a chihuahua...I think they are evil. Unless you have a chihuahua...then I'm sure yours is nice...but all other chihuahuas are tiny sacks of evil...but I digress... The point is 99.9% of pit bulls are nice...(and 99.99999% of chihuahuas are evil)...
Nu Nu was exceptionally nice.
In the last couple years of his life, he was sick. We tried everything to help him, but nothing worked. There comes a point when you have to let go and just do what you can to keep them comfortable. Honestly, if it were up to me, I would have put him down. I don't advocate putting animals to sleep, but when nothing else can be done and when there is no quality of life...I just don't think it's right for them to suffer. My husband believes that, 'you wouldn't put me down if I was sick, so how can you do that to one of the dogs?' ...maybe he's right...I don't know...
I just know that last Friday, nature took its course, and I came home and buried a good dog in the frozen ground, and now he doesn't hurt anymore.
I think it's interesting, scientifically, I suppose, how animals react to death. The other dogs ignored his body...it might as well have been a stick or a rock. It seemed like whatever was left of him, they knew it was not Nu Nu. They did not recognize him anymore. Jake, one of my other dogs, has been looking for him. I don't know why he would...Nu Nu always stole Jake's food...I guess the way a pesky brother would. Some people think animals don't remember, but I think they must.
Death always makes me think of this line from a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, where she says 'things in death are neither clocks nor people, but only dead'. In other words, whatever makes us alive is gone and for all intents and purposes, our bodies are nothing but broken clocks. Some people would say the thing that makes us alive is a 'soul' that we have, that lives in our physical bodies for a time, or others that humans are souls and the 'breath of life' is what does it, or million other things. I don't know who's right, if anybody is. I think that's why I always think of Millay's poem, because it describes death in a way I can comprehend: something that works and then doesn't.
Maybe my other dogs see it as something that was here but is gone now...Nu Nu was here, but now he's gone. Just like me, they don't know where...I guess dogs don't really think of that part...only people think that way. It must be so much easier to be a dog than it is to be a human.
Nu Nu was a good dog. The sad part about loving mortal things is that there will always be a painful goodbye. And yet, we keep loving, don't we? Maybe if we were all smarter, we'd just have pet rocks and passing acquaintances and we'd never love anything, only accept it's presence. But then, what would be the point of living? I suppose that to really live, we must love and love hard and feel the hurt for all the things that mattered and that matter still. These things wouldn't hurt if they didn't matter. I think that Nu Nu must have mattered to me very much, and that I must be very lucky to have such a pain in my heart.