Requiem for a Little Black Puli Dog

She had a good life with me for ten years. Every day around 3pm we got our gear on, her little turquoise collar on the dependable leash, and we set out for our constitutional walks.

She sniffed everything in sight. She filed them into her information files. She had mapped out all of Oakland and Berkeley as well. She was the sniffer of every scent. She knew a lot from the sniffs, she was a genius, she knew the paths.

She smelled raccoons in the backyard, and where they have been. She sniffed the path of squirrels; she tracked people’s foot steps, and reported it to me.

She was a good girl. She was my beloved. I felt her warm body next to my leg every night. She knew my moves, I knew her needs. It all worked out.

Now we have nothing.

I sent her to my dead father who was a huge dog lover. He had to give away his dogs when I was born. Not healthy for babies, mama said. He didn’t have dogs ever since. He died in ‘79.

So, I have sent him this one, my beloved Hungarian Puli Zyna. She was from father’s neighborhood, the old neighborhood, before they moved to the city.

Find my father I said to her. He will be happy to have you. This I am sure of.

She laid on the little blue blanket the hospital lent us, she lay on it breathing real hard. It was the lungs that took her finally, fighting for air. An insidious infection didn’t show on x-rays, fighting for her every breath… its over.

No more force feeding her mashed down sweet potatoes and dog food for puppies. The only desire she had was for a little sweets, and when I ate my Danish, she got interested in a crumb that had sugar on it. She took that and held it in her mouth as the last taste of life.

After the relaxant shot the doc gave her, she stuck her little pink tongue out, let it hang. I kissed her nose.

Thank you dearest friend. Thank you for the ten years of walks, and wagging that tail; and happy noises, and welcomes. Thank you my heart’s puppy.

Where do puppies go after death? Innocent animals, they go to their own heaven I am convinced. The Goddess Diana loves dogs, Zyna can join Diana if she wants to.

Then came the death shot.

Dr. Lin shaved off her little leg and administered the shot that shuts down life, stops the heart.

I felt for her spirit.

Little friend, don’t be scared. You have to leave your sick body behind. Just GO HOME ZYNA! I whispered to her, a call used often while alive.

Go home meant run from my car to the door. There she barked her joyous return to the homestead; she barked until I opened our door.

Then, she liked to tell everybody where she had been, Pulik are big communicators.

All through her quick illness and demise, she fought for life but not really. The moment she refused to eat was actually her time to die. We didn’t accept that as the end. We force fed her food, we force fed her water. She hated it. She was done. The humans were not.

Today, a couple days later, however we all got on the same page.

Good-bye my little friend. Please look for my dad, Sandor. He will take care of you.

Zyna was calm this morning. She did her business, more then we thought possible. She was still the very clean dog, who would not mess in the house no matter how sick. Not even on her deathbed. Now that’s integrity!

I just stroked her, and my wife stroked her, and we piled a lot of love on her last day. This Puppy was well loved by both of us.

After the second shot not much had changed. She was still warm, but she was gone. Her heart had stopped. But she was still warm. She didn’t look grotesque. She looked like a sleeping dog with her eyes open. I couldn’t shut her eyes. But inside her eyes there was nobody in. She went out like an invisible wisp of a thought. Her little pink tongue hanging out, that’s all that betrayed her.

Thank you for the ten great years!

I have jagged cries now. I tried to not bother her with my pain. I don’t think I go back to work today, I am too sad.

I had a tequila sunrise, and am not a drinker, so I got drunk fast. I wrote this requiem very drunk.

This my official wake for a Hungarian Puli.

May you roam free, and never in pain my darling!

May you find old friends and new.

I will always love you.

You were my beloved, and now I gave you sleep.

Be well little one, roam the summer lands,

sniff out the good luck once again.

Farewell my girl!

My only one.

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