Losing a Puppy

It is customary to think of it as the culmination, the end point, of a long life well-lived.  It is not an unknown or unexpected event as life streams forward year after year.  But death comes in many ways, in many places and to those we do not expect to meet its finality.  Perhaps it may seem odd that I should bring up the topic of death at a time when we are celebrating the birth of Bianca’s puppies.  Yet, even then, in an event of great joy, there is no immunity from sadness.

Last night, in the few minutes required to prepare a supplemental bottle for Dragon and Daesha, Bianca’s tiniest puppies, Bianca smothered one of her babies.  I returned to the room to find Darwin’s limp body pressed under Bianca’s elbow.  All attempts to revive him were futile.

As I kneeled on the floor, holding Darwin’s little body in my open palm, tears welled up in my eyes and flowed down my cheeks.  It all seemed so senseless…so utterly wrong…unfair…cosmically wicked.  It seemed in that moment that hours of vigilance had been wiped away in minutes for this little one and anger flared, but found no place to reside.  I cannot undo what has happened; I can only accept it and learn for the future from its harsh hand.


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