Indeed, it is painful.
To see her crawl from where she had been sick all day, to lie beside me, as she was dying, which I was not aware of.
When I think of it, I am really sad. She slept on the foot of my bed and would not leave until I wake up. When I work, she comes to sit next to my feet. When I am on the sofa, she lies next to my slippers. She was like my shadow. Anywhere I go in the house, she would follow me.
When I am in the bathroom, she will lie down on the foot mat outside, waiting for me. She traced me with her eyes. When I come into the house with a shopping bag, she comes from where she was to welcome me and inspect my bags.
And I am told by anyone at home before I arrive that she was up at the door waiting for me before I arrive. How she knows, nobody understood. 5 minutes before I get home, and I came home at any time, she would just jump up and be looking at the door to receive me.
And when I don’t return home, oh, I am told she got up several times at night to check if I arrived. She would sleep next to the door leading out, until the next morning. When I get angry and push her out of my room, she slept on the mat, in front of the door leading into the room until I would wake up.
The name the people gave her was “David’s shadow”. Everyone in the neighborhood knew us, and the kids called me the “the and his dog”, I don’t know why. Because almost everyone walked their dogs. But I guess they were surprised that this dog only looked at me.
We never went out without some footballs or tennis balls, or empty plastic bottles for water, or something to kick around. And our walks take like 2 hours, during which we would walk for kilometers playing football. I always wondered what would happen if she dies, or if I die before her. When I was a child, we always had dogs, but I never had a friend as wonderful as this dog.
I was so sure it was just another bug, because of the strength in her eyes. She kept looking at me, even in the car. Her eyes were bright, really lucid, and on her face, no trace of illness, no fear of death. Just her labored breath and the doctor was like, it was just an infection she would get over.
Hmmm, animals are not what we think they are. They are conscious and understand. When I speak with friends on phone, she knew. She knew the days of the week. I am telling you. When I found out, I was shocked. Her dog walker came on weekdays, not weekends. Mon-Friday, she waited for him at the door, same hour. Saturday, Sunday, no.
Another interesting thing is she watched TV. I am telling you. There are people she doesn’t like and people she liked. In the street, everyone comes to say hello to her. And when she sees who she likes, from afar, she already goes towards that person.
And who she doesn’t like, she moves away, even if the person comes to her to say hello. She just would walk away. On TV, when she sees a face she didn’t like, she would bark and howl. When she saw anyone attacking another person, she would rush to the TV and start barking fiercely.
The one that freaked me out most was once I was so angry at her that I pushed her violently away from me. I was stunned at the expression on her face. It was like a human being. The pain of being humiliated and rejected by me was so fundamentally expressed that I almost fainted. So these animals understand everything?
To be frank with you, I don’t think I want another animal. I am not sure I am prepared, or I have the resources to return the loyalty, devotion, care, and such unconditional love to any creature on earth. I am not sure I want to. I never forget what people always said in the streets.
They come to me and say, “This Dog’s face is so expressive, it’s as if this dog is human”. What was left for it was to speak. People wanted to touch her, and they asked me always if they could touch her. She was the favorite of kids. I mean with her size, you’d imagine people would be scared of her. She had charisma.
I think her purpose in my life was to teach me how to love. Perhaps this was something I’ve never experienced before. I consider myself a cheerful giver. I can give you everything I have. Do you know why? Not because of love. But because I don’t need anything. If you need it more than I do, you can have it. It bothers me not one bit. I feel nothing about it.
And the opposite of love is not hatred. The opposite of love is indifference. I am indifferent, even to the act of death and dying. Not that I will kill myself, or don’t care when people die. But inside of me, I don’t attach much value to it. It’s just a natural act, which all of us must experience.
My soul was far away…always far away. This was how I know to live. You can have everything of me, my eternal friendship, my time, my property, my work, my loyalty, my body, even my life. For instance, I can see myself volunteering for rearguard action, i.e., “certain death” for my army unit to survive. This would be professional service and responsibility. Nothing else, nothing more. Nothing to do with my soul. Anyone can do it. And I don’t hide this from anyone. Perhaps I should.
It has taken a dog to open my soul and show me “another way”.
But I think it’s enough. I have experienced the other way now. I want to go back to what I have always known, the place I am comfortable in.
No, I don’t want another dog, or person or thing, to come so near to me again.
I am comfortable the way I am. Life is come and go. Anything can and should happen at any time. He who tries to keep his life must lose it. And he who loses life every time and at every turn, wins all of it, from the infinitesimal to infinity, because he is free.
She will be cremated and I will keep the urn with her ashes.