There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day
And when we are certain of sorrow in store
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear!
– Rudyard Kipling
After a month of sickness my beloved Dachshund dog died. I grieved for weeks before I was even able to write this eulogy. I lit a red scented candles each day for 7 days under a picure of Taffy and my boys taken in 2005. I also prayed that she would have moved on to a better place. (well this is what we Buddhist say – however she was very, very happy with us – and I can’t think of anything better than the time she spent with us)
In an earlier entry titled Madam Taffyana I listed 10 Reasons Why I love my Doggy – and I’ve described her as Affecitonate – Loveable – Loyal – Dependable – Obedient- Patient -Listens- Fun – Goodlooking- Girl. I miss her so much also for these very same qualities.
In June 2009 exactly on Poson poya day she delivered a litter of 7 pups. With ease she took up responsbibilities of a mummy and raised her boys and girl with a minimum fuss. I tried to track these pups through to see how they are faring after 3 years. Many of them are well into adult lives and others I failed to find their homes. (I wanted to see if any of them lloked excatly like Taffy)
In the morning more often than not it would be Taffy who’s up first up – urging us to wake up into a beautiful day. I do this now in honour of her spirit. And when I get home from work (what ever the time it may be) She is always happy to greet me, wagging her tail furiously, barking (and talking) and smiling. I’ve gotten so used to looking out for her on my balcony – it’s rather difficult to reach the front gate and not miss any of her drama. What we do the moment I park my car might be something Taffy looked forward to all day. That would be her second walk for the day, down my lane, trotting, doing her wee-wee and poo-poo, then walking up and down a couple of times, chasing cats, sniffing scents left by other dogs, taking a discerning look at wild plants (probably with medicinal value that she was aware of) and greeting passers-by.
In her last days, I found her seated at a lower step, waiting patiently for my arrival. She smiled with recongnition. At this stage where her cancer had spread to both lungs and throat, she suffered from breathing difficulties. So I would carry her downstairs and place her gently on the grass, we would cut short the that much-awaited walk and take a shorter round. It looked like she wanted to say her Good Byes. She took meaningful looks in all directions and walked slowly to her favourite spot beside a small canal and just waited there for a long, long time. (I thought she had just selected the spot to be bearied) She lived another seven days. Through these days she showed her power of endurance. Her appitite was lost and I was feeding her drops of water and glucose. She made sure she stayed at the foot of each family member, my students and mother and father. She showed her great affection, love and loyalty. She is the epitome of Love and Patience.
I cannot say if she loved me the most – I had no doubt about it but so many others in the family also think the same – so it’s hard to say. On the 30th May, by sheer coinsidence the very same day I brought her home in a cardboard box 7 years ago, and as I chanted pirith she sat beside me and breathed her last.
It is indeed sad to loose a dog. However losing a loved one is just part of the whole relationship. So now I live with precious memories – memories of Princess Taffiana – memories that are as warm as the loveable dog she was.