Back about the middle of December I began a series of posts entitled “A Puppy’s Tale”. I intended it to be a trilogy, and completed parts I (A Fortunate Encounter) and II (The Winding Road). This post is part III (Epilogue), though it will be a bit of a non-sequitur in that I will depart from the third person storytelling format and move into the first person narrative.
I was motivated to write the story as a method of dealing with the grief I experienced after the death of my 16 year old dog, Desa.
I have lost pets before, but the level of grief I experienced this time was deeper than I had felt before and I thought that perhaps I needed a coping mechanism. I decided to write a story of her life – which coincidentally would be a story of my life during the years we shared. This turned out to be an immensely personal task and after completing the first two parts I did not and still do not believe that my writing skills are up to finishing the trilogy in a way that will do justice to the truth. Suffice it to say that when this dog and I crossed paths, both our worlds became better, though whether hers really did is merely an assumption on my part. I do know that when our paths parted I was left with an emptiness that seemed disproportionately profound. I still feel it today.
The story of how Desa joined our family as told in Part I is unimbellished truth as told to me by my first (late) wife who was not an exagerator or prevaricator. Desa was not the first dog I have owned, but for reasons that are not obvious to me I was closer to her than any other dog I have known or owned. Perhaps it is because I believe that I grew a great deal as a person during the years I owned her. I don’t know – like I said – the reasons are not obvious to me.
A Puppy’s Tale ended the way one might expect – an ageing animal’s health fails to the point that euthanasia is neccessary. A common scenario that is played out most likely thousands of times daily across the country. My active role in her death, while neccessary and humane, weighs on me though I know I had no choice.
So I bid farewell to a canine friend and carry on.