Thursday, February 21, 2008

bittersweet reminiscence

returning to the idea of saying nothing together

A few months ago I posted about the tragic loss of my dog, puppino. He was taken away ruthlessly and it truly troubled me. I think sometimes we forgot how affected we are about things until something bittersweetly reminiscent happens. Well that something has happened – I have completely fallen in love with another puppy, dama.

Shortly before Sharon left for the states to join her husband she did something very kind – she found me a new little puppy because she was worried. She was worried I was going to be alone and knew how much I loved the canine race. At first I was a bit nervous because; a) I didn’t know if I had it in me to train a new puppy and, b) I didn’t know if I had it in me to attach to another puppy that I would eventually have to say goodbye to when I left. Well both things have occurred in abundance.

Ok, using the work training and abundance in the same sentence might be stretching it but I have trained (albeit minimally with a very permissive mothering style) and securely attached to little miss dama. I was strong for a very long time and really forced her to be an “outside dog.” She was to be a dog that just happened to be living in close proximity to a human being and aside from food, no strings, particularly of the heartstrings variety, would be attached. Dama is smart and feisty and has a whole lot of feminine spunk and therefore, from the onset, it didn’t really seem like she needed me all that much. Where puppino was chill and relaxed and a bit clingy, dama is intense and proliferated and independent.

With these sovereign qualities noted, I still know this much is true, Dama has infiltrated my heart and I am completely smitten with this little firecracker of a dog. Presently she barks at everyone who comes within 50 feet of me and she constantly cooks around the house causing all my colorful Guinean rugs to chaklar (Liberian English for scatter). While performing these feats she often has her pet stuffed reindeer (courtesy of her very thoughtful auntie Sharon) in her mouth.

Unlike Puppino, Dama started learning tricks very quickly and was sitting and shaking by the time she was four months old. She is also able to lie down and roll over on command if she feels like it, but more often than not she’s not so interested in performing these extra tricks for a treat and usually returns to the old reliable shake.

I return to the idea of saying nothing together because she just, this very second, came over and in the sweetest of moods offered me her paw. Sitting here in the dark with my laptop I was touched by her gesture and just sat there with her, paw in hand, for quite some time.

So just like her dear sweet predecessor Puppino, Dama does that thing dogs do when they can’t seem to get their message across. She simply places her paw in my hand, shifts her head to the side and waits. Over and over again with a glint in her eye; it feels like she has something very important to say but since I can’t understand her she decides we should simply say nothing together. Although I will miss her desperately I couldn’t possibly be more satisfied with her adoptive family. Having frequently stopped by for home visits the young boys in the family are fighting over who gets to walk her around town and the father, one of our reliable drivers, speaks oh so proudly to everyone within hearing distance about how dama will soon be joining their family.

1 comment:

Sara said...

scary how dogs can fill such a big space in our hearts...especially when we're not paying attention! Sending lots of love from San Francisco.

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