Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Once Upon A Time there was a dog named after a brand of watches

Swatch was the very first dog I ever knew.

She was a very sweet, motherly Japanese Spitz and had kind eyes and the calmest disposition any of our dogs ever had.

She was a year older than me so I had known her "forever" when we lost her.

My dad would let the three dogs come out as a pack, and they would usually return home together. 
One day when I was maybe eleven or twelve, Swatch didn't come back with the others.

I cried a lot and waited for her to come back for a long time. The new year came and I remember crying because I remembered her and somehow understood that she wouldn't come back again. My dad held me and consoled me. He said maybe she didn't want me to see her die because she was already very old. He said it's the new year and I should welcome it with a happy disposition to make way for more happy things.

I don't remember her being very sick before wandering off, but today I wondered and searched, and was moved by the following text that I found:

Dogs wander off to die because of a left-over pack instinct from the wolves. The scent of a dying or dead animal attracts carrion hunters, like vultures and coyotes. Larger, more dangerous predators, like bears, are then attracted by the blood that is exposed by the scavengers. Even if a larger predator isn't attracted, other wolves may smell the blood and begin a territory war if the deceased wolf's pack is small.

Therefore, the dying wolf will separate himself from the pack, in order to protect that pack and its territory.[x]

When I grew older, I accepted that that was just wishful thinking, that she simply got lost, maybe taken by strangers, or whatever. I now know that letting them out on their own without supervision was irresponsible. But maybe there was some truth in it after all.

Swatch was the first family member I ever lost, and she taught me about loving and losing, and appreciating the good memories instead of focusing on the loss. A few years after, I lost other dogs, and even a few very dear people in my life. Including my dad.

shoe cuddles

Now that we have Sansa in our family, I feel reconnected with Swatch. She has the same gentle look in her eyes and the same color of fur, save for her beige blotches. This is the first time for me to have a dog in my family come after I've learned a bit more about the proper way to treat and understand dogs (and possibly the last dog ever before I move out). I'm afraid that it may be a long way until I develop enough confidence in myself to remedy our relationship with our other three dogs (they're treated well and fed well, but we don't get to walk them and train them) but for now, as selfish and self-centered as the reasons may be, I feel like I'm finally atoning for the neglect I couldn't help but allow towards all the dogs we've had by taking care of her the best I can.

No comments:

Post a Comment