I shot my own dog
When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find - it's your own affair, -
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear
Well that’s one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
I have only just replied to a comment by Chris in which I said that Dinge, after looking as though he was improving last night, had taken a drastic turn for the worse this morning but that I would have to wait until Marcia got back from town so that she could take Alex and the two other dogs for a walk while I took Dinge down to the pond and let him relax a bit.
Then I heard Dinge whining desperately. He was in agony and was trying to crawl up to my door. From both ends he was leaking an evil smelling slough. I dug out the pistol, loaded it and told the workers to distract Alex by taking him down to the river. I then carried Dinge down to the pond and sat with him for a bit, stroking him and telling him what a good boy he was and what fun we would have had hunting together. I thanked him for his wonderful company and told him how Dominic, who had saved his life, really loved him. I reminded him of all the feral pigs he had flushed and how sorry I was that he never got laid. Then I shot him.
I sat with him for a while and smoked a few cigarettes, all the while stroking him. It took a long time for his eyes to glaze over. Apart from the small hole in his head, he just looked as though he was having a kip in the grass.
Alex came back and found me in my room with tears streaming down my face. ‘Are you hurt?’ He asked. ‘O Dinge Morreu’ I told him. ‘Vamos jogar Football?’ he replied. Yes son, I thought, let’s have a good kick around.
Alex may be refreshingly innocent but I haven’t a clue what I will say to the boy who rescued Dinge from the jaws of death. ‘Where’s my dog, Daddy?’ ‘I had to shoot him, Dominic’
Now that I have calmed down a bit, I suppose I had better wrap him in my shirt and bury him. Poor little bugger.
One of the labourers said, derisively, that he had never seen a man cry over the death of a dog so I decked him and gave him a good kicking, playing football with his head while he was down.
All the Angolans marvelled at how well trained and loyal my dogs are, or in Dinge’s case, were. How they follow me everywhere, even to the extent of chasing my truck all the way to the main road and then when I accelerated away on the smooth black top, waiting there until I came back. Instead of tying them up or beating them all the time I loved them and they reciprocated. The guy I beat up said he was going to the police, as if I could give a shit. I heard one of his mates remonstrate with him saying how could he be so stupid to say what he did, didn’t he know that for white people, dogs are pets (animais de estimacão), part of the family?
Anyway, I think I have calmed down now so if you will all excuse me, I have to bury Dominic's dog. By the pond I think. That’ll be a good place. I like to go there to watch the birds come in of an evening and Dinge liked to go there to chase them, the little bugger.
A post script a couple of hours later.
This was his favourite place...
Alex was pretty subdued...
And Three tried to dig Dinge up again.