Doggie Wishes and Muffled Cries

AnnieI came home after running around this morning and the house was quiet…no Annie peering expectantly from her crate, NEEDING me, only 4 puppies at the gate NEEDING me. It felt good. I miss Annie but I feel glad to be out from under the weight of her need. She is working hard in her new home – her world has been turned upside down and it will take her some time to get her bearings. But it is better for her there then in my basement wanting so much when I haven’t got it to give. I keep sending her warm feelings, doggy wishes, messages from my heart without words. I think about the feeling I had watching her run run run in the yard and send her that sense of exhilaration. I think about her warm eyes as she looked at me late at night when all the work was done and it was just the two of us and send her that tenderness. I think about the way she tried so hard to fit into my life and send her that determination. It is all I can do for her.
It is a relief though, to have that had work behind me.

pups 1-3-09
Last night I was woken from a deep sleep with a sound I had not heard the entire time Annie and her pups have been here. It was a low, mournful, tiny howl. Dogs howl to regroup when they are separated from the pack and one of the final four, I don’t know who, was expressing his or her awareness that things had changed and that half of the pack was missing. It was a heartbreaking sound and I almost couldn’t stand it. My mind and heart instantly labeled it as grief and I had to stop myself from making up a story about how lonely the pups who had left where, how much everyone missed one another, how things shouldn’t have worked out this way..but did. I do this thing where I try to image how things should be, if we humans hadn’t intervened. And if these dogs were in the wild they wouldn’t be separating now…but then again, if Annie hadn’t been picked up by animal control these pups would have frozen to death. It is easy to romanticize “nature” but nature is a harsh place. If the litter had survived the cold and if they were magically somehow in a land without cars or animal control agents, they would likely have lived together for a few more months before splitting up. But many would have died, there would be more and more serious fights between them for dominance and resources (like food and water) and they would be hungry and stressed. Not the happy, carefree little balls of fluff they actually are. It is vital to always remember that dogs are animals and have needs different from humans – needs to migrate (walk), needs to work for food and water, needs for a clear and understandable social hierarchy. But we have also domesticated them and they are not built to live a wild life well, nor should they. They get to be pampered and loved. But we must always try to see them for what they are, dogs, and what they are not, furry human babies.

I had to put my ear plugs in and force myself to go back to sleep. I believe the pup continued that howl for a long time for as I fell asleep I could still hear the muffled cries.

January 9, 2009 • Tags: , , • Posted in: Annie, behavior, fostering dogs, observations

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