It’s impossible to truly say what connects man with dog. It’s been tried with marginal success in a literary sense but there are only so many adjectives and emotions that can be articulated in black and white. The real essence is deeper; part biology, part sociology, part emotion, part something else that combines those and more. Whatever unnamable, maybe even transcendent (if we’re being somewhat melodramatic) thing it is, is real.
I met Sidd in front of my house not even two months ago. He was a puppy whose two other siblings had died soon after they were born. His mother, Rosy, is a tan dog with a scar on her head that makes her look tougher and less amicable than she really is. She is a sweetheart and so was Sidd.
From that moment we met in the alley there was a connection, that connection, between us. He was afraid of nearly everyone else but trusted me. I would leave the gate open and a bucket of water for him to drink from and he would wander into the house and try and chew the floor. I would pick ticks and burrs off him and he would gnaw at my hand. He would roll over so I could scratch his belly.
None of these things make this relationship special in any way. Dog and man have had these exact same interactions and connections for millennia. And that’s just it. Our psyches can be synced in an utterly uniquely conscious fashion.
So why would someone poison Sidd? I don’t have an answer for that. The only thing I can come up with is “A lot of people here don’t like dogs.” But that doesn’t do this justice and nor does it explain why Sidd, of all the annoying dogs in the neighborhood, is the one that died, and why I’m sobbing over a dog I only knew for six weeks.
Much of this is me attempting to tread a path through the emotions of finding out a companion has just died, while I was away, and there was nothing I could reasonably do about it. The other part, the harder bit that will stay with me, is seeing him coming into the house, running his weird sideways run, and flopping on the ground at my feet and realizing this won’t happen again.
There are a few things that do give me some comfort and nowhere on the list is “it’s just a dog” (please see above). Here are some:
- He was happy. This much was very clear. Although most people scared him and he didn’t like when I picked him up, you could tell he was still happy. Honestly, I don’t think this can be said for the other dogs around here.
- He was loved. Primarily by us here but also, unbeknownst to me until we confirmed what happened, by another guy in the complex where he and Rosy lived.
- He knew he was loved. I can’t say how I know this but if you understand everything I just said, then you’ll understand this.