THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 490, October 26, 2008
"Cast a blank."
Attribute to the Libertarian Enterprise
A few months ago I had to put my pug to sleep. I did not expect to be so upset about it, but I was. Very upset. I was reminded of Rudyard Kipling's poem, "The Power of the Dog," which reads:
Kipling knew of which he wrote.
My pug, Norman, made it to three-and-one-half years old. He had been born with a liver shunt, which is a vein that loops around the liver so that the blood is not totally detoxified. It can be surgically repaired, but the mortality rate is at least 20%. Many vets opt for non-surgical treatment, which is what I did.
He probably should have died before he was one, but I kept him going for a lot longer. And he was a perfect example of what Henry Ward Beecher meant when he wrote, "The dog is the God of frolic." He was unendingly amusing. Most pugs are.
By three-and-one-half, though, he was having seizures and kidney failure, and had developed a tumor pressing on his heart and lungs. He was alivebarelyand the quality of life was non-existent. So I made what turned out to be the hardest decision of my life.
Even now I do not understand how I could be so attached to a dog, especially one as completely stupid as he was. Pugs aren't the brightest dogs, but my God, Norman had the IQ of a turnip. But I had raised him from a ten-week-old puppy, and he slept with me every night. (I told people, women came and went, but Norman always stayed).
It's the rage today to put down America and Western culture in general. But living in it, I was allowed to have a dog, one that got treated like a baby. Which Americans generally do to their pets.
A few years ago, in China, a young girl died of rabies after being bitten by a stray dog. The police responded by killing every dog for miles around30,000 of them, most of them beaten to death. Say what you will about America, but what happened in China doesn't happen here. I can't imagine it ever happening. If it ever did...then it wouldn't be America anymore.
I didn't have Norman long enough. Not nearly long enough, since pugs live to be about 14. But I'd do it again.
I wish I knew who wrote it, but I don't. It's a good way to end the article, though.
"The are your friend, your partner, your protector. You are their life, their love, their leader. They will be yours, faithful and true...to the last beat of their heart. We owe it to them to be worthy of such devotion."