A Mother’s Grief
The killing of Mamma dog reminded me of a news story I ran across last December in Welcome Bay, New Zealand. It is a sad and painful story, which is why I decided not to write about it.
But I guess I should now.
Maybe I will feel better.
Just before Christmas, a resident of Welcome Bay in New Zealand was woken in the middle of the night to a sorrowful howling. When he investigated, he found a dog along an estuary frantically carrying dead puppies in her mouth. It appears someone had taken her puppies, stuffed them in a shopping bag, and flung them into the water.
The mother dog was frantically pulling her dead, two-day old pups out of the water – crying and pacing up and down the banks obviously searching for others, or consumed in grief.
The local SPCA retrieved the mother dog and the dead puppies. While at their shelter, she howled for 12 straight days. The SPCA knew who owned the dog but they could not prove the owners were the ones that killed her pups.
It was a deliberate act of cruelty. And the pictures and mental images of the mother dog in throws of grief and panic really drove an electric shock through my body.
Animals are quite capable of forming a bond that transcends the simple need for food and shelter. There are tales and tales of loyal dogs that wait until death for their owners to return…stories and stories of lost dogs finding their owners after many miles and many years. Oh I am sure naturalists, behaviorists, and biologists will argue its all instinct. But I fail to believe that a scientific notion explains it.
When you strike out at a living being, especially a mother with their young, you are striking out at the most powerful force on earth. Love. Shooting Mamma dog with one day old pups was showing contempt of Love. We humans are so dependent on Love that my mind just – stops – when I try to reason on why some people would strike out against it in such a cruel manner. Two entities were destroyed here; a mother and her children. Doesn’t matter what the species.
And don’t think for a minute that grief is an emotion strictly reserved for humans.
The mother dog in New Zealand was called Faith. Her original owners wanted her back but they failed to pay the fines for letting her run loose (and probably afraid to come forward in case of any further investigation in the drowning of the puppies). Faith was put up for adoption and is now residing in a good home far, far away from Welcome Bay, NZ.
At least Faith found Love. Faith’s puppies didn’t. Mamma and her pups didn’t. Somebody made damn sure of that.
And for the record, I don’t feel any better.
A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them. ~Victor Hugo
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