I think dogs, compared to us humans, are doubly lucky.
Their life expectancy, which is certainly shorter than ours, frees us from the serious concern that we would have, if it were the other way around, about their fate after our departure.
– Considering then that, if all goes well, the Toy Poodle could live to be over 18 years old, this is one of the reasons why I push to reflect when people who are very advanced in age come to me. –
But in my opinion, the greatest fortune they have concerns the much discussed for us Italian humans, a matter of the end of life.
Yesterday a beautiful puppy was born.
So small, perfect in proportions and with a light apricot color.
Her little brothers are well, but she seems, as soon as she has come to light, to have an abdominal problem. An umbilical hernia that, with the passage of a few hours, turned into a real disaster.
The puppy is, however, a fighter: she survives the wait for the vet to finish helping her mother (at her first experience and uncooperative) with the last brothers who are late to arrive.
The little girl complains and the tension is palpable, but as soon as the birth is over, by mutual agreement we try (or rather, the vet tries) everything possible to save her, if not only to pay homage to her desire to live.
She is rushed to surgery, aware that an anesthesia on a little body of a few hours could be fatal to her.
The little girl proves to be a true warrior! Betraying the most nefarious expectations, she incredibly wakes up; as if to tell the world that she is there and has no intention of leaving.
She is immediately returned with her little brothers and her mother, after a short hesitation, begins to look after her with love as if nothing had happened.
In the evening, however, that little body starts to give up, being a warrior no longer interests her, perhaps because she knows that life may have nothing good to reserve for her.
I tell this story, rather than others equally painful – indeed certainly more – just because it is the most recent and is the one that still burns strongly.
This morning, with a heavy soul but with a little more lucidity, I wonder if trying to save her was the right choice, regardless of the final outcome.
Dazzled by her desire to fight, I decided to try but if she had survived, now I am sure, I would have been wrong anyway.
In these circumstances, what must be guaranteed to our inseparable friends is always and only the quality of their lives.
Without addressing bigger ethical issues than me, however, I wonder how many of us, if we could choose, would prefer a life of suffering?
As painful as it is and as insuperable as this pain may seem, we must learn to step aside for once and have the courage to let them go..