I'm currently living in and loving the country of Botswana in Sub-Saharran Africa. I'm serving as a Community Capacity Builder for the United States Peace Corps from April 2012-June 2014 and am therefore learning more about the meaning of life, love, happiness, and peace.
I hope you enjoy my story...
I have to bury my puppy today.My confidante. My best friend.Guard dog, cuddle buddy, walking partner….my
best friend Ceasar.
Yesterday I spend the majority of the day clearing
the weeds out of my garden.As my 13
year-old neighbor Kesa made valentine’s cards in my doorway, the sun started
setting and we decided it was time to clean up and head over to Lorato’s for
dinner.As I approached the house, I
heard a scratching noise.
“Ceasar, stop it”. I yelled in the house.
It didn’t stop.
When I went inside, I found him convulsing on the
floor behind my couch in a pool of foam and feces.I didn’t know what to do.I screamed for Kesa to go get Lorato. I tried
to hold him still. I didn’t know what else to do.
Lorato came. She brought him outside and poured some
milk in his mouth with hopes that the jolting would stop.
It didn’t stop.
The entire village’s power had been out all day so I
didn’t have any network to call anyone.I felt so helpless. I didn’t know what else to do.
Lorato called the old man from the next compound
over to come and help.Though I couldn’t
understand a single word that anyone was saying, I knew it was too late.One look at poor Ceasar’s jerking body and
you knew it was too late.But some small
part of me was hoping that by an act of God or some miracle that somehow by me
holding him he would be okay.
The old man poured the rest of the milk in Ceasar’s
mouth until it started coming out his nose. His tongue was purple.Slowly, the twitching stopped.
Ceasar lied there, so present but so vacant at the
same time.His eyes were open…frightened…lifeless.
I couldn’t contain myself.I started balling. He truly was such an amazing
companion. He would cuddle with me on nights that I was feeling lonely.He would walk with me to the clinic and sit
at my feet until I had finished for the day.I wish there was more I could have done.
It must have been a show: me standing there
trembling and howling in pain, holding a flashlight down at my dead dog, hoping
beyond hope that he would stand up again.
I stayed the night at Lorato’s house. I wasn’t
hungry. Couldn’t sleep. He’s lying in a box on the porch right now, I have to
bury him. Lorato is coming over in a little bit to help me dig his grave.
We thought it was a snake bite.That somehow by me stirring up all of the
weeds in the garden I had awaken some black mamba somewhere. But when my
counterpart came over, he determined that Ceasar had eaten something extremely
poisonous and it destroyed his insides.
Now how am I going to sleep alone?How will I ever express how much this hurts
to the other people in the village, when they see dogs here as simply another