by John M. Joyce (March 2009)
Let me take you back in time to a very early and cold morning in late autumn eighteen years ago. In a filthy, aged, badly maintained barn deep in the English countryside a poodle bitch, old before her time, is stretched out on a disgustingly dirty heap of ancient straw. She is newly dead and surrounded by seven living puppies of about fourteen weeks. In life she had had no name for she had been a puppy-farm bitch – just like the nineteen other poodle bitches in that awful place. All she had ever known was that draughty and disgusting barn and the squalid cobbled exercise yard just outside. more>>>
Beautifully written, from the brutal realities of puppy farms, to a dog's exceptional ability to follow his/her nose in its blind will to survive, it's unexpected encounter with the sharpness of industrialisation, its innocently taking the milk of human kindness for granted, to its implication that there exists a benevolent guardian of man's best friend.
Dogs have been part of my life; I can't imagine being without one. Among other things, dogs have taught me the value of being loyal to the one I love, as well as an astonishing respect for canines.
At the moment, I have a three-year-old Maltese whose every movement fascinates me. The image of someone kicking a small, harmless, hungry and wounded dog revolts me.
Also, I suspect a second reading will harvest the symbolism of a flight for freedom and and meaning.
Thank you, John.
An unbearably poignant tale. Poor little puppy, but glad it ended well. And if those evil bastards with beards treat dogs like that, what hope is there for them?