How Much is a Life Worth?

I sometimes get discouraged about French Bulldog rescue.

I sometimes feel like all we’re doing is sticking our fingers in the dike, while the water pours over the wall in spite of us. I can’t look at a classified ad or open my email with seeing a French Bulldog for sale at auction, or abandoned, or one who has been through unspeakable cruelty. Sometimes, I feel like all I ever write about are dead dogs, dying dogs, dogs for whom we couldn’t do enough, in time, to save their lives. Sometimes I worry that writing about dead dogs is going to make everyone who reads this blog so depressed and discouraged that they’re just going to look at that wall of water, and say ‘let it pour, I’ve done all that I can do’.

Sometimes, I worry that I’ll walk away with them.

Every once in a while, though, we all do make a difference, even if it’s just for one single dog. Take Holmes, for example.

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Cinco De Mayo

TessaTessa – Beloved now and forever.

Saying Goodbye to Lola

Occasionally, I have the great privilege of placing a dog with someone who seems to have been custom crafted for just that single, unique, particular dog.  Among dog people, we sometimes refer to that once in a lifetime dog as our ‘heart dog‘. I don’t really know of a better way to describe it – this is the dog who occupies a special place inside of our hearts. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that we don’t love all of our dogs, and it’s not even about loving that one dog more than we love the other ones (no matter how many other ones there might be).  It’s something different – something ineffable. After a while, we you’ve seen or known those two beings together, they become so enmeshed that their names almost start to run together (CharlotteHammer, comes to mind, and for me I hope it’s CarolTessa).

In this case, it was MaggieLola, or since we had more than one Lola at the time, it was usually Maggie’sLola. That wasn’t the most accurate way of putting it, perhaps – I think maybe calling her Lola’s Maggie might have made more sense to most of the people who knew them. Technically speaking, Maggie and I ‘co owned’ Lola together (formal name, Bullmarket Chiquita Lolita), but there was never any question of who Lola belonged to (and certainly not in Lola’s mind there wasn’t). On the occasions when Lola came for a visit, she behaved something like Royalty in Exile – she knew she was better than this, and she knew that soon would come the day when she was returned to her rightful Kingdom, where her loyal subject (Maggie), was waiting to pay her homage (which she was).

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A Certain Kind of Dog

When I think of Sailor, one word comes to mind – “Barking”. She was the dog who disproved my theory that “Frenchies are sensible barkers” – a theory I published on my much read, but lamentably rarely updated “French Bulldog FAQ”. If you ended up with a barking Frenchie after having read the FAQ, my condolences, but until Sailor, all of my other dogs had been sensible about barking. Not Sailor, though – for her, barking was a recreational sport, a diversionary tactic and a life long proclivity. Sailor was to barking what Tessa was to snuggling, namely: really, really good at it.

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Sailor Girl

 

Bullmarket Roch the Boat
My Sailor Girl – Anchored in the harbor of rest.
25 Feb 1999 – 06 April 2012

 

All of My Beautiful Dogs Are Dying
– Vicki Hearne

. . . Without the beautiful dogs
No one dares to attend to desire;

The sky retreats, will intend nothing,
It is a ceiling to rebuke the gaze,
Mock the poetry of knowledge.

My death is my last acquiescence;
Theirs is the sky’s renunciation,
Proof that the world is a scattered shame

Littering the heavens. The new dogs
Start to arise, but the sky must go
Deeply dark before the stars appear.