TALES OF REAL DOGS: DIRKA
At home we had a German Shepherd, which we call Dirka. First she was a honey-colored puppy and as it grew a white mane like a lion was born. We felt it as part of our family and slept under our beds.
She was a quiet bitch who did not bark at visitors or strangers. When we went to the beach in Dad's truck I tied it with a rope so that it would not scare other children and adults who sunbathed or splashed near the shore. Then she would shake and take a nap under the truck.
When we went to the field or the beach she already knew and before us to mount the baskets with the food she was already located in the back part of the vehicle as if sensing that we were going on an excursion or somewhere where she could run freely.
She was a persistent and vigilant guardian, when my father came to lunch she would stand by the door of the truck and would not accept anyone approaching except Dad.
When the time of heat arrived, the house was filled with small dogs from the street that entered the garage seduced by the scent that Dirka distilled and were attracted like bees to flowers. But she, proud, did not pay any attention to them, because it seems that she was waiting for her ideal partner. Until we brought a dog from a neighbor, also German Shepherd and then she accepted him. I listened to the coupling but was ashamed to look. I only heard the male factor emit whistles of pleasure. From Dirka: silence.
Several years passed and one morning our beloved bitch woke up lying in the yard. I had seizures from time to time.
- They poisoned her. They poisoned her!
We all surround her with tears in our eyes. Dad said:
-Is not that. It is that she reached the end of her life. It is simply dying.
-It can not be- I said.
-Dirka. Get up. Look at a cat.
Our dog got up and trotted or jumped into the garage and collapsed there.
-I'm sorry children but Dirka is dead.
In that my niece who was our neighbor and was in adolescence-much love to give and much to receive-came and hugged the bitch sobbing-and with effort he carried her in his arms as if a human being or a beloved child were treated.
At the end of the day we wrapped Dirka in an old blanket and took her in the van outside the city. The whole family was with her to give her last goodbye.
We buried her under a ceiba tree so no one would scratch, animal or person, discover her bones.
We went home quietly. Nobody spoke.
When you are young you learn from these things, that nothing is forever and that sooner or later all the loved ones leave.
AUTHOR: Orlando Vicente Alvarez
Author of the novel: HISTORIA DE UN NIÑO GUANTANAMERO.