I want to talk about my son. He is a German shepherd with hip dysplasia, and it’s been really bad this last one week.
2015 was a bit of a bumpy year. At some point I decided (or realised, I’m never quite sure which word is more appropriate in the course of human life), that no human being was going to be able to fill the emptiness inside me, unless I changed myself considerably and I met such a human being, who had to be very very special, the chances of this happening were exceedingly small. I was tired of feeling alone and of the few things I ‘knew’, ‘being with a dog’ was one of them, for that was true being for me. I think dogs are the most special of all, they’re not intellectually smart, sure, but that level of sensitivity and openness, along with a fundamental understanding (albeit unconscious) of human emotion (because we have evolved together for thousands of years) is almost supernatural. To cut a long story short, I moved out, for the first and only time in my life (my parents could not fathom or appreciate this decision), with two puppies, a Rottweiler, Marla (named after one of my favourite characters from Fight Club, Marla Singer), and a German shepherd, Light (named after Light Yagami from the manga series, Death Note, who I was temporarily in love with).
Light had clearly been the runt of his litter, the last one to go, had obviously been with a terrible breeder (this was when I started to research the condition of animals in the 21st century, was absolutely traumatised, and some major changes followed). One of the best people I know, my friend, who is also (and not coincidentally) a great musician and guitar player had driven me to the breeder. There were two GSD puppies, one was very active, playful, the other was quiet, with an ugly scab on his tail, and the brightest eyes I have ever seen. I couldn’t decide so I asked my friend, who had no doubt in his mind that bright eyes was the one. I took the babe in my arms and so began one of the most beautiful relationships of my life. It took a couple of years for him to become confident, he grew into a handsome fellow, strong, the right sort of aggressive. He behaves like my man, male and female dogs are extremely different in temperament, as is to be expected, he is protective and singularly loves me, the sort of love I could only dream of receiving from a human male. I’ve not had much of a father’s love as I grew up, have not felt protected, my brother of course compensated for that as much as any brother could, but this little guy is mine, all mine. Am I being self centred, no, I have brought him up to be as free as can be. Yes I have had to take decisions for him, getting him neutered was one such and still causes me pain, but I had to be logical and unemotional when I made the decision, he cannot control his instinct and I cannot look after any more dogs, and there are already too many homeless dog-children out there. It’s the same reason I would never have a kid. His love is free-willed and that is why it is so beautiful.
So now, when I see him hobbling in pain, because human beings manufactured a breed with an inherent malfunction, and everything I’m trying (medicines, natural supplements, exercising his joints, love), is not working, it just breaks my heart to pieces. If you’re reading this, perhaps you might send him your love?