Saturday, 9 October 2010

Nabi Goes

Nabi Dog is the spunky, feisty little greyhound, the darker and smaller of the starving pair who showed up here in January, rescued from a ditch alongside the highway. Her "sister" Lulu is much more refined and retiring, afraid of everything. Nabi doesn´t like strangers, but when she´s among family she´s a pushy broad. At dinnertime, and in the morning when it´s time for everyone to get up, she is out in the patio leaping ´round the flowerbeds, shouting out the "woo woo woo" that brands her forever a hound-dog.

I´ve told her a thousand times that no hound-dogs are allowed in the house, but she tries her luck every time the front door is left open. She´d dearly love to be a house dog, but no dice. Two dogs in here is enough. And with her extra-long whip of a tail, a joyfully wagging Nabi is a destructive force.

Nabi´s not quite so fast as Lulu, but when they´re out in the fields chasing one another, the mirror-image Galgo Girls are never more than a meter or so apart from one another. They are a perfect pas de deux, and at 15 mph., a breathtaking sight.

On Thursday they hunted critters together in the woods alongside the camino into Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. Nabi killed at least two field mice. Together the galgos ignored us when we called them back to the car. And when we finally got everyone home, the two of them slipped out the gate. Paddy went to feed them dinner, and found the barn empty.

He stepped into the dusk and called to them.
Only Lulu appeared. Very strange, that. Very wrong.

It was a long night. Friday morning I took my spyglasses and the car, and went looking for naughty Nabi.

It took a while, but I found her.

I found her body. Lying along the edge of the A231 autopista, at the foot of the same roadside rabbit warren that so tempted Una a couple of years ago, was a greyhound carcass the same size as Nabi, wearing the same kind of collar.
She was not mutilated or messy.
She was elegantly posed, long legs outstretched, as if she was sunning herself on the patio.
The highway gave her to us. The highway took her away, just a few hundred meters west. 

A part of me started to cry, and didn´t stop for a long time.
Some other part of me marched back to the house, told Patrick the news.
"Nabi is dead," I said, and somehow that made it so. We loaded a sheet and a shovel into the back of the car, and drove back to the autopista to collect her.

Together, with a pick and shovel, we buried her body out back. We put a seedling tree in the hole with her, so something good might come of it. Una and Tim and Murphy stood by in the tall grass, watching solemnly while we worked and wept.

Lulu stayed in the barn. In the night she cried. Tim went out and slept on the greyhound sofa with her, in Nabi´s spot.

Lulu is confused. Maybe she is lonely or sad, but who can tell what is going on in her tiny brain? She asks for more of our attention. She walks more sweetly on the lead. We wonder if we should go ahead and let this hound dog in the house, give her the gift of human company we denied to Nabi.
But Lulu doesn´t want to come inside, even though Una and Tim stay in here. Lulu lives in the barn, in the "Greyhound Lounge." That is where she wants to be.

I project my grief onto Lulu´s slender shoulders. I know Nabi´s troubles are over. She probably never knew what hit her, out there on the highway in the dark. It´s little Lulu who makes me feel the most sad.

I must learn to live without one of my pets. 
Lulu must learn to live without her shadow.   


kim said...

I am so sorry for your family's loss. Nabi was a very sweet greyhound, and one who will not be forgotten by ridgeback owner who had the real pleasure of meeting her, and being greeted with her hound calling.

Anonymous said...

I remember feeding those two, and Nabi ate out of my hand...a first for me with Galgo Greyhound girls...

I wonder who will come next to grace the Peaceable...?


ksam said...

God I am so sorry. Its hard to believe the hole they can leave in our lives and hearts when they go. Thinking and praying fo of all of you, Peace, Karin

Lynne said...

I'm terribly sorry to hear of Nabi's death. It's a heartache for sure - my thoughts are with you.

Caroline said...

I am so sorry. It is always hard to lose a pet, and greys are particularly wonderful dogs. I have had three ex-racers. When I lost my male to leukemia, my shih tzu rescue slept next to his kennel in the pantry for hours every day for almost four months. Clearly he was mourning--he normally avoided the pantry-- although it had never been apparent that they had a close relationship.

Sil said...

I lost a treasured friend today
The little dog who used to lay
Her gentle head upon my knee
And share her silent thoughts with me...
She'll come no longer to my call
Retrieve no more her favorite ball
A voice far greater than my own
Has called her to His golden throne.
Although my eyes are filled with tears,
I thank Him for the happy years
He let her spend down here with me
And for her love and loyalty.
When it is time for me to go
And join her there, this much I know...
I shall not fear the transient dark
For she will greet me with her bark.
Author Unknown

Mujerárbol said...

Que triste, Reb. Pero Nabi ha muerto a causa de su libertad, un lujo al alcance de pocos galgos privilegiados, teniendo en cuenta el final que suelen darles "sus dueños" por estas tierras.
¿Qué haré yo cuando tenga que irse mi gato?

Casdok said...

Very sad am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

Such comings and goings....

Meseta life has you on the rough edge of the knife for now. But you gave her the best life she ever knew. The sadness will ebb away...

and coming down the road will be another chance for you to be what you are. Kind loving caring people who have hearts of enormous capacity for generosity. A Great Pyrenees perhaps in your future???

In the donation box you will find dog treats for all !

Hope the sun shines on you all day.


CaroleH said...

I found this little poem after our Scruffy dog died a few years ago and it's been stuck on the fridge ever since........ here's part of it for you Reb . . . .

"My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

I'll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for, . .

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he'd keep on gazing at me
with a look reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the the autonomy
of their shameless spirit. . . . . .Pablo Neruda