Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mighty Hercules: The Story of a Mexican Puppy

The day started out normally: two hours setting up, enjoying, and dismantling the apparatus for the dog agility club we run in Colima, the town in Mexico where I live. I took lots of photos for a happy blog post. From there, my assistant Marissa and I planned a quick trip to her house for her computer, then lunch, and later back to my house. She would do some routine promotional tweeting while I wrote the post about the dog agility club. On the way to her house, we stopped to take photos of dogs up for adoption (we do this every Saturday). That’s when the day, the post, and maybe our lives took a turn.

Meet Hercules

A woman arrived with a dehydrated, malnourished very young puppy. After some back and forth, we left to take him to the vet. I was already planning the blog post about the rescue, complete with photos. In the taxi, Marissa and I named the little guy Hercules, to give him strength. His heart was strong and he didn’t seem to have any obvious maladies. We would get him fixed up, and bring him back for adoption the following Saturday.

The vet treated him with antibiotics and parasite medication, and we bought him vitamins and a special food for severely malnourished dogs. We stopped at a Kiosko (the Mexican owned equivalent of a 7-11) for electrolytes. I took some pictures of Marissa sitting on the curb pouring drops of liquid into Hercules’ mouth. The little guy gurgled and swallowed, then fell sound asleep. The rescue post was taking shape in my mind, complete with opening sentences. As we waited for a taxi to take us to Marissa’s house (she would take the first shift caring for Hercules), we talked about our vision of his participating in dog agility with us in a few months. We realized at the same moment that one of us would adopt him. I walked a few feet ahead toward a waiting cab, and then Marissa called out to me.

The Rest of Hercules' Story

Hercules’ heart had stopped beating. We sat and held him. I’ll admit that at this point, I wasn’t thinking about blogging. Marissa asked if we could bury Hercules in the garden next to the agility club grass. We stopped on the way and bought a beautiful plant with variegated leaves. We dug a deep hole, wrapped the little body in a paper towel shroud, and covered it with two shovels of dirt and a few pottery shards. Then we positioned the plant and filled in the rest of the hole. And I came home and wrote this post.

Woo Woo

If you're not into woowoo, you may want to stop reading now. The story of Mighty Hercules happened yesterday. I woke up this morning with the presence of his spirit. This has happened to me before, with a few very ill dogs whom I've helped to mercifully euthanize. I see a clear image of them dancing in a meadow, or greeting each other doggy style. Welcome to doggy heaven!

This morning was different. Hercules was huge, like the god he was named for. His presence was shining like the sun. The moment felt epic, like a myth or a Biblical moment. I realized that our puppy Hercules was God himself.

Some are waiting for Jesus to return. Some await some other form of Apocalypse. I present to you the notion that we're already here. Each being on the planet IS God, the whole holy shmoly Universal Spirit. Hercules came into my life and reminded me of that simple truth. That he died isn't sad. That he lived is joyous. That Marissa and I were given the gift of making his last moments contented is miraculous.

Thank you for sharing with me in the story of Mighty Hercules! I look forward to our conversation.



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  1. Thats a great story. Thanks for shareing. Any story about a dog is great

    1. Thanks English! (Would you prefer I use another name for you?)

      I bet your retrievers are beautiful! Wow!

      Marissa and I benefited at least as much as Mighty Hercules from our brief time together. Each time we do agility, I look at his plant and remember him with a smile.