PEPSI, his lesson to us.

What, you would ask, could we possibly learn from a tiny little dog after such a tiny little life. Pepsi was born somewhere and when he was still less than a month old, he was left with his sister Fanta, his brother and another sibling in the temple compound of Wat Wang Pong, like so many others before him and like so many others will be.

I found them near the puppy pen and immediately put them in with the 3 puppies who were there already. One of the new ones was found dead very shortly afterwards. The next time I visited, I saw to my horror that Ma Pa, the big black boy from the other litter, had taken Pepsi in his mouth and was shaking him furiously. I never saw a puppy attack another puppy this way. Or was it play. I did not wait to find out. Ma Pa was banned from the puppy pen and the puppies found some peace. Earlier on I had found one of the first litter lying in the pen, cold and lifeless. But I rushed him to the vet who tried to save him. He did not survive. I assumed he had been attacked by Ma Pa as well, but that would have been his brother.

The first three had by now received their vaccinations and their boosters, so the monk and I decided they could roam around freely. But Pepsi, his brother and sister Fanta were still too young to be set free. Unfortunately, the monk decided that, although they had not had any vaccinations yet, they could also be let out of the pen. I shall never know what made these puppies ill. They then did have their first vaccination. Was it too early? Should the vet have checked their health first?  One vet said they all had blood parasites, most likely from the mother who must have had blood parasites. Or should they have stayed in isolation like the others until after their boosters. They had severe anaemia. Whatever the reason, they all three died. The slightly bigger white brother all by himself in the temple compound, Pepsi at the house of friends after only one day, despite all their efforts to put him on a drip and to stay up with him all night and give him that tiny bit of loving and care and Fanta, the sister, who was at  my own house for almost a week, before she sadly died too. It is heartbreaking to see young puppies with that look in their eyes, knowing they are not able to go on. I saw it before with PomPom and others. Pepsi was buried at the temple to be with his brother and Fanta was buried in my garden where she had grown accustomed to feel safe, even if for such a short time only.

What we learn from a puppy like Pepsi or Fanta is that life is so very frail, brittle and fragile, but that it makes such an impact on those who happen to cross paths with them.