For Namingo

PetsDogs

  • Author Kyle Jack
  • Published April 23, 2023
  • Word count 2,152

I’ll never forget finding you in a ditch and you were so happy despite that, your tail wagging so hard it might have fallen off, eyes bright with hope and my heart melted as I petted your smooth fur. You were small but not tiny, almost tall enough to be medium-sized, of a lean build and with a mostly light brown coat with some white in it. What your breed was we didn’t know and we didn’t inspect closely, thought you were a male at first.

I was with friends who lived on a farm, I lived in town, but was so close to them they were like a second family. I spent so much time out at their farm and convinced them they needed her and we should take her home and she could be theirs, so we did that.

They called her Namingo which I initially heard as Damingo but was then corrected it was Namingo and, in time, someone from another farm told us she was female. They ended up getting a second dog named Banjo, a little black thing that had a natural instinct to herd their cows so they liked him more, Namingo might have actually chased them. She may have even had a smell to her, poor thing, living in a culvert. It’s hard to remember the details back that far, I was a teenager then. Self-awareness was not mine and I would have considered myself a good person at that time.

When it comes to wrongdoing, there are two ways of going about it: doing it on purpose, fully aware of what you’re doing or being too stupid to realize the harm you’re committing to an animal or person or thing. Well, some are both stupid and evil but we weren’t aware of exactly what we had done to little Namingo and it took decades later for it to really hit me.

One day, I don’t know if they even had her for a year but it was probably around that time, perhaps a little more or a little less.

I’ll never forget their mom standing in the kitchen of their country home, “I don’t want her.”

So it fell onto me and the oldest of the kids who was a couple years older than me, to deal with her. Neither one of us could shoot her so we took her off into the country to abandon her. She probably sat on my lap in the red pickup truck we drove and I’ll never forget her face, the forlorn look in her eyes as she trotted after us as we drove away and left her there, that sweet little dog that did no harm and loved everyone as all dogs do, and needed love and a caring home as all dogs do.

Pretty sure I leaned ahead to look out of the passenger side mirror to see her galloping in the dust kicked up by the truck on that lonely dirt road.

For how long did you run? Did you stay in that spot thinking we’d return to get you?

As I said I was a teenager at the time, I might not even have been old enough to drive and was a hot mess at that age, with a million and one distractions so that I didn’t think about it. None of us did, this is not some indictment against the family or the mom or the oldest boy, all of whom I was friends with. We didn’t realize what we had done.

Normally, I hate telling people what to do and hate being told what to do myself but, sometimes, there’s exceptions.

DON’T ABANDON ANIMALS.

Ever.

A dog would never abandon a human, Namingo would have never done that to us. We found her in a ditch, gave her a home and then abandoned her. This was worse than if we had just killed her, quickly and mercifully, or taken her to the vet and had her put to sleep, staying by her side while she passed. But we didn’t think of such things in those days, no one did.

We didn’t think.

My family had a dog of our own, can’t remember if I asked them if we could take her or not or if I just didn’t bother, knowing what the answer would have been.

It was decades later when it not only hit me but I also learned that dogs are developmentally at the same stage as 4-year-old children, psychologically and emotionally they are in that place, with no self-awareness everything is feeling with them and what is more noble than a dog? In the true sense of the word, what in the history of Creation has ever been made with a bigger heart than a dog?

And what horrible fate did we unknowingly condemn Namingo to? Did she keep running till her good heart was ready to burst then return to that spot? How long did she stay there thinking we’d come back to get her: betrayed, frightened and confused; wondering what she’d done wrong? Was she attacked by another animal like a coyote? Did she go to a farm yard to be attacked by a farmer’s dog or shot? Did she get run over or starve to death? For a dog that lives such a short life time moves slower, how long of an eternity did you wait? Thinking your masters would come back for you. Who knows what horrors she may have experienced?

She did nothing wrong.

Namingo, you did nothing wrong.

It’s not your fault and you did nothing wrong. I’m sorry, Namingo.

I’m so sorry, Namingo.

I’m sorry, Namingo.

This whole thing was entirely my fault, they hadn’t said anything about wanting a dog, I had suggested they get one. We brought her back to their farm because of me, it’s entirely my fault and you can blame me.

I’ve often wondered about doing the right thing, not just in this instance but in countless others and in the future. What is the right thing to do? And what if I do the wrong thing by accident.

To the creature upon whom horror is inflicted, it doesn’t matter whether you did it on purpose or because you were stupid, the effect on them is the same.

We have brought dogs out of the wilderness along with ourselves, civilized them along with ourselves, given them homes and taken away their abilities to survive in the wilds only to abandon them?

Do I deserve to be abandoned because of what I did to Namingo? Yes, yes I do.

And I want the world to end, better that just all life should be wiped out then there can be no more cruelty.

Better still we abandon city and farm, return to the tribe and harmonize in violence with nature. Killing for Life, never will I go vegan for it is the realm of the sick: both of body and mind. However, life is worse than death without a quick and painless method, torturing is a deeper circle. Barbarians do terrible things to survive; neglecting, abusing, abandoning and torturing animals is not one of them, and neither children. Orphans do not exist in survivalism. If both parents die the rest of the village will raise the child, will be the family. And there is no slaughtering of the unborn in such a state.

The former of these scenarios is more likely to happen. I wish we could leave the unnecessary complexity behind and plunge back into a wild life but our world will end first. Our contradictory civilized world and the objectively awful things that it forces humanity into. Some good things have come of it, outweighed completely by its darkness. It makes us all stupid, dishonest, insane, degenerate and evil well, the Noble Savage is the ghost of dust without a scent, blown on winds from a cool woman. The Mask will, inevitably, fall.

You don’t abandon a child and you don’t abandon an animal you’ve given a home to and made your pet. I have my own dog now and have had him for years and would never leave him behind. I do everything in my power to spoil him rotten and make sure he lives like a king no, an emperor, he must live better than me and I would never do to another dog or animal what I did to poor, little Namingo. She didn’t deserve that. Now, whenever I see what looks to be a stray dog running around or see or hear of some other cruel act done to an animal, I think of Namingo.

We abandoned a child that day, all those decades ago. Left a good soul, better than the soul of any human, sentenced her to a solitary back road.

My friend that I abandoned her with was, as I said, a couple years older than me and thus a little more aware of things and smarter than me, so he understood a bit more what we were doing and it wasn’t some random place we left her.

We drove probably 45 minutes away, far enough she would not find her way back but not far up the road from relatives of his. He was not pure evil, most of us aren’t, most humans aren’t.

He said something like, “Figured I’d drop her off close to their house.”

The idea being that, hopefully, she’d go to their farm and they’d take her in and give her a loving, forever home.

Ultimate reality was if she didn’t die from another animal or a bullet or an accident or starvation or something else; it was the summertime, was actually a bright, sun-shining day when we left her. What if she survived till winter? The harsh, brutal winters where I lived. If none of these things killed her she died from a broken heart.

I wish I could reach back through time and save you, Namingo. Go back and beat my teenage self senseless and make him see what he was about to do. Or go back, reach back through an epoch of several decades and lift you out of that darkness, pick you up as soon as that truck was out of sight so those horrible feelings don’t last. Pluck her like an angel, I am the polar opposite of angel but the act is good. Butterfly effect be damned.

What are time loops anyways but endless and numerous things? New parallel and alternate realities. You can have this horrible one, I’ll bring her to my own reality which will remain untouched. She can come home to stay with me, forever. You can live with me and my other dog. We will break cycles of cruelty.

And it’s not out of selfishness this desire, altruism doesn’t really exist but I don’t want to do this to feel better and so I can no longer be haunted by her memory. She was a good soul, there are no bad dogs only bad people. The mightiest of rulers cannot rival the true nobility of these creatures and what does dog spell backwards?

No animal gets left behind. Evacuations are for everyone, especially pets. If a situation arises that absolutely requires this then a quick, painless death is merciful next to the infinite vagaries that can be experienced.

I would seek out a powerful wizard or sorceress and pay them to use their powers to go back and rescue Namingo but that’s impossible. Not only has almost all the magic in the world died but, without any personal affects of hers like her hair, this is impossible. Maybe I could get someone to scry and find the dog who’s body her soul now occupies and make sure she has a good home, if not then I will adopt her, permanently.

But, again, I don’t have anything personal of hers.

Only her name.

Namingo.

You’re a good dog.

I love you.


And what of the ugly dogs, the old dogs, dogs who’s owners have died, dogs who’s owners have had kids, stolen dogs, lost dogs, the dogs that ran away; what of dogs with disabilities.

The dog that gets thrown away says, “Where are you going? Please don’t leave me out here. I can’t survive on my own, come back. Please! You are my world. I don’t know what I did wrong but I swear I’ll be a good dog. Please come back! Oh please, come back!”

Children, Animals and the Unborn have no voice.

Will you be their Voice?

Kyle Jack is the author of this article. You can write an article too and you, and only you, can put out forest fires.

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