DAY 189: DO YOU REMEMBER CORDELIA FROM INDIA?
Some sad news on Cordelia, the blind dog that I kind of fell in love with in India.
This is my last day in the Philippines and tomorrow I will give you some better news but in the meantime I got a few emails asking about Cordelia the poor pup in India that I wrote about a while back and I wanted to update you.
I’ve been in touch with Avis, the inspirational woman from the ARK, many time over the last few months. She’s had a fairly rough ride of late and maybe one day I’ll be able to tell you about it but she’s back at the helm again now and her daughter, Odette, has joined her for support.
I’m afraid that Cordelia got put down yesterday.
She had been diagnosed as fully blind and was continuing to be bullied by the puppies. She was placed into her own space but then started fitting repeatedly and the decision was made that given all the circumstances and her health it would be kinder to put her to sleep.
I feel terrible. And I also feel I have let her down. I am sure I could have done more.
I got the news on my phone today and sat where I was for a number of minutes, pressing a pause button in my head so that I might be able to keep the world from flowing and changing.
I’m not quite sure why Cordelia got to me so much, both in life and death. I felt for her more than any dog I have met on this whole journey and now I wonder if could have bought her to the UK (it would have taken many months), or maybe raised money for some in-depth treatment. Too late now.
Perhaps guilt is a way of trying to avoid feeling helpless.
Cordelia represented the genuine ‘underdog’ to me, not just for her own species but all animals: terrified of human abuse, blind, attacked by others, unable to accept companionship. She was so wrapped in self-protection that I couldn’t properly touch her. Of course that made me want to reach her even more. She was beautiful too.
In another world, a cinematic world, I imagine her as a human child, bullied at school and wearing awkward thick glasses and looking to the floor but with an obvious beauty. No doubt in that film she would emerge as a striking woman, comfortable in her skin.
But Cordelia is no more and this reality is not a film. Nevertheless, I feel I could have directed a different ending. But maybe that is just a fantasy too.
Spare a thought for Cordelia the little cow-dog with those funny markings. In some foolish part of my brain I think if we all send her on her way it might make a difference.