The Power of Storytelling
There is a real knack to storytelling. Some people are fantastic at it, while others, well, not so much. I mean, have you ever been to an event where the keynote speaker was the primary cause of your comatose state? There’s nothing more painful (prior to the coma) than sitting through a monotonous monologue. When I was studying for my degree I was given the task of writing a blog. Now, it was a long time ago and it wasn’t something I’d done often. However, I was up for the task, so I sat down late one night, had a few wines and thought about recent events.
The year before we’d lost our dog, and we were devastated. My hubby and I are crazy-mad dog people and she was the first dog we’d owned together. And after a few glasses of red (ha! Who am I kidding? It was a bottle), I became sentimental. And the words and the tears just started flowing. And my university assignment just wrote itself. Now, I’m not recommending downing a bottle of red prior to your assignment but hey, whatever works for you!
When I received my results, I was thrilled. Not because of the mark (although it was a really good mark) but because my tutor told me she cried. It made me so happy. Because whether a story makes you laugh or makes you cry, if it makes you feel, then it’s a good story.
That is the power of great storytelling.
And this was mine.
Just A Dog
Just a dog. Anyone who has owned a dog would never use such a flippant phrase. To us, Bundy was so much more. We were new in our relationship when we chose her. She represented a commitment, a hint of an unspoken promise between us. Bundy was our first baby, she placated the mother within me.
She was loyal, always. Dogs have such forgiving natures. Bad moods, temper tantrums, neglect, they love you through it all. In time we had our own children. And we worried. Because you hear horrific stories of jealous pets savaging children. But, our Bundy embraced our babies with wet kisses, protectiveness and unrelenting affection.
Bundy was 11 years old when she let us know the end was coming. It was muscular degeneration, the cause unknown. It did not matter, it was incurable. The one small mercy was she felt no pain. Nothing, not even her limbs. The vet had been optimistic; “Bundy will still be with you at Christmas”. Sadly, she knew otherwise. She held on until the night of our son’s birthday. Then she let us know. She howled. An awful, gut wrenching wail that could not be misunderstood. It was her time.
Time For Goodbyes
Morning dawned; the kids said their goodbyes, while my husband dug her grave. It was an arduous task, we were in a drought and the ground was like concrete. But Bundy was his first baby and he dug for two straight hours.
It was November 11, Remembrance Day, when we made the final journey to the vet clinic. I carried her limp form to the room, a room designed for death. It seemed so inappropriate for Bundy’s final moments. Everything was sterile and white; except the table. Cold stainless steel. I placed her gently on the slab. She had frequented this room many times and it was the first time she did not object.
In a prepared monologue the vet explained the procedure. Procedure. Such a ridiculous word when you considered the outcome. I held Bundy’s face in my hands and looked deep into those brown eyes, so trusting, and told her we loved her. I stroked her head and embraced her as the vet injected the “green dream” that stopped her beating heart and closed her eyes for the final time.
At 11 o’clock we exited the veterinary clinic; Bundy’s lifeless body slumped in my arms. Our sunglasses pulled down; a poor disguise for our swollen, bloodshot eyes. And as we drove out of the car park, the poignant sounds of “The Last Post” haunted us from the stereo. It was a fitting end for Bundy, so much more to us than “just a dog”.
Need A Writer?
If you need a writer to help you with your storytelling or writing project, please drop me a line here. I’m renowned for being great with words, famous for chatting with people and have experience in creating professional, persuasive and engaging content for my clients. I’m a freelance writer and media specialist with a Degree in Communications, but public relations and story telling are my forte’.