When Royko, Guerro, Brewmeister and the other dogs came to visit, Harpo stood between them and the puppies and growled them away.
Finally there was a little time between one feeding and the next, then a little more. Still, the puppies’ eyes were shut, their mouths open. Bernie and I gave bottles. Harpo did the rest. Somehow, we all survived that first week.
But the black puppy wasn’t doing well.
“Kidney failure,” the vet said.
As she struggled for breath, Harpo frantically licked her face and eyes, her nose, her throat, the inside of her mouth.
We buried her in front of the house in a tiny hole on the lip of a hill that overlooked the valley.
For three days and nights he sat beside her grave, leaving only to care for the remaining six.