As I chanted, I heard Chloe barking at the shrine room door -- her cue that she wanted to be let in. She always likes to be around when mantras are being chanted -- she seems to know that there's good energy in the room. For a second, I found myself being mad at Chloe again -- for being a killer, for putting me through the pain of having to witness the suffering of a small living being, but then I reminded myself that she may have found the bird as opposed to capturing it. In fact, maybe she brought me the bird out of compassion -- to allow me to save it. Ah, the things we tell ourselves.
"You can't come in," I called out to Chloe. "I don't want to stress the bird." I heard Chloe sigh, then lie down on the floor, placing her nose at the base of the door so that she could sniff through the gap. This made me smile. Everything she did was just so quintessentially dog. I couldn't stay mad.
I chanted for another hour or so, constantly checking on the bird and unable to tell if it was getting better or worse. Next I played some Tibetan singing bowls for the bird and tried a made-up form of Reiki, which I don't know how to do. I realized that, while there are many things I do know how to do, saving lives is not one of them. The little bird stopped breathing. And so, for a few seconds, did I.