20 February 2010

PAW PRINCE (3/4/01 - 19/2/10)

That was what I called you sometimes, because you always leave your paw prints on the sparkling clean floor of the house wherever you walked. But beyond that, I called you that because you were my boy, my little baby prince in my heart. You were the first dog I ever had that truly belonged to me.

Frankly, we were destined for each other. I had such a strong affinity towards you. Perhaps that is because I was also born in the year of the dog. I dreamt of getting a maltese if I ever wanted a dog and my sister got just that a few months after that even though I did not share with her about my dream. How you ended up with me was another story altogether.

So you could imagine how hard it was for me yesterday to see the life crept out of the small lithe and limp body of yours at Mount Pleasant Animal Hospital. A day before, I had an inkling that you might not make it through this round. In the recent months, you fell sick frequently, but you always recover the following day. However, I knew something was wrong the night before when I had to feed you water through a syringe. I planned to bring you to the vet in the morning but looking at you, I somehow knew nothing more could be done to save you. Moreover, if you were to die, I would rather you die at home in a familiar place than for you to die in an unfamiliar vet hospital.

In addition, I had to be at work that morning because I had to present to a judging panel for HortPark. Before I left the house, I cradled, kissed and looked at you intensely because I was afraid I would not see you alive when I came back. I planned to rush back immediately thereafter to keep you company till you pass on. Unfortunately, the judging was postponed to the afternoon. Could you imagine my tension and nerves? My stomach was in knots then. Yet at the same time, I had to act professional and not betrayed my emotions to all.

Anyway, as soon as the judging ended, I rushed home immediately. By then, you were already so feeble and unresponsive. Your eyes were just staring into space as if I was not there in front of you. Your breathing was shallow as I carried and placed you in the usual bag I brought you out with. I drove you to the vet but when I reached there around 4:20 pm and took you out of the bag, I saw urine and poo and instantly I knew you were gone.

The next moments were a daze for me. I saw you one last time in the morgue before I arranged for your cremation. Forgive me for not being around with you in the morning but I am grateful that you waited for me to be home for me to see you one last time and planted you a kiss before you left me.

My boy, my dearest boy, you were finally gone after being with me for an entire decade. The consolation I felt was that you no longer need to suffer anymore from the fits and you were free from being pumped with daily medication twice a day for the last 10 years. I hope I had given you a good life all these years.

As I saw you on the morgue table wrapped in a cloth, I was reminded of the day I brought you back from the SPCA on 3 April 2001. You were dumped at Clementi and they found you at Bukit Merah. To this very day, I still remember cradling your tired body in my arms then as we took the taxi home. You were wearing the red collar that I bought for you before you were lost. I did not know when it was your birthday so I declared 11 April, the day you were found and brought back by me, to be your birthday.

The next few years were both happy and miserable for me. Happy because as I truly enjoyed your presence in my life. I remember running around the living room in circles as you played with me at Jalan Merah Saga. I remember holding you high up in the air and swung you around as if you were a baby and all you did was look back at me lovingly without making the slightest noise or protest. You have shown me what it means to be happy and contented.

Miserable because it was hard to see you suffer so much from fits. I remember you writhing and yelping in pain under my bed and bathing in the urine patches. You were also a terror because I could not house-trained you and you peed at the corners of the house everyday for the next 10 years and I had to wipe the house frequently. In the last few years, you became more grouchy and would also bite me when I carried you the wrong way or when you were not happy. Time was not kind on you as you looked more haggard and tired in the last year. In human years, you would have been about 70 years old, so I could imagine how time had ravaged and taken a toil on you, what with all the years of fits and medication. Your tummy was unusually huge because of the medication and the need to drink lots of water.

Despite all that, I know you love me because you would always lie near my feet as I watched the tv and sleep outside my room door every night waiting for me. If there was anything that you love, it would have to be going out for walks twice a day and food treats! You would always wag your tail in excitement when you knew it was walking time and food time. I hope you know I love you very very much too.

This photo was taken of you when we visited the new neighbourhood playground University Road Park after we opened it. That day was so hot and your tongue really stuck out so long in the heat!

The next was taken of you and Ginny when she was still alive.

I will always remember and love you. I had many photos of you and from last year, you looked really terrible. But I want others to see and remember you fondly this way at your best, so I am posting these beautiful photos of you. Your sleep posture wasn't graceful and sometimes bothered on being vulgar, but to me you were just plain adorable in those postures. These last few photos where you were caught sleeping were taken in August or September 2008, about a year and half ago.

So good bye, my beloved baby, my boy, my prince, my son..... Sleep well. For you will always live in my heart. I hope you are somewhere in heaven or at a better place now. Papa miss you and will always remember you ...... I cannot and don't want to quit you. Till death do us part.....