Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Last Farewell

Yesterday at roughly the time as I write this, 4pm, we said goodbye to the last of our long line of dogs. Boom Boom,  aged 15, which in human years would be roughly 105, finally joined his siblings and assorted familia on the other side. 

The entire clan descended from a little Chihuahua type Cindy (I say type because she looked exactly like one though she wasn't a pure breed) who came to us in 1984 from Pu Dunglena of Laipuitlang who gifted her to my mother. She was the tiniest little thing and we adored and spoiled her rotten to the point that she became notorious in the neighbourhood as a tiny terroriser of visitors. Although she died only aged 9 as a victim of food poisoning from a bone she dug up in the garden, she spawned a hardy, healthy breed who were to stretch on for almost 28 years. Potty,  Nauteii,  Benjy, Tim Tim, Snowball, Gorby, Teii, Patea, Nupuii, Sentea, Boom Boom, Totie, Mami, Pom Pom. In between, there were many puppies whose names I cannot remember because they didn't live long enough to develop their own personalities.

Boom Boom outlived them all. He had always been lean and wiry and had an incredibly resilient constitution. I don't recall ever having to take him to the vety hospital or calling the vet for him until the last couple of years when he fell sick a couple of times. 

He lived in my sister's P's room and provided her close companionship specially after her especial pet Mami died at the end of 2008. Last August or September, he fell so sick we thought he was going to die but somehow he recovered and went back to being his old self. But at such a ripe old age, he got slower, his teeth fell out, leaked pee as he walked and his hearing became very bad. Around the beginning of December, as we were busy getting a false ceiling put in, he began to lose interest in food and couldn't jump down from my sister's bed anymore. A week or so later, he couldn't get down from the chairs either. In the days following Christmas, his eyes became teary and on New Year's day, he began bumping into things and we finally called the vet who thought he might have corneal ulcer. He hoped for the best with a dose of antibiotics and said eye drops might help if the pupils hadn't been infected but he did admit that Boom had a lot of complications, his advanced age being not the least of them.

But Boom Boom didn't improve. Instead he completely stopped eating and drinking water and became steadily weaker. He would stagger around bumping into the furniture, and stand nose pressed to the wall in defeat or slump gradually to the floor. By Tuesday, he also began having pain and kept yelping weakly. We didn't get much sleep that night. The next morning we made the painful decision to put him down. When the vet's assistant arrived at 4, he was already too far gone to put up any resistance. A shot in the vein and he was gone.

What feels awful now is that my sister, a paraplegic shut-in, has no little ones to share her room with. Perhaps someday she might want to take in a dog again but right now, she says she doesn't want another. My youngest sister M's pet Kuri is still around, a roll of fat and fur, but she originates from another breed. With Boom Boom, an entire family line has come to an end. For years, the house was always filled with dogs shedding fur all over the place and I often longed for a spanking clean house where you didn't have to keep brushing off fur from your clothes. Now it looks like we're finally going to have that neat, pretty much fur-less house, but the emptiness in the house echoes unbearably.



  1. May you and your sister slowly get over the loss.

  2. A van duhawm ve.. A uiawm hle mai. I ziak lungkuai thiam deuh hrim hrim bawk nen.

  3. Losing a pet does feel sad. Our cat died some years ago, and the house felt so empty after that. At least Boom Boom died in old age, though the fact can't fill the empty space he left in your lives.

  4. So sad for your loss. Growing up, we always had 2-3 dogs, all with their own personalities, giving us unconditional love. Sadly, because of our 'nomadic' lifestyle, we haven't been able to keep any pet and we have been the poorer for it. I envy you for having been blessed with Boom Boom in your life for so many years. I am sure she's now in dog heaven where I hope he meets up with my own beloved Spotty and others who are waiting for me.....

  5. Thank you so much for the condolences, everyone, your kind words are deeply appreciated.

  6. A friend of mine comes to church with dog fur sticking to her Sunday best. She admits she hugs all three of her dogs every time she leaves the house so that, should they die while she's away (they're all quite old), she would have that last memory of hugging them before they were gone. Pets have a way of adopting a family and making them their own, so that when they leave, their loss is as greatly mourned as any family member's.
    My condolences for your loss.

  7. Thank you, ku2, and I can so relate to your friend's leaving-the house-ritual. Yes, pets are family, only just not human, that's all.

  8. Maybe lengthy but you oughta read this by Gene Hill:

    "He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."

    And may he R.I.P Boom Boom.