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.