2 Jul 2012

Dead Pets

I think I've mentioned before that as a child, I used to rescue strays, stray dogs and cats. I recall crawling through a half flooded monsoon once to rescue a litter of pups only to be chased by its aggresive mum. I recall bringing back a sack of 12 kittens which made my mother very mad. :)
I recall helping a stray mother cat give birth under my bed!

Then one day, my dad decided I deserved a personal pet, and we adopted a beautiful Papillon, which I named Lassie. Lassie was my best friend, closer than any human friend. Like me, she was an introvert. She was very protective, faithful, staying close to me and noone else. Whenever we went on vacation, whoever baby sat her would complain that Lassie would not eat or drink at all.

So I decided that she was to go with me on every vacation, and I would smuggle her into hotels in my backpack. But one sad day, in my college days, as I was about to go out to catch the 6am bus to school, I heard her whizzing. I sat with her, patted her gently, my heart heavy. I whispered to her "Lassie, I'll be home. Please be strong, I promise I'll be back early and get you to the vet."

When I came back, she was gone from this earth forever. Till today, I can recall the great sorrow I felt. I looked at her for the last time, stroked her, and cut off bits of her hair. Then I locked myself in the room and cried for hours, refusing to watch as my mother buried her in the garden. I snipped off locks of my hair and put it in a mini jar with Lassie's fur. For weeks I was angry at anyone who told me the words "I'm sorry for your lost." I always kept silent, but in my mind I would cry out "How can you say that when you don't even mean it, when you don't even know how it feels."

I determined then, that I would NEVER ever have another pet, for the pain of loss was too unbearable.

But they say, time heals, and it's true. It doesn't take away the fact that I miss Lassie, but it allowed space in my heart to adopt another dog when I was pregnant with Nel. Pronto was an amazing lil doggie. He was a mix between a Pomeranian and something else. People who saw him always told me "Your dog is fascinating, he has the expression of a human, as if he understood everything around him." They were right. Pronto was mischievous yet incredibly smart. He was my baby  monitor.

When Nel was born, he would lie around the outside of her room. Whenever she cried, Pronto would scratch the door gently to open it, then run to me with a gentle bark, head pointing towards the baby's room. But..(I hate buts), one day, we decided to leave Pronto in the garden for a run. He got stolen. A neighbor saw a man come by and took him away. We searched the whole town for days, shouting his name, but he was never found again. :(

Cats.....ahh....I had a very favourite pet cat too, named Dog. He was the bane in Lassie's life. This cat would wait on tables, outside doors just to pounce on the dog once. I imagine it grinning to every success. This cat of mine with the squirrel tail, dark brown body with a white belly and white cheeks would steal food, and I could always tell what it's stolen by the colour on its cheeks. Well...when I went abroad to study for a few years, apparently the fella refused to come home anymore and became a gangster out on the streets picking fights here and there. I never saw him again after I came back, but saw glimpses of him in kittens that resembled him.

Back from abroad, with no pets left at home,  one day I woke up to incessant mewing outside my window. I went out to find a very thin kitten mewing her heart out. I talked to it, and coaxed it till it trusted me. I brought milk and food for it, but it refused everything, except to sit contentedly in my lap. So I drove it to the vet, and I named my new kitten "Whisk." Whisk had the sweetest face and voice. I told the vet, please do whatever you can, it won't eat. Two days later, the vet called and said "Martha, Whisk has tangled intestines, it's best to put it down." The pain of losing Lassie came rushing back. I told the vet "put it down if you must...and please bury it." I cried all the way, driving home from work.

Just last week...without my knowledge, my children adopted an adult rabbit. I wasn't prepared for it, as we'd adopted a poodle 3 years back, and have decided that this would be the only pet I'll keep. I only adopted Camel because, I wanted my children to experience the wonderful gift of friendship a dog can bring.

Well...things were such that I didn't really have a choice, and the rabbit was dropped off at my house. The next day I noticed that it had watery stools which was unusual for a rabbit. I also noticed that it hardly ate, and wouldn't move. It was a very depressed rabbit. I guess, it really missed its owner who didn't want it anymore.

I brought it to the vet first free morning I had. The vet weighed it, tested its stools and told me it had bacteria in its gut. So we gave it medication and monitored it everyday. The runny stools stopped, but it still refused to eat. I read up like mad about rabbits and GI stasis.

I held it in my hands, rubbed it's tummy to ease the pain and wind. We pounded food to pulp and force fed it. I held it in my hands for hours.......just speaking to it.

and this morning when I woke...it was gone. Again...gone....and my heart aches. I have no conclusion to this post, except rest in peace rabbit.

Maybe just one note. If you cannot care for a pet long term, DON'T EVEN buy one. DON'T buy just because it's cute, and then give it away, just because it's become inconvenient to you. If you take a living being in, then care for it till it's last, or your last breath. Animals and humans hurt when they're moved around and given from place to place. It's heart breaking!

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2012



Leena D said...

How true about keeping pets. Pets are like family...we don't have any (apart from the 3 goldfishes!) because we do not have the time to be there for them..and selfishly, don't want to forgo other things (like weekends away or hols)for them. There is no best solution but you are right..when one does take the responsibility to have a pet...it is for better or worse...


gail said...

I don't plan on having any more pets because of how my heart breaks when they pass.

You capture that emotion so well!

Carolyn (Lil' Dahling) said...

Yeah it's heartbreaking and the tears. Don't know when I will have another pet again.

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