It was one of those dreaded early morning phone calls. Only this time it was my mother, calling from the ground floor of our 2-unit house. Her calm, tender and concerned voice said, “Skipper is gone”. We had been awaiting this moment, even praying for it in the last few days and yet when it came, it seemed too soon.
Around thirteen years ago, Skipper was brought to this house as a teeny –weeny scared puppy, to be a watchdog. But with time, she became our companion and friend, my mother’s sole- mate during the days when she was alone at home. As she grew into a beautiful, affectionate dog, who welcomed strangers and friends alike into the house; she also ruled over the house, breaking rules slyly when we were not watching. Sleeping on the bed or sofa, which she knew was out of bounds for her. Grabbing a biscuit on a plate kept for a guest who had dropped in for tea, licking the kid’s faces when they bent down to tie their shoe laces; running out of the gate and looking at us expectantly to chase her back in.
But the past few months, as she battled one health problem after another, suffering in mute silence, only her eyes belying the pain, I wondered if it was the right thing, bringing a pet home, pampering and protecting her, turning her into this soft delicate creature? On her last day, as she walked around restlessly, rejecting food, refusing to sit or be fed and at one point, when she finally rested for a few minutes at my feet giving me the look –tired, but undefeated, knowing her end was near, I knew that it was the right thing. She had lived a good life, bringing joy into ours as well as sharing our joys and woes. Now it was our turn to share her woes.
We prayed that she didn’t suffer for long and now that she’s gone, we can already feel the void which will only grow in the days to come. We won’t have to safeguard our food from her anymore or worry about her fur shedding on the sofas. But we will miss her greeting at the gate – a wag if we‘re on time or a loud bark if we’re late. We will miss the pitter-patter of her paws on our wooden floor every morning at breakfast time waiting for her share of egg. We will miss the times when she would stand in front of us, butt -facing, asking for a butt-massage!
We will miss you Skipper, you will always have a special place in our heart.