Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chewie - last steps


Chewie passed away this morning, around 9:30am, according to my dad's caregiver, Dina. She called me at 9:45am at work while I was in a meeting. Needless to say, I was devastated but not really surprised - and very relieved for Chewie.

Dina had heard Chewie gag loudly, so she carried Chewie to her bed. But when my dad and her were ready to leave the house for his dialysis, Chewie had already passed on. Dina found Chewie on the floor, her bowels voided and her eyes still open. I told her to leave her eyes open because I think Chewie wanted to see me. I called Tengoku to arrange for the cremation and asked Mag to meet me at home.

When I came home, Chewie was still lying in her poo! I hugged, kissed her and closed her eyes. I think her body was still warm. I carried her body, stiff with rigour mortis, into the bathroom to clean her up. I did what she hated the most - wash her in the bathroom. And blew dry her and combed her hair for the last time. This time she did not/ could not complain or whine. I can't believe how much I actually miss her whining and crying... (Video of her bathing and whining)

The night before had been bad for both of us.

We hardly slept. Chewie had had her ups and downs but in the last 2 days, she hadn't been eating or drinking. I knew that was a prelude to something bad. Not eating is still tolerable, but not drinking? Chewie's eyes stayed open the whole night. It was as if she was trying to stay awake, or maybe she was in such pain that she could not rest. That night, I had spoken to Jacq Ong (Susan's animal communicator friend) - I don't normally take to this kind of thing but Jacq shared some interesting ideas about what Chewie might be feeling. I just listened and felt uncontrollably sad. I cried even though I know I should not cry in front of Chewie. But she was not the sort of dog that senses her owner's feelings! Jacq said that Chewie showed her a sunny day - she wanted to go out with me in the sun.

We hung up and I patted Chewie to sleep, or tried to. Her ribs protruded - they were like the keys of a xylophone. I put my ear to her chest and counted for a minute, listening to her slow deep breathing and her slow shuud-shuuud of a heartbeat. Her heart rate was about 30 beats a minutes. Every few minutes, she would tremble in pain, and she heaved and gagged. But nothing came out as she had had no food in her! Every spasm tired her out so much that she collapsed in my arms as I held her chest up to help her to sit up. It tore my heart to watch her suffer.

We went repeatedly through the cycle until it was almost 4am. I decided to force her to take some Polysilic III Suspension to calm her stomach. She dragged herself on all fours (with my help) and drank some water! By 5am, I was exhausted and fell asleep. I was sure Chewie continued gagging as I slept.

When I woke up this morning, she was lying outside my door looking at me with her big black longan eyes. I'd promised to carry her downstairs to be in the sun but it was raining! I had also planned to call the vet for an appointment (again) but there was no need now.

Tuesday - the second work-day of the week, the 45th day since that fateful day at the vet's when Dr Ly told me she had liver failure. Then came a litany of ailments - her heart walls were thickening, she had high blood pressure, indigestion, nausea, blood in the stools and even vaginitis. They were just some of the many afflictions that developed in the same month.

Godma came by with beautiful flowers and we decorated her bed. Chewie looked so at peace, like she was sleeping. The pet cremation guys were very professional and compassionate. We both said our goodbyes and then she was pushed into the incinerator. It takes 2 hours to cremate a small dog such as her! It's like stewing meat for hours until the bones soften! Haha.. bad analogy.

I took her ashes to the Botanic Gardens. I don't know why I did that. Perhaps to remind myself of the places that a happy white dog used to prowl. It was cool after the rain and yet sunny. Her favourite brook bubbled, without her. Her favourite lamp posts and bushes beckoned, but Chewie wasn't there to take the bait. (Old clip of her fun Botanic Gardens walkies)

She may not be in the same dimension as me now, but I am sure she is happy wherever she is.

The vets, when they checked her, always said Chewie didn't look so bad. But just because she looked so well groomed didn't mean she wasn't sick. I knew she was in much pain, but there was only so much I could do for her. I would like to think that I eased her journey to the Rainbow Bridge. I hope I did not prolong her pain.

The house is quiet tonight. No pitter-patter of tiny paws, long nails scraping on the floor (yes, mommy is lazy), no mischievous eyes glancing at me, tempting me to touch her and then running away, no big black eyes staring at me while I take a leak, no wet nose pushing the door open, no mommy-carry-me-onto-the-bed paw, no sound of her tongue tapping the water bottle spout as she drinks, no pee-saturated newspaper shoved in the corner of her tray because she wants to help us clear the poop.

It rained the whole of today - as if Mother Nature too is mourning Chewie's passing.

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