Today my dog died. She had just turned eleven. We got her when I was in my last year of high school but the past five years I’ve been living abroad. If there is one thing I have been missing these years it’s her.
She was diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago. The disease was at a very advanced stage. Her regular vet did not get the right diagnosis. She’s been sick for the past year and the vet kept saying it was cystitis. I knew my dog was not feeling alright so I insisted that my parents take her to another vet. Finally they did that around Christmas time and the new vet said it was diabetes and that she had had it at least for the past eight months. She went on special food and got shots of insulin every morning. I thought that was the end of the problem. But for the past three months she kept getting sick: colds and other viruses. The vet said it was because her immune system was pretty damaged. Since then she kept going on and off spending her nights at the animal hospital.
A week ago she had to go to the hospital again. My parents went every afternoon to visit her. Can you imagine how she felt? She hated the vet. Even when she went to get a bath she would shake before going in and refused to enter. When we picked her up from the bath session she would look really upset at us for having let her go through that experience. So she must have felt like crap spending day and night over there. Apparently most dogs slept in cages so that they would not fight each other but my dog was so tame that they let her sleep free. There was this other dog who had just had a leg amputated due to a tumour and would also spend the night outside of the cages. The nurse told my mother that in the mornings she found the two of them, my dog and the one with the missing leg, sleeping side by side. As my mother was telling me this story a few days ago I suddenly imagined these scenes from movies about the Holocaust and the concentration camps came to my mind; especially ‘Life is beautiful’. I thought how even in the most sordid circumstances a faint ray of light can come inside our lives. I felt slightly relieved that she did not spend her last nights alive completely alone.
Today my mother called and said she had died. The vet had told them that she was getting very sick and the best thing was to put her to sleep instead of letting her agonize. (For people they use morphine until they die by themselves but that’s not the case with dogs). So my mother and father rushed to the animal hospital to be with her as she was dying. Apparently they waited until my brother was able to get there a bit later and when he got in the room, my dog, Lisba, moved her tail. Then they put this liquid into the saline solution she had been injected with these days which made her sleepy and then they put the liquid that made her die. As I was coming today out of the subway to meet some people for dinner I was wondering whether by some chance at that moment she thought of me.