Tribute to Babe

Published January 31, 2010 by Mary Jane

A season of sadness

Hello everyone, I’ve just woken up from my long afternoon naps which means tonight I probably wouldn’t get to sleep until 2-3am in the morning. Last night, I have been thinking about my dog ‘Babe’ sometimes suddenly it would just bring back some sad memories. I thought I’ll write this post as a tribute to my dog ‘Babe’, I’m not a person who easily share sadness with other people but I’ve found that by sharing to people about you sad things helps you to heal and deal with grief. So here it is…

I had a pet dog named ‘Babe’ – why do we call him Babe, cos we loved the ‘Babe in the City’ – the pig who’s intelligent, loving, innocent and adorable. We really wanted to have a dog, so we started looking around for a suitable dog. On the newspaper someone was advertising a shitshu x maltease they came with black and white color. We were really excited and decided to visit this home in search of our dog. When we got there, there was only 1 black dog left. Mum really wanted a white one and she wasn’t keen on getting a black dog. It was love at first sight, ‘Babe’ was so small he’s not fully black, rather a greyish colour like a curly grey ball. He was active and energetic and keeps following us around and licking us. We loved him and was convinced he was the one. The owner gave us his immunisation card and said he was born on 14th Feb – valentines day that made him real special and perhaps a romantic fella.

You could say that Babe was my ‘dogmate’ rather than soulmate cos he didn’t have a soul – I have 2 other sister and he was my younger brother. His favourite hobby would be sleeping, eating and going for walks at the park. He lived a simple life. His weakness is overeating and stubborn – I remember when he was still a puppy, my friend fed him some sponge cake and he just kept on eating until he finished the whole large piece of cake, later on he threw up the whole cake cos he was too full. Stubborn – cos everytime when it comes to bath time, he would run around for us to chase him and it would take us ages to trick him into getting a bath. Usually a tackle followed by a little smack for being naughty. Occasionally we would have to bribe him with some smachos – that’s his favourite snack.

He lived a happy but unfortunate life. Why? As Babe grew older he started having lots of problems. Chronic ear problems, chronic skin problems, asthma etc. He’s gone through 3 eye surgeries to remove his cherry eyes and eventually he became half blind. It was hard to see him going through all this, but he’s a fighter and was very brave to endure all these hardship. I can’t recall how many times I would have to send him to the vet because there was something wrong with him. My vet even told me ‘he’s one of the worst case they’ve ever seen’. However, life plotted along and when I think back there’s alot of fond memories. Winter time, when I’m doing my assignments/or studying at my desk he would follow me into the bedroom and hide under my desk however his warm furry coat would cover my feet and act as a soft warm slipper. He likes to jump onto the end of my bed when he feels cold, every time I would grab him and take him back to his own bed, he would sneakily jumped back to my bed when I fall asleep. Eventually when I woke up the next day I would find myself with some dog hair in my mouth and his face next to my pillow.

When ever I’m sad he would just stood there infront of me looking rather miserable, perhaps it’s my own imagination but I would find him taking every little step closer to me as if he’s comforting me and give me his right little paw. I would usually just tell him why I’m sad and give him a big hug. I know it sounds a little strange but Yes I would share sad things with Babe. He’s a great listener. I often wish he could talk, but all he ever does is bark back at me. That’s his way of communicating with me. As years passed by, the year he turned 7 he moved in with Pandabear and myself. Babe is such a fussy eater, I would usually prepare human equivalent food for him as he doesn’t like to eat dog food. Sometimes Pandabear would whinge and say to me Babe eats better than us. Well, I can’t argue with that – when the vet suggested something that would improve his skin condition such as buying kangaroo, rabbits, beef meets and cook them and feed them to Babe I would do that. His favourite is still the beef steak. Sometimes I would mix his food with some doggie biscuit and he would scoff down all the beef steak, leaving the doggie biscuits behind (how cheeky!!) .The year he turned 7 was one of saddest years in my life. He was on long term steroid medication to treat his chronic ear & skin problem and eventually it started giving him the side effects of internal bleeding. I started to realise something was really wrong, he didn’t have much appetite and he didn’t feel like going for a walk. So I booked an appointment to see the vet and I was told it was time to ‘put him down’ . I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, he was still so young only 7 and I couldn’t bare losing him. But each day it got worst, one day when I bathed him, his ears stared to bleed with blood. He must be in pain and it was selfish of me to prolong his suffering 😦

It was time that we put him out of his misery – A season of sadness. Now, the vet recommended either sending him to the clinic and have him put down and they will also organise the cremation of his body or we could organise a mobile vet over our house and to have it put down at our place. We made the decision of having him put down at our home, because I didnt want him to think we don’t love him and let him endure a needle into his body to end his life. It was definitely a difficult decision and something that I wouldn’t want to wish upon anyone to go through. I cried for weeks as the time draws closer to him getting put down. The night before him getting put down, he looked rather sad as if he could sense something was wrong, or perhaps he was just in pain. I decided to spend his last night eating chocolate icecream together and sleeping with him. In total he woke me up 10-15 times that night to go out to the backyard, he must be feeling in pain. It was also a confirmation to me that I was doing the right thing. The day when he was schedule to be put down, our family met up together. Everyone was so sad, I had to pull up a brave face and signed all the paper work. The vet explained that he would have to inject this poison into his paws and occasionally the poison might not have reached the dog’s heart so sometimes they would feel the pain. But most of the time, it would be very quick and they will just die peacefully. I prayed to God and ask God to just let him die peacefully as I wouldn’t know what to do if he was suffering more. The vet shaved his hair of the paws and started injecting the poison into Babe, ‘Babe was a clever dog’ – he could sense there was something wrong so he wriggled around refusing to let the vet inject him. I hugged him tight and whisper to him ‘Babe – there will be no more suffering any more’ he seems to understand and became still. The injection was done, I thank God he rested peacefully in my arms. That was the end of his life.

Few weeks later I received a bag ‘named Babe’ he’s now been cremated and was just a bag of dust. It made me realised I would never see him again. The thought of not even able to see him in Heaven really hurts me, how I wished I could meet him again in heaven. Life without Babe was extremely difficult, we had to remove anything in our house that reminded me of Babe. As it would made me cry uncontrollably. Every time I go for my grocery shopping and come across the pets isle I would cry. As I would usually purchase his favourite treat – smachos and dental bones. Occasionally during nights, I would hear him barking and I would ran down the stairs to let him out to the backyard to find that I’m staring at an empty bed. My neighbour asked me one day how come I haven’t been taking Babe out for a walk, I answered I had to put him down – he was no longer with us. If anyone asked me would I ever have a dog again, I would say NO – most people said that in order to get over the grief of your dog passing away, the best medicine is to get another dog to replace that void. No other dogs could replace Babe – he was one of the kind, he was a brave fighter, my brother and my friend. I would never want to go through this sadness the second time.

Some days Pandabear and I would go out for our daily walks and we would bump into lots of dogs and I would get really excited and pat them. This will give me a great sense of joy rather than sadness, only time will heal. It’s been about a year since Babe is not with us and I still missed him terribly. But his bag of ashes is still with me and I will treasure this forever 🙂

”I love you ‘A Babe’ “- from ‘A jie’ (sister)

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