Sunday, October 23, 2005

How do you say goodbye?

Our four-year old German shepherd, Riley, is gone.

The end came unexpectedly, though in hindsight there was some warning. Some weeks ago, there was blood in his stool and in his urine. But the vets couldn't find anything wrong with him. They just fed him some antibiotics, and it made things a little better.

Then we were all gone for two weeks. My sister went to Europe, my Mom and Dad and me in Manila. All that time, the caretaker told us that Riley wasn't looking too well, but that he was eating. Our minds occupied elsewhere with more urgent things, what could we do?

My sister arrived yesterday. She got Riley out of his house, which was really our patio. He looked thin, she said. He followed her out and went into our house. He flopped into his usual corner. By then he was shivering. He looked piteously at my sister, unable to move.

My sister decided to take him to the vet. They put him on IV drip. This was at 5:30PM. He expired at 7:00PM, though we didn't know about it until this morning.

Ah, Riley, we are so going to miss you. You were such a hardheaded stubborn dog, but so lovable and so affectionate. Remember the time you scampered into the car and wouldn't come down because you wanted a ride? Or the time you were so upset that you didn't take the prize at the dog show?

But it's not these big events that matter, it's the small ones. Like how you insist on picking up a rock or something before relieving yourself. Like how we have you insist on staying in the airconditioned room.

Our hearts will break everytime we look at the empty cage. Because it's a reminder that you're gone.

Oh, dog, how ever do you say goodbye? I'm sorry I never got to see you before you went.

I hope it's true that all dogs go to heaven.


  1. Hi doms, sad to hear about your member of the family. It must be tough seeing that empty cage. Keep your chin up, dude.

  2. My condolences on your loss. I'm a dog lover myself. Sad that reality is, that it will always be our fate to always out live our fourlegged bestfriends...

  3. Thanks, all, for your condolences. I just wish he'd lived a little longer. As it is, he just waited for my sister before going.