About three Wednesdays ago, my mum called me around 8pm, just as I finished preparing my dinner.
Ever since I went back home for CNY, I knew that my old dog at home, Tee Tee, was not doing so well in terms of his health. So whenever I see a call from my parents, it always makes me feel anxious.
“We just wanted to tell you, your dog is not doing good. He has not been able to stand up or walk since 4pm, and we think it could be his time”,
I could hear my mum choking up as she tells me this.
Somehow, with real emergencies and problems (eg: when my boyfriend told he broke his leg, and right at this moment), I was able to stay calm and rational.
I told myself, whatever the situation is, what I needed to do right now was to finish my dinner. So I did. In the next 10 minutes, I kept any thoughts about my dog tightly shut in the corner compartment of my mind.
Fast forward, I was on the last flight back to Penang that same evening.
If you know me, you would know I am never good at making spontaneous decisions. I love being able to take my time to plan, give myself enough mental preparation to anticipate what is to come. So this was not something that I would expect myself to do.
And yet somehow, in that 20 minutes, I contacted my manager and colleagues (who are super supportive and understanding, it’s so heart-warming!), bought my flight ticket, took a shower and grabbed 4 pieces of clothing and was on the way to the airport.
This whole ordeal made me realised, when there is an actual need, I too, could drop everything and do what is necessary. I too, could keep my emotions in control and do what is right for myself and my family in a specific moment.
So I thank you, dear Tee Tee, for teaching your sister to be stronger. Thank you for teaching me how to make difficult decisions, quickly.
This trip home was indeed emotional. Throughout the 4 days, we said goodbye to him many times, reminiscence about all the memories we had throughout his time with us, told him countless times how much we loved him and how much we are grateful for him.
On Valentines Day, we brought him to the vet, thinking it was his last journey. It felt like an out-of-body experience, sitting in the backseat of the car with Tee Tee, whom we may not be able to bring home alive.
As we were all red-eyed teary as we talked to the vet, we were ready to let her tell us the bad news.
And yet, this silly old doggo wanted to bring unto us a Valentines Day miracle.
The vet told us, the only reason why we would put our dog down is that we can no longer handle it emotionally. But if we were to be willing to try and change our mindset, accept that Tee Tee is old (about 100 years old in dog years!), he is actually doing alright. He is not in intense pain, his organs were still functioning normally, and we should give him a second chance.
She also mentioned that this ol’ doggo holds a lot of pride (we all knew that was accurate), so if we were to cry each time we see him struggle to move, he is going to be affected emotionally as well.
So we gathered our strength and decided, we were going to give Tee Tee another chance. Instead of being sad, we should learn to accept that he is ageing, and as and when he decides to cross over the rainbow bridge, we should be always ready to let him go. But as of this moment, if he still wants to be with us, we should let him.
Now it has been almost 3 weeks, and miraculously, he even showed improvement (I guess our mindset and how we react to him makes a huge difference!). We don’t expect him to walk normally again, but with every extra step he can take, we are grateful. With every day that he lives, its a bonus.
My parents have gone through way more emotional roller coaster than I could ever imagine, and yet they are giving him their unconditional love and care.
With that, we watch our old doggo take his small, slow steps each day, and pray to God that he will do what’s best for this little creature that has given us nothing less than his all.