Thursday, August 31, 2006

Socks

Socks was probably the first dog I knew that prefered kicking a tennis ball over grabbing it in her mouth. She never needed a leash when walking in the compound and always loved scooting over to the parking lot where we'd usually give her a nice comb down before coming back home. She nearly always went crazy when she saw a ball, but that sort of waned as she grew older, wiser, wearier and more tired.

Socks was also the prettiest dog I knew and still is.

On the morning of 29th August 2006, Socks was euthanised first thing when the vet opened at 9.30am.

When I returned from my Tioman trip, I was informed that Socks, over the weekend, had suddenly fallen very ill. She was disoriented, started walking into things, and had so little energy that her legs gave way when she walked. She was sent for observation at the animal hospital and an ultrasound showed her liver, spleen and pancreas were swollen with tumours. A blood test showed extremely low blood sugar and high levels of toxic liver enzymes accumulated.

That Sunday, she returned from the hospital with a half-shaven left front leg where the drip was inserted, and a shaven belly from when they took the ultrasound. It took her 3 days to recover from the trauma from staying at the hospital.

Over the next few weeks, she grew stronger and even seemed to recover. Last Sunday was the last time we had Socks around for our weekend beach breakfast.

On Monday, I received several phone calls from my mother, sounding very worried. Socks had taken a turn for the worse. She was exceptionally weak and had severe diarrhea. She was also vomitting frequently and started to refuse food and water.

Later that day, my mother called again. Socks had suddenly got into a fit. I said I would come home that night.

When I returned, she was lying on the living room floor, eyes wide open, her body was stiff and her breathing was fast and heavy. When I cuddled her, she seemed to show some recognition and sat up for the first time that evening.

My mother, exhausted from the day's cleaning and looking after her, asked me to let Socks sleep in my room that night to keep an eye on her.

From midnight, I stayed up with her as her fits became more and more frequent. With each epileptic attack, I cuddled her, telling her that everything was ok, and that it wil be over soon. I'm not sure she could hear, her eyes were glossed over and wide open, they wouldn't even close when I tried to force her eyelids close.

I kept vigil with her all night, along with kind calls of concern from Abs and YC. Exhausted from the lack of sleep the night before, the night crawled on. My heart ached with each spasm she went into, her jaws gnashing uncontrollably, limbs stiffened and thrashing wildly.

By 6am, I was exhausted beyond words. I could only imagine how Socks felt. At 630am, the parents awoke to find me stroking her gently, cradling her as another seizure gripped her frail body.

My mother sat by her as I wearily washed up and fell asleep on my parents' bed. My mother woke me at 9am saying it was time to take her to the hospital. I couldn't bear to watch her go, neither could I really stand up and walk straight, having only gotten 2 hours sleep in the past 24 hours.

I woke up to see her one last time, and watched as my father cradled her gently and brought her downstairs to the car.

We woke the brother telling him what was happening. He and I, we watched from the landing as my father put her into the car. Socks, still pretty as ever, but wide-eyed, her tongue hanging out helplessly, I couldn't believe she was going away. Tears streaming from my face for the first time, I fled the scene, leaving my brother to watch in silence, taking in the gravity of the situation.

I crumpled back into bed, wishing the nightmare would go away. My brother came in later asking which clinic they'd gone to, and I told him. I knew later that he actually went down there.

An hour later, my mother called saying that it was quick and she didn't put up a fight.

I only wonder if she heard me talking to her the night before, whether she was scared, whether she was in pain, whether she knew that we loved her more than anything.

Toxins from her liver had attacked her brain.

I now realise that it is harder when watching helplessly, instead of actually doing something to help. Shrinking back into the sheets, I lay there thinking how helpless and horrible I was being to leave the final leap to my parents. My father especially, to whom Socks was most attached.

He headed for work after the trip to the vet. I know how he must have felt.

All of us deal with grief differently. My father and I chose to flee the scene, him to work, I to school. My brother locked himself in his room. My mother, the strong lady she is, wandered the house, still talking about how Socks had been perfectly fine the day before.

Yesterday as I came home from school, I found myself eyeing every corner for signs that Socks used to live here, almost afraid to see anything that would remind me of her. A piece of scratched furniture, stray tennis balls, her green collar with the PWD license and other bits of her memory lay where they always were.

It took me this long to find the strength to blog about her.

I miss her terribly. I will miss her especially on Sunday mornings, when she would noisily wake everyone up to take her to the beach.

I find myself expecting to see her smiling face look up at me imploringly each time I open a packet of biscuits, or greet me enthusiastically when I enter the house.

My mother becomes alert when it starts to rain, wondering if Socks was freaking out like she does at the sound of thunder. She said the house was too quiet without Socks around. My brother left the living room light on this evening, as if Socks were still around.

Pets really do become a part of our lives. Socks was definitely my best friend growing up. We had a wonderful 13 years together.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

i love you.

- kay

joyce said...

*hugz*

*hugz*

samuraibunny said...

oh no =(
*hug

h.dawg said...

good dawg socks, good dawg

Yujin said...

I'm so sorry... :(
*hugs*

mehmeh said...

tsk. bad bunneh. you made meh cry.