Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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Goodbye old friend… till we meet again

15th February 1997 – the Black Dog appeared hiding behind my audiospeakers one morning. He was a stray who found himself in the house after someone had left him outside. My brother had brought him into the garden and he invited himself into the hall.

An unimaginably intelligent and lovable dog is Blackie. An unpedigreed mongrel and with no illustrious bloodline to his name, he nevertheless slowly won over the entire family with his cuteness and intelligence.

Blackie need not be taught, in the 2nd or 4rd day he was in the house, he brought his doggie bowl to me indicating that he was hungry. Soon after that he stopped doing that as he soon learned that he would be fed without fail every evening.

Blackie’s antics included learning without fail who to obey, who to bully, who to snuggle up to, and who to avoid.

Inevitably since i spent most of the time with the black pup, he grew incredibly attached to me. Each morning he would greet me at the door. Each day catching me alone in the hall he would rush in to snuggle up to me. Something he would never dare to do with anyone else. He knew i had a soft spot for him. That is not to say that i have never spanked him, in fact i have spanked him worse than anyone else ever did.

Being attached to me, this dog would go to the extent of chasing a vehicle when i am in it. He did that once all the way running after the car onto the main road. Overtaking and dashing infront of the vehicle at times. I turned the car back on that occasion, lured him into the garden compound unbuckled my belt and gave him the thrashing of his life. Blackie seemed to know that what he did was wrong, he never whimpered, he never flinched as each stroke of the belt came down onto his rear legs.

Blackie also knew when it was time to stop playing. As a little dog he had a penchant for matching my height. He also knew the human expression of handholding and kisses. Being ever willing to engage in the game of holding my hand once i stood up in the midst of the game and he lept. He managed to secure a grip on my finger with his canine in mid air. As he closed his jaws on my finger and returned to the ground, he managed to draw blood with a deep slice along my finger. Blood flowed and dripped.

Being used to accidents during tile breaking in Taekwondo demonstration trainings, i was more amused than angry. This dog, however, knew the seriousness of his actions, once he smelt the blood that flowed. All the games stopped. The tail went down. No more jumping. Just quiet silence and stillness. He was almost human when it came to saying sorry.

I ended up having the console the depressed dog after that. I had to reassure him that the blood drawn was nothing serious and that he had been forgiven. Such is the degree of intellgence and emotion within an animal with four paws.

He continued with guarding the house without fail day and night. Not really doing a fantastic job but not really failing in anyway either. His idiosyncrasies included being poor sighted. Which led to him barking at me at times if i approached the house from an unfamiliar direction, and barking at the postman and newspaper man – this dog was racist.

Blackie was also a dog with a bark worse than its bite. If someone were to really approach the gate, Blackie run run off barking. I never really had any faith in him to stand up to a fight or an intrusion. Blackie remained a pup for most of his life, ever content to be with me for fun and ever willing to be the darling of the family. Blackie was not a fighter, he was not a guard dog. Blackie was a companion and a friend. In that aspect he fulfilled his role without any lack or inadequacy.

A little than a month ago, Blackie began losing weight and his legs started to swell. He became weak, inactive and breathless, i decided to bring him to the vet this afternoon.

Blackie was frightened and nervous when he was brought into the car. He needed to be hugged to be calm. At the vet he was palpitating and hyperventilating and as the vet examined him it became clear that his chances of recovery were slim. AND he was in pain. Blackie was recommended to be let go (put to sleep – euthanised).

The vet left us alone for awhile. As i explained to Blackie the need to end his pain, Blackie seemed to understand. For once in many days, he lay down and put his head on my hand. Blackie looked at me with sad eyes and wagged his stail as if to say good bye. I called my brother in. Blackie then raised his head in acknowledgement as he stepped in and wagged his tail. My brother patted Blackie on his head. Blackie then seemed content to allow things to happen. He lay there quietly.

The vet got the injection ready and administered it. Blackie then lay very still. I moved to kiss his head. His eyes were open. He lay very still. The vet then touched his eyeballs to ascertain signs of sentience. There were none. Blackie was gone.

We drove back home with an empty box. Blackie’s presence was still in the car. As we reached home, Blackie was still there. There will be many years before this dog’s presence will diminish in my home and even longer so from my heart.

One thing is for sure, Blackie has returned before and Blackie will return again. It may be months or years but soon, he will be back. I only need to be looking out. Especially for a stray, a black one and an intelligent one with that familiar look in the eye.

Goodbye old friend. Our path and journey has not ended yet. You will soon be looking for me, and I for you.

Till we meet again.

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April 20, 2008 - Posted by | Life

2 Comments »

  1. A very moving article.

    I think in this article you truly spoke your heart.

    Comment by ngejay | April 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks bro,

    Seldom in many years will one be faced with a situation that would force one to face certain deep feelings. I am happy to have faced that situation. I am also sad as well for the loss that it signified. In as much as there is joy for this dog that lived a full life, there is also a the grief and loss of a dog so lovable.

    If you should get a pet. You will understand what i mean.

    Comment by chiatilik | April 24, 2008 | Reply


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