Tuesday, June 07, 2011

In Loving Memory of Rubee - My Best Friend and Confidant

I still remember how ecstatic and excited i was to finally have a dog to call my very own.

Hence, when that fat yet elongated furball came bouncing towards us, my heart melted although the teo mummy was in for a shock!

She was expecting to adopt a trimmed dog, not one with all that longish fur covering its body and big, expressive eyes!

Rubee (or 路比 as his then owner called him) had an air of proud arrogance surrounding him and it took us a long 6 months before he finally accepted his fate and looked upon us as his new family.

Maybe he was just pissed that i insisted on shaving off his beautiful long fur. C'mon, it's my first dog and brushing everyday to ensure he was tangle and matt free was seriously no easy business.

Anyway, I was virtually tied to Rubee since that acceptance and he was always ready to be my listening ear and displayed no violent resistance whenever a bear hug was needed.

This deeply intertwined attachment means that the Teo family has never gone on a true family vacation as i would never have the heart to place him in a pet hotel.

Granted there were frustrations with the occasional potty accidents, the stains he made on my dad's highly prized marble floor, the balls of loose fur that seemed to appear from nowhere, his incessant barking that drove us to the walls (and his saliva that stained my countless mattresses).

But i know that deep in our hearts, we did embrace his shortcomings (no one is ever perfect) and continue to shower him with loads of love and kisses.

Two years back, in the midst of consistent vomitting that almost damaged his liver, i thought i would lose him forever.

He was all limp and lifeless when i brought him to see the vet.

With a strong will (and a few thousand dollars), he managed to survive and got really chubby (tipping the scale at over 9 kilograms)!

However, his fur gradually turned white as a result of this illness and instead of looking like a Shih-Tzu, he looked like a snow white Maltese.


Things turned for the worse seven months ago after he was confirmed to have both Cushing disease and an apple-sized tumour in his abdomen.

As my vet-nurse friend pointed out via MSN, Rubee will degenerate bit by bit to the point where his quality of life will be seriously compromised.

My friend was spot on; Rubee's weight started to decline drastically over the span of just a few months. A drop that saw him weighing just 4.75 kilograms.

'Skin and bones' was the best way to describe his physical condition.

He became deaf, his fur started dropping in clumps and he stopped drinking and eating. To ensure he still gets some nutrients into his body, I had to resort to syringing him with grounded kibbles and water.

Eventually, he started to lose control of his bladder.

Finding a pool of urine on the ground was fine but to have him lying on a pool of urine few times a day was too heartbreaking.

That's when diapers came in play! I can now proudly declare that changing diapers is no longer a difficult task for me.

The final straw came when he no longer had any control of his hind legs and started developing painful looking bed sores on them - wounds that would not heal easily without constant, proper care.

I am not a dog and i don't know what pain and suffering mean to them. I had to use my human instinct to gauge and determine how bad, how depressing his situation was and to make a conscientious decision whether to put him down.

Owners have that limitless power over our pets.

A selfish power that seems easy to perform but heartbreaking to decide. At the very least, i know that his suffering will cease to be and he will (hopefully) be in a better place.

All dogs go to heaven right?

With the above in mind, i made the tearful decision to terminate the life of 15 years old Rubee. It took only a moment to carry out such a momentous decision and...

he stopped breathing.

Goodbye my friend...

You know i will never ever forget you and till we meet again at the end of the rumoured rainbow bridge, you shall be greatly missed...


  1. Anonymous1:24 PM

    Aww, had tears in my eyes. It reminded me of all my pets who have passed away due to old age or sickness. I truly hope we will get to meet our pets again in the afterlife...

    1. well, a hard to answer question! haha. well, we all just wish they are free from pain and suffering when they are on the other side. :)


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