Ever since I can remember, I have loved dogs. Because having one while growing up did not seem practical, I only got one when we established a routine in the house and I started working from home, making walks and playtime easier.
German Shepherds are my favourite breed, maybe because of their looks or their intelligence. Now that I have two Rottweilers along with my German Shepherds, I know for a fact that the breed spoils you for other dogs with their brainy ways.
We first adopted a beautiful German Shepherd named Marlowe before getting a female German Shepherd to give him company. And that is how Mollie Lou, or Mollie, came into my life. Given how everything transpired ever since she came into my life, I am convinced that she and I had a karmic bond that was meant to be. While working from home, I used to multi-task at times, but she didn’t mind. Her ball and I were all she needed.
Unfortunately, Mollie had health issues since she was a pup. A frequent upset stomach was eventually diagnosed as inflammatory bowel disease when she was three which led to other problems and allergies. Even when it meant getting up every half an hour on a rainy night to let her out due to the upset tummy, I was there for her. Because of her fussy eating habits, I’d even feed her by hand more often than not.
Last month, she got tick fever. But her delicate stomach and intestines couldn’t handle the antibiotics. Her platelet count became very low and the ulcers started to bleed. Through all this, our bond remained strong – Mollie gave up only after I prayed to God to end her suffering or heal her.
In the end, I held her in my lap and chanted the Krishna mantra as she took her last breath.
I cannot even begin to describe how devastating this is. We lose family members like older grandparents or parents, but we learn to accept it as the circle of life. When a pet goes like that, it really scars you. Maybe it’s because we continue to live on, but for those few years, we were their whole life.
My other three pets have gone quiet. They rarely bark and there is no ball on the floor for me to trip on. The house is eerily silent. Every time I walk inside, it hits me that she is not there to enthusiastically greet me with her ball so we can play.
My way of processing grief is by letting it out. I need to cry and mourn. I saw this when my marriage ended (due to incompatibility, of all things) and I had to cry myself to sleep for over six months before the pain became bearable. In Mollie’s case, I only got a few days – my Marlowe got sick, and the vet explained that he was doing it to take my mind off my grief. I did mention they are very intelligent, didn’t I?
Though I cry as I write this, suppression has become my mantra. Still I wonder, how do you get over someone who loves you more than anyone else in the world? She was my laadli; my little spoilt child. And because she was only five when she went, and the way it happened, the shock and trauma is hard to digest.
For now, I have only one fervent wish where she is concerned. I hope to keep writing about her, as I have today, so that she can come alive again if only in these words. While I process this, Mollie continues to live on in my spirit, heart, and soul.