Today makes it a month since the Sunday we had to let you go. It’s been the slowest month of my life. I’m still not back to my regular routine – there wasn’t one without you – but I’m working on it.
It’s been a month now and I thought I should tell you about the day you came over because I’m not sure we had that conversation in detail.
It was 23rd September, 7 years back, when we got a call that you’re waiting at a vet’s clinic to meet your new family. Papa, Gurin and our family friends were there with you but I had to wait because I had terrible pain in my chest and mom had to take me to the doctor’s. I remember going through mixed emotions and feelings. There was pain, excitement, nervousness, and I was extremely emotional. It took us a while because the doctor had to run tests on me but I was getting annoyed, I really just wanted to meet you.
And then, after everything was diagnosed and understood, we left to see you. And you were the cutest boy I ever laid my eyes on! I was really scared to hold you because I’d never held a puppy before but I was so happy! I was ecstatic! Nervous and really scared but ecstatic!
We took you in our car and you looked so excited and curious and there was something about you that said “I’m ready. It’s going to be a happy adventure.” And that’s what I really wanted you to have in life, a happy adventure.
And well, of course you peed all over the house the moment you entered and played with everyone and everything you thought was meant to be played with and you filled in colours to my previously grey-scaled vision.
I wasn’t a happy child before you walked in. I was unwell for years, could barely move without screaming in pain, my only outings were school – where I was frequently mocked at – and hospitals – where they’d run numerous painful tests on me to only send me home saying that I’m just stressed (in other words, pretending to be sick). So of course I was angry at the world, also at myself, because I started doubting my own reality but you, my love, you changed it all. You’ve been the rainbow that I longed for after, what seemed like, an endless spread of darkness and a rough storm. You made home the happiest place for me. You made me the happiest place for me.
I’d forgotten the word “bored” because I never had to use it with you. We’d play, I’d talk with you, I started going out with you, you’ve been amazing.
I remember convincing everyone at home wasn’t easy. It took me around three years of crying and pleading before they finally understood that with the kind of health and everything I’d been dealing with, I could really use a good friend. I’d start moving around a little because of course you’d need all the playing and exercise. And you did all that and more. You gave me a new life by accepting us as your family. I was smiling, genuinely smiling and happy. I wasn’t really angry anymore. I kept telling myself that had I not been this unwell, I wouldn’t have you in life. You’ve been magic since day one, my baby boy.
You gave me a new life the moment you came, and you gave me a new life the moment you left.
I still can’t believe it. It all happened in five days. You started to lose your eyesight, then we found out you have an infection, your platelets were low and liver and kidney were affected but you’ve always been a fighter and so strong. But when you stopped eating and walking and had two attacks in the same day, I knew it’s not fair to you. It’s not fair for you to be in pain. It’s never fair to be in pain. I hope you know that’s why I decided to put you to sleep, Doughie. The doctors said you’d be in terrible pain very soon and that it’s a multiple organ failure and you’re too tired to fight. I didn’t want you to be in pain, my love. You were strong till the end, Doughie. When everyone came to see you on Saturday, you gave them all the time. I knew you were in so much discomfort and you were so weak but you were still so strong. So many people came to just hug you for the last time and just be around because that’s how special you are. I’m sorry I couldn’t hold you on Sunday when it was time. I really wanted to. But I couldn’t. I know you’re bigger than all of us, Doughie. You have the biggest heart than any of us. I’m not sure why you decided to heal me but you did and I’ll always do everything I can to thank you and to respect your decision and do better things in life.
I’m going to address to the person who’s reading this now. Hi! If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then I’d like to thank you for your kindness, so far. I’m going to tell you something that will be extremely difficult, for anyone who’s not yet been blessed enough to be loved by a dog or any other animal and who hasn’t loved one either, but I hope you’d at least try to understand and respect it. You don’t have to believe it but just keep your heart and mind open.
I have been chronically ill for the past 12 years. I have openly talked about my health in this blog and specially in my Dear Diary series. The moment my baby boy was put to sleep, I hugged him before he had to be buried. I stayed inside because I couldn’t see him like that but I’m thankful to Gurin for calling me to pay my last respects to Doughie. I went out, walked to where my love was lying, and sprinkled sand on him before he could be covered. I hadn’t realised it until later but it was that very moment when I was extremely calm. After those sleepless nights and the pains I already had and also a month long episode of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, calm was the last thing anyone expected me to be.
If anything was expected, it was that my body won’t able to recover from the exertion, the emotional stress and the loss of my baby boy. But that calmness was to stay and it was a couple of minutes later I realised that I’m not in pain. Just a few hours ago, I couldn’t touch my left shoulder because it would hurt like hell and I thought of getting my thigh checked because it pained like there was muscle tear or something. Just a few hours ago, my joints were swollen like everyday and I couldn’t see anything in the light without wearing my anti-glare glasses. But that one moment, when I sprinkled sand on my baby boy’s body, I was calm.
Doughnut has healed me and freed me of my pains. My joints aren’t swollen, I held a pen after ages without any pain, I don’t need my glasses anymore because light doesn’t burn my eyes now, noise isn’t painful, mornings aren’t painful at all, food suits me now, I’m not fatigued.
For the first time, in 12 years, I am not in pain. I’ve been doing what every healthy person is able to do and takes for granted – sit, stand, walk, talk, run, climb the stairs.
But not seeing him around is more painful than those 12 years combined. I’ve been feeling miserable. I don’t feel like working, even though I’ve started to, I can’t find the drive I had with Doughie around. But I know I’ll come around eventually, because like always Doughnut will guide me. And I won’t let him down, I won’t let his efforts and his miracle go to waste.
I’m working on making my body strong now. I’ve started exercising and will soon take a trainer’s help to make it the fittest. I know I’ll take my time but, for Doughie, I’m going to work even harder and do everything I love. I’m also going to prepare myself to volunteer at various places. It’s all going to take time. Life without him around physically, is not easy and I have a lot of adjusting to do. But I’ll come around eventually.
Tomorrow, I’m re-joining the art classes I used to go to a couple of years back. I couldn’t continue because I could barely hold a pencil or a brush after sometime. I’m trying to get back to things I loved to do but couldn’t because my body wasn’t able to take it. You know how there are people who draw a religious symbol or write something like that, before beginning anything, I write Thank You, Doughie. Because he gave me the strength to deal with my body with a smile on my face when he came, and he healed my body so I could do everything again when he left. I guess I’m writing it repeatedly hoping that I’ll be able to believe it sooner but I don’t think it works that way.
My world is pretty empty without him, but his love and teachings are going to last a lifetime. Doughie has been special to everyone he’s met. He was surrounded by all of his human friends and their thank yous, love and warmth on Saturday and Sunday.
Spriha & Kavya, our friends, came over the night before to help Doughie calm down and sleep better. And another friend of ours who came in from Bombay, Hari, sent me a pendant with Doughnut’s fur in it and a tiny ball that glows in the dark. Doughie would get me to read books out loud to him, specially at night, and Harry Potter is one that we’ve re-read numerous times. And so the glowing represents one of our favourite quotes and something both Hari and I know Doughnut does wonderfully – “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Doughnut is our light.
A week later Doughie’s farewell, everyone came over again to pay their tribute to him and just share his love and laughter and the goofy stories. It was also when I told everyone that I’m completely healthy now and pain-free. Everyone wrote messages for Doughie on balloons, the idea was to release them in the air <3
And then today, Mama baked a Thank you cake for our baby boy.
You’re such a special boy, Doughie. You’ll forever be our always <3 Thank you for everything, my love. Thank you. We all love you.