My darling dog!
A few years ago, I wanted to set up an NGO to fight obesity among the youngsters on this island. I told this idea to a “friend” of mine and he offered me his abundant property. Over the next year, some passionate volunteers and me renovated and cleaned up this complex. It’s location was magic: smash on the waterfront of Kuah, I could go there by dinghy from the yacht club. The ocean view and sunset were unbeatable.
I had spent some 100.000 RM over that year and it turned out to be just perfect for my purposes. Luckily I never lulled myself into the idea that this could become my home too although the owner tried to push me into that direction but I stayed on my boats or my humble tiny house.
Eventually I started to do some cooking classes with the help of some dedicated chefs here on the island. All of them were absolutely great and sure enough I paid for everything out of my own pocket.
However, whenever I did stay in the property over night I had enjoyed the company of the dogs. In particular, the big mail German shepherd Jessie had been my friend on lonely hours. Full of power, playful and elegant, begging for my attention he entertained me in long nights. Gorgeous to look at, healthy, strong and always happy; only his height, looks and bread qualified him as a guard dog but he would have given a warm welcome to any burglar; a too kind heart.
The other three dogs I had hardly noticed. Two local dogs, mixtures of all races. One black, the other one brown and last but surely not least, the other female German shepherd. Actually in the beginning I hardly saw her, never knew her name, but I did see that she was in a very poor condition. I thought this dog was very old and ready to die soon.
A friend of mine eventually opened my eyes and brought shame on me for ignoring the poor dog for so long. Rebecca, her name, could hardly walk as her nails were unnaturally grown into her paws. Sharp and hard as they were, every step must have been very painful; therefore she hardly stood up.
When I then approached her, she was lying against a wall. I walked closer to her and she looked up to me; her tail digged between her legs and close to her own mouth; a sign of fear and lack of self-confidence. She was skinny as a bone, stinky like three weeks dead already, her fere white and dull.
I kneeled down in front of her and softly spoke to her and it seemed like she started to relax. I told her not to fear and I would come back to fetch her. A white bed sheet around her body I carefully carried her to my pick up and placed her next to my seat. She snuddled her head on my laps and looked up to me throughout the drive. She knew, she had a second chance.
I drove her to the Bon Ton Animal Clinic, the only one on the island at that time and run and financed as an NGO but basically by Narell, the lady owner of the resort who takes care for a couple of hundred dogs since many years. Let alone she sterilizes some 3000 stray cats every year.
Dr. Tim, the vet, asked me where I had found that little piece of sadness. It turned out that the dog was only about two maybe three years old. Being the weakest out of the 4 dog, she got bitten innumerable times. Tim counted more than 34 wounds. Additionally Jessie tried to jump on her and she was bitten by him too as she defended herself. Tim suggested putting the dog down right than but I rejected. Her first clean up under anesthesia took Dr. Tim 5 hours.
From then onwards Rebecca was my dog. After leaving the unfortunate property with a huge loss of time, money and hopes, I was lucky enough to find my farm, The Garden of Eva. Here Rebecca found a new home and four other poor dogs, all stolen by my own self to rescue them, she slowly recovered but I had her for more than one year straight on antibiotics.
Rebecca’s immune system was very weak and the smallest wound was quickly covered with maggots. I spent a fortune on medical bills.
Eventually I decided to take her to my and later to Jerry’s house and we had the dog 24/7 with us.
She started to become the darling and mascot on my charters and guests from all over the world learned to love her. Some in the beginning with fear, in particular Indians and Muslims, but Rebecca’s gently face and character convinced each one of them.
She used to jump from the boat into the dinghy, from the dinghy into the ocean and swam ashore to play with other dogs on the beach or chase crabs on the beach.
A few months after I had been kicked out from that property, I badly regretted not having taken Jessie as well as I heard the rumor that the owner gave him away to some random Chinese as he had Muslim guests complaining about that dog. If only I had known that. I so regretted that. I never heard anything about his wellbeing.
However, whenever I had to travel to Thailand with one of my boats or by car I smuggled Rebecca over the border and she joined us as often as possible.
She only recently started to lose weight and became wobbly. Unfortunately the only therapies over the past years she has received were pills and injections, stuffed with Antibiotics, the only therapy Malaysia seems to know for dogs and humans alike.
I was not astonished when I found out that she was suffering from cancer. I tried to make her life as comfortable as possible but she had to go back to the farm in order to be able to do her business at any time and to avoid the stair case, we live on the second floor and have no lift. She was playful almost till the very end and that came on the 7th of February.
I had always hoped that I would not need to kill her by an injection.
That day I was desperate to go to the farm and ignored all issues that were trying to hold me back. Arriving at the farm, I saw she was on her last leg. I sat next to her and she, although did not lift her head anymore, surely recognized me. I called the vet and asked her to come. She wanted to refuse and asked me to bring the dog to the clinic but I got furious enough for her to agree as we were talking about Rebecca!! Her’s and my other dog’s bills must have paid for the entire clinic over the last few years. Jerry went to pick her up. I stayed with Rebecca and asked her to die now. Eventually I hear the car and the vet. I told Rebecca that she had only 3 more breath, she must be gone to spare me the injection! And so she did. 3 more hefty and deep breath, one convulsion and she was gone.
Apart from my mother I never cried as much as I did now but I was so happy on the other side that she had her own way.
She will always be in my heart and sometimes I feel as if she is around; so as just now as I finish this sentence!
Those you have dogs will feel the same.
Poor people that never have/had a dog!