22 August 2007

Good-bye Benny

I enclose an email I received from Karin today, asking me to include it here. Indeed I think Karin's words bear testament to the reality of the short lives some of these poor creatures live and also the heart ache from the attachment that caring for homeless dogs can bring.

The first time I met Benny and his four siblings was in July last month. I had almost finished my temple tour at Wat Vivek, when the temple boys told me that another litter of puppies had been dumped – as it happens regularly at this and many other temples here. He showed me 5 lively brownish bundles –they were completely starving and went after three bowls of food as if they hadn’t eaten for days.

I took them into my car and drove back home. They were riddled with fleas and I tried to stop them from wandering around in the whole car, and I remember especially one popped up again and again and I fell for his cuteness right away – I called him Benny. Benny and his siblings first stayed at the shelter, were sprayed to get rid of their fleas, got a health check at the vet, food and love, their set of vaccinations, and the hairless spots from flea allergy slowly disappeared. Lady, our rescued senior Labrador, was very keen on getting into their enclosure and looked after them as a caring foster mom. Then the little ones developed a cough and I took them to our home. Partly because I didn’t want the cough to spread to other dogs, but partly also because I love to have foster puppies around between our own bunch of adult dogs – just can’t resist their charm and playfulness.

Two of them got adopted soon, and so Benny, Britta, and Tanya remained with us. The girls recovered quickly from their cough, but not Benny, though we changed the antibiotics every two weeks and gave him vitamins as well. But otherwise he didn’t have any other symptoms, looked healthy and playful, loved eating (as his growing little belly was evidence of), and of course playing with his sisters. He was a special friend of our 9-month old male Momo, at times just jumped on him, and the two were rolling around together. It was heartwarming to see how carefully big Momo played with his little friend. I have to confess, Benny was my special darling, and I always felt a bit guilty towards his sisters when I took him into my arms first to give him a long cuddle. I was very concerned that he would be given only to a real loving and caring home. Well, when you see the photo which Amandine took of him, you might understand.

As Bennys cough didn’t get better, I brought him for another vet check last week, and we changed the antibiotics one more time. We have currently family visiting and left for Bangkok last week. I knew Benny would be in good care with dog-loving Amandine and our valuable house-keeper Khun Kulab. Yesterday Kh. Kulab called me and told me that Benny had lost appetite and had diarrhea for the first time and that his body felt hot. I asked her to arrange a vet visit and Dr. Thanakrit recommended to separate him from our other dogs and prescribed new medicine. Benny stayed at our bathroom where bedding has been prepared for him, and when Kulab saw him yesterday evening he still looked o.k. and even tried to get out of the room to see his sisters.

This morning I got a phone call from Amandine. She told me that Kulab had found Benny this morning dead in the bathroom, he must have died several hours before.

Benny will be buried today in our garden next to the grave of my eldest dog Dao and I asked Amandine to say fare-well from me with a frangipani flower.

Rest in peace, little friend, I dearly miss you.

1 comment:

Kerrio said...

Poor little soul.

Farewell Benny, may the next life be a better one