“I had a good life. I guarded. I comforted. I was a good friend,” – Anonymous
Does the length of time matter? That is a difficult question that all dog people face, more so when the final farewell is just months from the time destiny brings you together.
A few years ago, when we met Maya, she was so bright, confident and calm. It was hard to tell that she had survived extreme pain at the hands of humans. That she had sustained injuries from bullets. Yet, she never stopped trusting humans. I often wonder what these dogs are made up of.
“After knowing what Maya had gone through, I couldn’t leave her at the shelter. The adoption agency told me about her condition and that Maya may not even live long. But I repeatedly asked myself – does the length of time matter? I wanted Maya to live well, even if it was for a short while. I wanted her to feel safe. I wanted her to trust again.”
When Deep and his family…which includes Mishka, one of the most amiable and loving furballs I’ve met; she is quite like this cuddly teddy bear…Sorry about digressing, but I feel the need to impress what a big role Mishka played in lifting Maya up.
So, when Deep met Maya for the first time, she could hardly walk. She was emaciated. For almost a month, she had to be taken to the vet every single day for treatment. Soon, she started regaining her health, and then the real healing began. Slowly but steadily, Deep made Maya feel safe and secure. “Mishka too played her part so well. Not for once, was she territorial. In fact, she always let Maya eat first, play with the toys; it seemed as if Mishka understood that Maya needed to heal,” Deep shares. With all the love and care, Maya truly started to blossom. But like they say there’s calm before the storm.
Only two months after she came home, Deep learnt about Maya’s cancer that began spreading quickly and aggressively. Maya put up a brave fight taking the multiple surgeries and the doctor visits in her stride. But then the cancer started affecting her lungs. “When that happened, her breathing became laboured; it seemed very selfish to see her go through so much pain.”
“It was time to let her go. And no matter how much you try, you are never ever really prepared for the loss of a pet. Seeing her go was difficult but being on the deathwatch was harder. She stayed with us for only 10 months but lived well and left us with a lifetime of memories.”
As Maya got a second chance to trust, Deep felt a sense of purpose. “Her nature was to trust, even after so much trauma. If I could go back and do everything all over again for Maya, I would!”
It has been almost three years since Maya crossed the rainbow bridge. Mishka too has seen her share of tumultuous days but continues to be this calm, loving girl. “Mishka has this sense of equanimity. She doesn’t crave for attention; she is happy hanging around us. Most of the time, she seems to be in deep thought. I wonder what really she is thinking about?”
Going back to the question, does the length of time matter? Dogs teach us that a good life is not defined by the length of time but the amount of love that you share.
The ‘M’ factor has grown in strength, with the addition of Mac & Mojo – the kittens. It took a while, but Deep has managed to create a strong pack again. Their story will be told in another post 😊