After 16 years you didn’t show up saying good morning.
The house was different and silent. I didn’t hear the noise from your tiny paws walking around, not even your typical sneeze before barking when you wanted something.
I remember when you arrived home like it was yesterday. You were a tiny fluffy brown puppy. So sweet that looked like a teddy bear. That day in the end of 2000 I had finally achieved my biggest dream: having you.
My parents never really liked the idea of having a puppy at home. They are that kind of people that think animals aren’t for children, because at the end they would have to take care of them. Even though I was a really responsible child, I could’t change their minds.
Not to say I’ve never had any animals, they used to buy me birds – because it’s easier to take care, right? And I did it. I used to love them, but I felt really sad to see them locked inside a cage. Also I wanted a pet that I could hold and squeeze, I could’t do that with the birds (otherwise I would kill them).
After so many years dreaming about a dog, our neighbor called my mom saying that her Poodle gave birth and she was donating the dogs. I begged my parents so much that they finally gave in. We chose one little girl.
You arrived home all happy and also doing all the wrong stuff puppies do. Peeing on the floor, eating flip flops and barking all the time. But one person that was really happy was me. I could’t contain myself. I wanted to forget school and my homework and simple stay home playing with you the whole day.
I caught myself thinking a name to give you. My best friend at the time (and until today) also had a Poodle and his name was Zequinha, a name of a character of aBrazilian TV show that we were super fans. So we thought about making a tribute giving the name of another character to my puppy as well. And then we chose Biba (pronounce as Bee-ba).
You started growing up and I was getting to know you better. I taught you some tricks and learned about your personality. I felt so happy to see your revolution… peeing only outside the house, playing fetch and so many other things.
I’ve always been proud of how sweet you are. You never bit anymore, not even a fly. Not even your vets! You were always quiet. One of the things you loved the most was to sleep on my lap. If you could you would stay all day long over there.
Everybody loved you. You were such a lovely dog!
I remember when you got pregnant. We were all happy when we found out you were expecting two babies. It was so magical to see two tiny things moving around in your pink belly.
The day had come and two tiny girls were born. One was a big chubby one (that we named Mel) and the other one was tiny and week (we named Chérie). This one was born with physiological problems and could’t even eat properly. She almost died. I spent days and nights awaken feeding her, because I know you were to tired to take care of two.
After a lot of caring and love, she survived. Both were already grown up to get adopted. So my aunt adopted Mel, the bigger one. We decided to keep Chérie with us because she had a very delicate health and really needed some extra care.
So the family got bigger. Can you imagine how happy I was?
The time was flying, merciless. I grew up, graduated from high school, then graduated from college, after that I start university, graduated from university, moved to another city, graduated again, returned to my hometown, moved to another country… Yeap, a LOT of stuff happened.
And you started to get old. Your fur wasn’t brown anymore, you got a lot of grey hair, you stopped fetching… you got more calm and quiet then ever. Even though you were still the same sweet and lovely dog. The same Biba, my Bibola.
Funny that even though you were an old lady, I could count on my fingers how many times you got sick. NONE! Yeap, not even one time. You were always very active, healthy and extremely well taken cared. You always had the best food and best treatment.
Well, you didn’t got sick but you ended up at the vet sometimes. There was one day you cough that serious tick decease (while walking around the neighborhood). It was terrible, but I found out on time and you got better really fast.
I need also to mention that day my mom gave you avocado (because you asked so much she felt pity). That day you got sick and the vet had to clean all inside your bowel. Fortunately you got better and we learned from that day that avocado is toxic for dogs.
I just remembered one funny day that you were a puppy and tried to play with a bee. Of course you can imagine what happened, right? I had to call my neighbor (because I was home alone that day) to take you to the vet with me.
Even though you were a very healthy and playful dog, the age has come to you as it comes to everybody.
In your case it started 6 months ago, when you had 15 years and a half. From one day to another you started coughing non-stop. I was worried and took you to the vet. They did a lot of exams and found out you had a heart problem. One of the valves was not closing properly anymore, blocking the blood circulation. That problem was also making your heart bloated, therefore pushing your trachea and making you cough :(
Unfortunately there was nothing we could do besides giving you medication. After that you started to go frequently to the vet. Everything was happening at once.
Your neck got bloated after a while. You had to have a surgery to remove liquid from it and also your salivary gland that was really bothering you. And you stood firm. One more victory for you, my old lady.
But the coughing was not leaving you alone. It was very sad and frustrating to see you that way and being incapable of making you feel better.
In the meantime, you also got urinary incontinence. You started coughing and peeing everywhere around the house. After that you got worse… you could’t even hold it up while you were sleeping. We had to buy diapers for you.
After that moment I finally realized that I was taking care of a baby again, just like I did on the first day you arrived home.
One day you woke up feeling bad, with a lot of difficult to do your stuff. We took you to the vet and he said everything was ok with you, that maybe you had to change the food. So we did, but you didn’t want to eat or even drink water. We kept an eye on you but you weren’t getting better.
On September 12th (Monday), we took you again to the vet and he gave us the bad news: you had hernia. If you didn’t have a surgery right away you could die because you weren’t eating and doing your stuff anymore. That was a very risky surgery because of the place of the hernia (right in your butt) and also because of your age: 16 years old.
I dropped you in the morning with my heart on my hands. I kissed you and hugged you. I didn’t want to have bad thoughts but I felt somehow that I had to look really deep inside your eyes, that I had to take pics and make a video, because I felt that was the last time I would see you.
I went home crying. I stayed the whole day feeling bad. I cried a lot. I tried to fight against the bad thoughts saying to myself that I had to be positive, that everything would work out fine and you would be back home in the end of the day. But the hours were passing by and I was getting more and more worried…
I’m not a religious person, but I have faith. I decided to Google some prayers for animals and found one of St. Francis of Assisi that was saying about asking for the spiritual guides to protect and help the sick animal so they could free them from any suffering.
It was 3:30 PM when the telephone rang. I didn’t want to pick up because I was terrified about the bad news. My mom picked up and it was the vet saying that he could’t do the surgery that day because he felt sick at a sudden. He said he had no conditions of doing the surgery that day so he asked us to take her food and bed to the clinic, because she would be sleeping over to do the surgery next day early in the morning.
My parents told me that they could do that because they need to do some bank stuff close to the clinic, but I felt like I HAD to go with them. Something inside was telling me to be there.
When I finally got there, some minutes after waiting the vet showed up with his head on the door, with a serious face and told me to get inside. From that part on I will never forget the words that came out from his mouth:
“I have a terrible news to give you… Unfortunately we lost Biba”.
I was paralyzed. That sentence had the same effect as someone shooting me against the wall. I got no reaction. I just said “WHAT HAPPENED?!” with my eyes full of tears.
He proceed: “While we were taking her out of her cage to put her in the bigger area so she could eat and stuff, she had a seizure. We tried very hard to reanimate her with oxygen and heart massage, but she could’t make it. That happened 30 minutes ago, that’s why I didn’t call you back, you were already on your way”.
I was still in shock.
Although I was waiting some bad news (because you were very old and having serious problems), we never really expect that THIS will happen one day. I always thought you would survive one more day, things would get better and you would go home. One more day would pass by, and again, and again… until you live forever. You could get sick, but you would never leave me.
At the same place I saw you alive. At the same place I saw you resting forever. A really deep and eternal rest. I could’t control my desperate, loud and suffered cry. I wanted to wake you up and take you home! But you didn’t wake up.
I can say you were my biggest happiness and also my biggest sorrow. I’ve never cried such a suffered and painful cry for loosing someone or any other situation in my life. I felt like you have taken me to heaven and then collapsing from there with my face straight on the floor.
I know it wasn’t your fault, it’s part of life. To born, to grow up and to die. I just need to thank you for being part of my life, my sweet Biba.
Even in such a sad moment I thought about how luck WE were. Even if you’re gone, you we’re saved. The universe conspired in your favor making you leave this world without any suffering. We just need to piece together the puzzle: the vet getting sick at a sudden, me visiting you in the day I didn’t need to and the biggest luck of all: I was in Brazil to do that.
You were so amazing that you chose the right moment to say goodbye. In less than 20 days I was leaving to another trip and I would’t be here to see you for the last time. You gave me the signs and the universe transmitted to me. I got that, I trusted that and I thank you for that.
In that same day we bought a tree that has my favorite flower. We wanted to close your cycle as the most beautiful way we could, the way you deserved. By your side now there is a tiny Ipê (a Brazilian tree) that very soon will bloom beautiful pink flowers. The color of the love I have for you. By your side will grow a new life, symbolizing everything you meant to me.
Rest in peace my dear love. May you be happy wherever you are.
I will always cherish the good moments we had. You will always be on my mind and heart.