Friday, January 30, 2009

Farewell, dear friend

Thursday January 29, 2009

MY best buddy died on the 13th of this month. He was in my arms when I said goodbye. Today is his birthday. Had he lived, he would have celebrated his 13th birthday.

Vai came into my life at a time when I was at the lowest. Even though I was a disabled activist, I found it hard to fight off bouts of depression when I was home.

All that changed when Vai came along. At eight weeks old, he was the very challenge I needed to overcome my depression.

My wheelchair was no longer an excuse. I had to feed him, bathe him and clean up after him. During those times, it was just Vai and I. We learnt to trust each other.

I trained him to be a service dog. Vai learnt to pick up all sorts of things for me: my mobile phone, car keys. He even learnt to open the door.

He also taught me to laugh and have fun. He would snatch my watch away and insisted I chase after it.

At other times, the cheeky fellow would bring me a dead lizard or a live cockroach as a “gift.”
His antics helped me to shift my focus away from my disability and problems, and onto him. As far as he was concerned, it’s people in wheelchairs who are normal.

Vai was an excellent bodyguard. Once he even saved me from a bunch of road bullies. Some boys walked threateningly to my car – until Vai stood up in the backseat to show himself.

He was chief actor in my service dog movie sponsored by the Rotarians. The video made an impression on local councillors who assumed that Rottweilers were killers. After watching it, they decided to scrap the ban on Rottweilers.

If Vai could talk, this would be his message: “There are no bad Rottweilers, only untrained owners!”

Vai, together with his partner (an Alsatian I got a month later), inspired me to set up a service canine training programme called Bivai Special Dogs in 2001.

Vai was instrumental in the setting up of Petpositive, an animal-assisted therapy (AAT) society of which I serve as president. We hope to set up an AAT centre in the country to carry out Vai’s legacy. Not just with dogs but all types of pets to comfort disabled and elderly people.
Vai leaves behind wonderful memories. I can’t imagine living without the marvellous years he so generously gave me.

I sobbed as he slipped away in the late evening. All I could say was “thank you Vai for making my years with you the happiest that I have ever known.”

Vai was euthanised at Segar Veterinary Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. He was diagnosed with cancer.

seals: in some part of life the will be a soul in a many kind of body will cross our path. It is a spiritual gift to have such a friend to cross our life. It was indeed a blessing.

May GOD bless the soul.


Jarod said...

sorry to know that you have lost your lovely dog. Dog at time is human best companion. Nothing can compare to their presence. I used to have a dog that help us shoo off snakes and big lizard. Of course, she also protect our house when we are not around. My family and I miss her so much. We decided to give her to PAWS as we do not have enough space for her to run around. I miss her a lot.

Seal in Astral said...

Some time back we had a bird that fly down and eat with us, a cat that protected the chicken from the snake and a dog that took care of all.

They were all was part of our life like a family. We miss them all too....