11.50am. Our mongrel Lipton was put to sleep today with a lethal dose of phenobarbitone to relieve her of further sufferings due to complications arising from liver infection. In fact, at that time she had defecated and unresponsive, nearing death. She dies instantly upon administration of the drug, a painless death. For the past few weeks she has not been eating well and developed a distended belly which my veterinarian described as ascites. Yesterday I comforted her and assured her that her sufferings will end soon.
Lipton arrived into my life in an unusual manner. On 12 November 1999 after lunch near my workplace my daughter spotted some stray pups and took sympathy to the 3 of them. They were probably just 2 or 3 weeks old and scavenging on leftovers from the food packs. Of the three pups we eventually kept two, the one we took I named Lipton as her hair was tea colored. I had misgivings adopting this stray of unknown origin as it began developing skin diseases. Its temperament was also unadorable and remained this way even as she reached adulthood. Lipton was unsociable and dislike being touched. She growl when I tried to groom her nails and snapped at me. I consider this very ungrateful since she was brought out from the dustbins into a proper home with space to run, fed daily and provided vet care. Yet we did not abandon her to her past life.
Twice we tried to bring in another dog to keep her company. The first, a young stray dog I took fancy to, she literally harassed him away. The second, a puppy, was bitten to death out of jealousy. Obviously Lipton doesn't believe in sharing the big compound she has gotten used to. As a result she spent all her life in self enforced isolation. She dislike being bathed and every bathing session was a test of will. Especially when she developed skin diseases I literally cornered her to force a bath on her!
Lipton may be a bitch but she has a male personality that scares visitors and strangers. Her redeeming quality is in that she almost never run out of the gate when it is opened, which saved us much inconvenience. Occasionally she'd kill a stray cat or squirrel or bird. But her appetite has always been ravenous and it is irritating to have her begging for food each time she sees us.
Over the past year we saw her aging as she crossed her 10th year. She was slower and also developed body odor which could be related to liver disease. However it was in the recent weeks that her health deteriorated suddenly. When our vet examined her we agreed that her condition is painfully irreversible and I can see it in her tear stained eyes. The decision to let her go carved a part of my life away. Lipton came to us to replace our pet Spitz named King who died on 5 April 1999 before we moved into our house in Rasah Kemayan 12 years ago. She holds the honor of being the first dog we cared here and although she wasn't the dog we hope for she nonetheless belong in the memories of all of us, including our older grandchildren who remember Lipton, feed her and patted her. And in her own ways, kept our house safe.
Lipton did not reach the 12th anniversary of her arrival into our lives. But no matter how imperfect she was her presence did made a difference to all of us. In memory of her passing here are some pictures of Lipton when she was much younger.