31 May 2017

Heidi - R.I.P.

Today is the 12th anniversary of the death of our little red dog called Heidi.  I had to have her put down in 2005 we were living as expatriates in Tunisia at the time.  I remember the day vividly.  My husband was out of the country on a business trip and I went to the vet with a close friend called Lillian.   Heidi was 15 years old and had kidney failure.  As the vet injected some form of lethal concoction into her left front paw Heidi's heart stopped and she quietly slipped away.  I broke down and cried in front of the vet, in front of my friend, in front of our deceased dog.  

Just at that moment another dog who was also in the veterinary clinic and who had apparently been in a coma for a few days stirred and became conscious.  So we momentarily moved away from where Heidi was lying and moved over to where a mixed breed black Labrador was lying on the metal operating table.  The vet informed us that the black dog was a stray and someone had intentionally tried to poison him with what appeared to be food laced with Strychnine.  The stray was lucky in that an animal lover had picked up the dog and brought him into the vets surgery and offered to pay for his treatment.  The vet explained that he had tried detoxification with activated charcoal for the symptoms as well as artificial respiration for the apnea.   As the vet began to tend to the black dog I gently picked up Heidi's lifeless body and Lillian and I left his surgery. 

 We drove a short distance to Lillian's house where the stewards who were employed to manage and maintain the house and garden where Lillian was living had already prepared a deep grave. We buried Heidi there within an orange grove inside Lillian's extensive gardens.  We then had a cup of tea in the courtyard.  Lillian's usually boisterous cream coloured Labrador's Sacha and Sally greeted me with their tails wagging, they then nuzzled up to me and came and sat close by me.  It was good to be in the company of a close friend and her dogs.  I thanked Lillian for making a difficult day memorable.  I then went home and lit a candle and played some music which Heidi appeared to like.  The song Peaceful Easy Feeling by the Eagles and the second movement of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No.2.  To us, Heidi was more than a dog.  She was a part of our small family.  She accompanied us on our different postings around the world and lived with us in Turkey, France, Egypt and Tunisia.  Dear Heidi, may you rest it peace.

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
Groucho Marx (comedian)

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