To My Handsome, Faithful and Loving German Shepherd, Tiger
(Trinidad, West Indies)
The night we collected "Bubbles" from his Mum, baby brothers and sister, lightning flashed severely, thunder rolled heavily and so did the rain. We could barely see through the windshield of the car. The rain pounded non-stop.
On reaching our home in his little box with him squeaking wildly, "Bubbles" looked confused, unhappy and as though he was highly traumatised. His loud yaps were telling us that he missed his siblings and wanted to go back home. My 2 little girls and I played with him gently on the floor and gave him a small bowl of warm milk, trying our best to pacify his anxiety.
It was at the foot of my bed that night and ever since that he slept, just the size of one floor tile. He was the cutest and fluffiest black cotton-balled pup ever with floppy ears and giant-sized paws. His name in our house was "Tiger" (his new name) because he looked liked a tiger.
The days, weeks and months went by. Tiger grew to be a handsome mature-looking dog by 4 months with a coat that was black, fawn, beige, brown, silver, grey, cream and white - so magnificent-looking and shiny. His little yaps became deeper-sounding barks and his tiny tongue was now a long one giving loving licks to our faces.
At the age of 9 weeks though, little Tiger (Tigzee) developed a twisted gut. His symptoms were awful - he got like a skinny rat and our Vet took him in immediately on calling into his office and he went into surgery. "I wish to tell you that your pup is a miracle pup. All the pups that I did surgery on for twisted guts died; yours survived."
I promptly told the Vet that while he was performing the surgery, my girls and I were at the church around the corner praying to God that he would save our new sweetheart. After he returned home and recuperated nicely, the same symptoms turned up and it was back to surgery. "Your pup is a very lucky fellow. You all are blessed." So, our little Tigzee survived another operation and went on to be a healthy dog of 9 years.
I composed songs for him with words. He had a special song that I sang for him on mornings while he was curled up at the foot of my bed, then one for the afternoon when it was time to play on the lawn, and one at bedtime. Whenever I was ill in bed (with flu, etc.) he'd be at my side staring at me and whining. He was the reason I got better faster than normal.
He loved to smell the flowers and the grass outside. He loved to take walks around the perimeter of our premises, always stopping to smell things on the lawn. Whenever I played the piano, until the wee hours of the morning, he'd lie down by my side and keep me company. "This one is for YOU!" I'd tell him, and he'd look up at me in astonishment and then pant gently.
He was like a child in our family and welcomed everyone returning home. He loved playing ball on the lawn and splashing in the little plastic pool that I bought for him. He had toys all around the house. Everyone loved him. They all said he looked "REGAL."
Tiger enjoyed his meals, every one of them and his morning milk, right up until we had to get the Vet to come and put him to sleep last Sunday. Our poor "baby" could not walk in the end and he had swollen glands all around his body. The Vet said he was in a lot of pain and he would not get better - cancer of the lymphatic glands!!
I have not stopped crying for Tiger ever since he passed away. He brought our family so much happiness, love, joy. He was so faithful.
It was only when he passed away did I realize how our lives revolved around him. From morning to nighttime, he was on our minds - where is he? In or out? Did he get his milk? What about the meat? Is is thawing out? Where is his ball? Do we need to buy shampoo? Where is his towel? The questions make a long list.
Tiger Honey, we know that you're in Heaven and God is looking after you. We just miss the physical aspect of you and we miss patting and hugging you but you're right here with us, looking after us. Every morning, I sing your favourite song to you and at bedtime, I sing your "Bedtime" song which you loved to hear me sing.
There were so many nights I'd open my eyes while sleeping in bed and see your two large front legs/paws on my bed with your body hanging from the edge and you'd be staring at me in my face. I'm sure you were wondering if I was OK.
Tiger Honey, I miss you, we all miss you and the house seems so quiet with you not here. Your toys are still left scattered around on our front pathway where you used to love to chew them while keeping an eye on those nearing our front gate.
I lit a large candle for you last Sunday to help ease our pain. It still does not go away. You were the best dog ever and no other dog could compare to you. It's such a pity that you did not grow to be 13 or 14 years, but we must be grateful for the 9 years that you were with us. We love you and always will ... for the rest of our days. You were our angel on earth!!!
"Mummy" and The Girls