In the End, a Life Well Lived...

by Poorvi
(New Delhi, India)

My twelve-year old German Shepherd, Prince, died a week ago and I am still missing him and feeling sad. He would have turned thirteen on November 30, 2011, just three days after my 24th birthday.

Prince took very ill exactly a week before he passed away. Multiple appointments with the vet and 2 successive days in the hospital did not make him any better. The vet said he had contracted gastroenteritis. He kept throwing up and became very weak and when he did not get any better even after medication and care, we were very worried.

I reached home on November 23 and was very upset. We kept trying to get him to eat something but he wouldn't budge. He would just lie in one position and though he was on an anti-emetic and a medicine to boost his appetite, a few sips of milk or water would make him throw up. The only time he made a sound would be when he was very thirsty and his face needed to be lifted and held to help him drink water. He had become very weak.

November 24 was a memorial for my grandfather who had passed away a year ago and Prince somehow pulled through. The day after that, post lunch, he looked very different. His eyes were blank and he looked so much in pain that my Mom and I thought maybe it was time, but we decided on one last appointment with the vet. I had to leave that very evening and less than 3 hours after I had left, my Mom called to say that he had passed.

Prince was a wonderful dog. He was very attached to my grandfather, mother and me. He came to us when he was just a few months old and we practically grew up together. He loved to eat and would go mad every time a cake was being baked at home.

He was very protective of my parents and me and would get very agitated if some outsider was hugging any of us or even touching us. Whenever I was home and would be in the kitchen, he'd expect some treat. He loved home food and we barely ever gave him any of the commercial dog foods.

I miss him every day, and even though I have been away from home for a few years now, I know how hard it will be when I go home next and he won't be there. So many people in the family loved him, and though everyone thinks it was for the better, I think he let go himself just to keep my Mom from making one of the toughest decisions in her life.

We had a dog that passed away when I was just 2 so I didn't really know him. Prince was so, so dear to me. All I hope is that we made his life good and happy and that he is at peace.

I love you, Prince. You're with me every day.

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