1st, there was me not being able to study here in the UK. Pretty hard to take, and it took a little bit of adjusting. But before the concept of me studying in Singapore was cast in stone, the wait was totally agonizing. I was left with the unattractive job of telling my very best friends (Sarah, Claire, Jude and Louise), who I am lucky to have. News was met with "Oh nooo! Stay here pleeease!" Which didn't make it any easier and I have spent many moments brooding and dreading the day when Northern Ireland would cease to be familiar to me. My very worse fear, though, is never seeing my friends here again. I am so lucky to have them, how I got them, I don't really know. But they're one of the best things to happen to me here. Them and Ryan are the reason I love going to school everyday.
Then there was not being able to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. That was the final straw which decided that I am willing to go back to Singapore for my universities studies. Still no sign of anyone telling me about the websites which help you choose the right universities, but I'm still waiting.
Today. Ahh..worse day of school so far this year. for some reason I was a little antsy. Just felt really left out and it did feel like a slap in the face. Homework is also starting to pile up a little. No stress there, considering I could always get it done in Private Study now that I am only doing three subjects. I've dropped Computing upon the persuading of the Head Teacher. This sounds so stupid but I just felt really bad for no reason at all in school. The small things drive me nuts. I got better at the end, but I came home to a rather strange atmosphere and found out that Benjamin has been put to sleep.Oh Ben..I'm missing you already.
I used to mind walking him, feeding him, and bearing with him. But deep down, I guess I really did care for him. Looking back now, I'm so glad I gave him his walks and fed him, all of which made his life just that little bit happier.
Watching him deteriorate wasn't the easiest thing to do. It has already started from last year and in the past two weeks, he has been going downhill really quickly. There are times when he couldn't stand and yet want to walk and run and jump. So we gave him lots of little walks. Ones that he would be able to cope with. The little walks also helped with him going to the toilet outside. We would occasionally have an accident. But that's ok, put the kettle on, the mop out, and the job is done. Ben would whine when he couldn't stand. Doesn't matter, give him a wee lift. Whenever he's around, I would be giving him half of my chocolate bar even though I know it's bad for him because he likes them. We all gave him our leftovers and fed him as much as we can in the hope that his rapidly declining body would bulk up a little instead of steadily becoming more and more skeletal. He loves his food and in spite of all the food we gave him, he still got more and more skeletal.
As much as I sometimes dread walking him, especially in the rain, walking him has probably been one of the things which brought me and Auntie Carol and Jordan closer together. Poop scooping, I don't mind so much anymore. And whenever I tried to tell myself "No more walking, no more poop scooping, no more trying to feed Benjamin when he's jumping at you for his food", I just couldn't imagine that. Whenever I came, he was part of the family. Along with the cats. I just took it for granted that he would always be here. Whenever he started to decline more rapidly, I tried looking on the bright side. Looking for any milestone. Any at all, no matter how small, and revel and rejoice in it. "Ben's walking better today!" "Today he started off really strong and was even pulling me!" "He went out to the toilet on his own ^__^"
Being optimistic wouldn't stop his aging. But it sure did make it a whole lot easier. I remembered last Christmas, Ben got a whole packet of crisps for himself. Auntie Carol felt guilty for not getting him toys, but he loved the packet of crisps because all he got of people food are leftovers. It's nice for him to have some people food all to himself at one go for once.
It still feels weird not hearing him gamboling around the place and hearing his nails click on the ground, this Christmas would be really difficult and each day would be a struggle for a while. But We'll get on. I used to think people who have lots of dogs would have forgotten about the previous ones. Now I know I'm wrong. They always stay with you. Right there in your heart.
Having another dog doesn't mean you love them any less. And losing Benjamin like this and feeling so bad is not any reason to stop dreaming about having a dog as a pet. Because the puppies are already there, and it would be better to have someone who will love them rather than someone who will put them down at the slightest sign of trouble.
Benjamin is the first ever dog who lived with me, and I will always remember him. He taught me how to be patient, how to share a single bar of chocolate, and which places are the best to scratch. My river of tears for him will probably never dry up. There will probably be times when I would go home expecting to hear him gamboling around the house, with his too-long nails clicking on the floor, all set for a walk or a snack. But one thing's for sure, he will always be right here, in my heart.
It has been difficult losing you, and you were never the easiest dog to get along with. But no matter where you are, I still miss you and I sure hope you're enjoying yourself running in heavenly fields without a lead. You are free of your mortal body. Make use of it and run free.