A couple of days ago, she started throwing up and had diarrhea at the same time. She stopped eating and would only lap up water from time to time. Try as we might, she wouldn’t move from a certain place for hours at a time and when we’d try to carry her, she would attempt to snap back. This morning, she could hardly get up and had difficulty walking. The end came a few hours later. As had been her behavior in the past, she went quietly, a minute after I had patted her head and fed her some ice.
This was a dog I loved sooo much because she had saved my life. When a robber broke into our house a couple of years ago, I was the only one sleeping in the other wing of our house (my brother had spent the night at a friend’s place). All our dogs slept in my room as I couldn’t bear to leave them to sleep outside. Tatiana had this peculiar habit of scratching the door to indicate that she wanted to be let out to do her business and would do the same after she was done to be let in again. She also was very particular about people disturbing me while I was asleep. No one dared approach my bed to wake me up when she was there because she would growl menacingly. On this particular night, I heard my doorknob being rattled. Usually, that would either be my mom or brother stopping by to chat so I would get up to let them in. Curiously, Tatiana hopped on my bed and literally sat on me so I could not get up. Then she started barking fiercely and wouldn’t stop even when I told her to do so. A few minutes later I heard a scuffle outside and the front door opening. When I checked, I learned that my mother had come out to the kitchen to drink a glass of water and had startled the robber into flight. Later on, we discovered that he had been able to do a thorough sweep of my brother’s room and had taken his watch, some clothes and some other items from his room. If I had gone out, or even opened the door then, my life would have been in danger.
I will really miss her – the way she had of letting the other two dogs drink ahead of her even when we knew she was the most parched, of nonchalantly letting the littlest dog playfully bite her ear, of the way she would try her darndest best to not bite any of my fingers when I would feed her bits of food from the table, and of the time she played surrogate mom-dog to Natasha after she had just been born. I have countless and precious memories of her which I will keep forever. Am sure she’s in dog-heaven now because she really deserves to be there…
Thank you, Tatiana. You were a great friend throughout the years. I shall never forget you.
In honor of Tatiana, and other dogs like her, click here: http://www.nylana.org/RRACI/hachiko.htm, to learn about the tale of Hachiko, Japan's most famous dog.