Today feels like just another day.
But for the folks of Gentle Paws, it's a vastly different world.
Because today, Drago is no longer with us.
Yesterday, while at the vet's, Drago experienced breathing difficulties. He was sent for emergency resuscitation, which, to our dismay, turned out to be unsuccessful.
At twenty-two minutes past three, we were told that Drago had left us for good. This hardy dog had taken his last breath. His arduous battle had finally come to an end.
Drago left us exactly one month after he came to us on 18th September 2011.
I didn't get to know Drago well enough the past month.
Unlike Wee and Florence who rescued Drago and facilitated his move to Gentle Paws, unlike Chin Leong and Wei Feng who made a trip down to the shelter nightly to give him a bath and administer medication to his injured ear, unlike any other regular volunteer with his or her own special Drago story to tell, my friendship with this resilient orange dog was only just beginning.
Yet, as I watched my peers cry on catching sight of Drago's unmoving body on the cold metal table, I, too, felt a palpable sense of grief.
I was sorry that Drago was forever denied the opportunity of undergoing complete rehabilitation. I was sorry that we would not be there to see his orange coat grow out fully and shine as it once did. I was sorry that we would never get to see him shake off the haggard expression on his face and learn to bark, jump and whine once more like all dogs are wired to do. And I was truly sorry that Drago would no longer be there to join us for his second furry day, an outing that brought a rare smile to his face.
See the hint of a smile on his face last furry day?
Many of us are feeling a little empty right now. But die hard optimists would have us know that there is always a bright side to things. For every half glass that is empty, there is also that other half that is full.
We had the good fortune of knowing Drago for one whole month. At the time we intercepted him, Drago was already suffering from tick fever. 90% of his kidney was also no longer functioning. One of his ears was badly infected. Drago could have passed away in his cubicle, where he lived for the past four years and we would have been none the wiser.
Someone up there must have had enough of seeing this dog suffer, stomped his feet in indignation and arranged for Drago's path to cross with ours, short though our time together had been.
In the last month of Drago's life, at least he could say that he was surrounded by friends.
And on behalf of all these friends who care, let me say goodbye dear Drago. Our time together was short, but it was definitely unforgettable. You were a fighter through and through and we are absolutely proud of you. Take care now and run free, Drago boy, till we meet again.