Of all the text messages I receive, death of someone is the one I NEVER wanted to get. It is one of my greatest fears, I guess – hearing death news. Evening of May 11, I was out to somewhere when my brother texted me that Nero was catching his breath, dying, and that I need to go home. I couldn’t stop my heart from pounding upon receiving the bad news. Should I go home and see him suffer? Or is it much lighter to see him lifeless? But then I immediately rushed home. I wanted to be at his side on his final breath.
A few days before Nero died, there was a sudden change in his eyes. His eyelids were reddish. We thought it was just simple reddish since it is hot season. A day after, his left eyeball became cloudy in color. Since we couldn’t bring Nero to the vet because of his aggressiveness, we did some self-medication. We put eye drops to his eyes. But, after another day, the cloudy color became blue! The eyelids went back to normal, but it was the blue left eye that was bothering. I started reading something about eye problem in dogs online, and I found a similar case. It needed a surgical treatment, immediately! Or, else, the patient could lose his sight. Due to financial reason, we couldn’t do what it was advised in an online article. Maybe it is okay to lose his sight, it’s just the left anyway.
Nero was normal a few days before he died. He eats and drinks well, nice stool and urine color, too. Still aggressive. Still barks and whimpers. Normal. That’s besides his eye problem. A week later, the blue eye became brown and swollen! It was disturbing. We also noticed the "possible blindness" that was said in the online article happened. He couldn’t see with his left eye anymore. And then days later, that was May 10, it was total blindness. Both eyes. Shit! We were helpless. We were worried, but Nero’s appetite would give us relief. He just lose his eye sight, but he’s still healthy, I guess it’s okay. But we noticed that he couldn’t manage to stand too long anymore. He would collapse. His legs were weak. It sucks, we were helpless!
Until May 11 came. I was away but Mum told me Nero walked a few steps to urine, but toppled, and with Mum’s help, he managed to get up and went back to his sleeping area. And, that was the start of his suffering. I broke down when I came home, that evening, begging him to fight. We expected to lose him that night through his breathing. Plus, he was not responding anymore. His eyes wouldn’t blink, his mouth slightly open. But a several hours later, his breathing pattern became normal. His foot was responding whenever I pat his ticklish part. We assumed he was in coma, and I was hopeful we could have him back. But after 17 hours in agony, he finally had his last breath. It was horrifying. So pitiful to see him gasping the very last time. It was my first time to see somebody catching last breath, and it will stick in my memory forever.
My family, of course, couldn’t help it but cry. We’ll forever miss the ugly dog.
I regret that the family couldn’t bring him to the pet’s hospital, but then we were beside him when he was suffering, no sleep, and I guess that counts.
- - - N E R O - - -
I don’t think I ever talked about our then family dog, Nero. A black, male Pit Bull. Yes the one that is use in dog-fighting. But we never allowed him to engage in one. He was in the family for almost 8 years. That’s after two years of not owning one. It is the first time that my family owned a bred dog. Before, all were local. Nero was just 3 months young when the family had him. I was horrified when I first saw him; big dog for his age. Big feet. Big forehead. And, a face full of scars! The scars were acquired from fighting with his siblings, the breeder told. Fighter in nature! :) At first, I was hesitant to even touch the beastly dog, but when I had the courage to come near him, I was shocked with what he showed me; a smile that didn’t look so friendly (maybe because he has an ugly face :) ) Back then I thought he was trying to warn me with his grin that he might attack me, but I realized that it was his way of befriending. Maybe in their language, he was asking what my name was :)
Nero had a normal puppy life. Ruining everything he could reach; shoes, plastic bottles, our couch, even his own bowl that it made of stainless steel! Until we decided to leash him, inside our house! In his, I’ll say ‘teenage years’, my brother made a sucky decision of having his ears cropped! His reason? For the dog to look more terrible! I was against it, it was animal cruelty, but I couldn’t do anything. The next thing I know, the poor dog was already wearing bandages on his wounded ears.
Growing up, we noticed how aggressive Nero is. Not aggressive in a wild manner, but since we are his family, he was aggressive in a friendly manner. Playing with him would cause us bruises. His jaw would lock up as he would friendly-bite us. A month would not pass without us, especially and my brother, not having bruises. Back then, I was in a relationship, my friends would think that I was just using our dog as an excuse, but it was really my boyfriend that made them :)
There were times, though, that his aggressiveness would come in a wild manner. Like, he was seriously mad! In 2009, we had an expected visitor, Mum’s sis-in-law. Since she used to visiting our house years ago, she, although scared, walked inside our house freely, since Nero was tied up. Being territorial in nature and not familiar with the visitor, it caused rage to the beastly dog. He was too strong that he managed to unleashed! He was about to attack my aunt, but Mum blocked herself, and so she was the one got bitten. Mum had a few bites; the worse was on her chest. Too deep that blood was everywhere. My father and I had some scratches too. After the incident, my parents realized how dangerous Nero was. So, they planned to dispatch the poor dog. Some relatives and my parents' friends were thinking the same solution, but of course, I would disagree! I would never want to happen again what happened to our dogs a decade ago. A few days of debating, my dear bro and I won. Nero stayed. I’ve felt for two years how boring it is without hearing a dog barks.
He's mad. Saw his cat neighbor.
From a long walk.
Nero's temporary replacement :)
Rest well, baby.