Sunday, 25 April 2010

Losing Scruffy...

This isn't an easy post to write, but I feel it is one that needs to be written. You see, this past Wednesday I received some bad news. My beeper went off with the message "please come to Reception" and when I got there, the receptionist on-duty told me that my parents were on the line. At this my heart sunk. My parents have never called the ship before. It's too expensive to call a US number from South Africa. It is in fact much cheaper for me to call them (which I do, quite regularly). And so even as I picked up the receiver I knew it was bad news. There was a great fear in my heart.

My Dad told me that my beloved Scruffy-dog had died that day. I headed back to my cabin shell-shocked and in tears and called my family right back, to find out the details. It was very sudden. Tuesday night she was breathing rather deeply and my parents set an appointment with the Blue Cross (our local veterinary clinic) for 11h00 Wednesday morning. By the time Wednesday came around Scruffs was very apathetic, not wanting to move from her spot under the table, and at around 10h30 she let out a sound which my Dad described as the "sound of death itself". She didn't die then, but held on as he carried her into the car and drove to the Blue Cross. But by the time they reached the vet (a mere ten minute drive away) she had passed on. The doctor reckoned her lungs had given way. This news floored me.

Throughout this conversation I was in tears, wanting answers. Why? Why? WHY? And I don't know why. As it says in Job, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. God gave us Scruffy to look after and love for her life - which is what we did. Although the shock is great to us, I do know that I would have rather had her died suddenly and painlessly than lingered through some tragic illness. Now that the initial grief is over, I am able to remember the good times I had over the past eleven years with my lovely Scottish Beardie/Old English Sheepdog cross.

Scruffy came to us in 1999. We took in this bounding bundle of joy from The Emma Animal Rescue Society (TEARS). She was around one at the time, and had lived a tough life in the townships. As a puppy she had been beaten by men armed with sticks, and the psychological effect of this stayed with her throughout her life. These early experiences made her intensely protective of her family and territory at 6 Norfolk Lane, and deeply suspicious of strangers - especially men.

But there was so much more to Scruffs than these qualities. She was also deeply loyal and always obedient. I have many wonderful memories of Scruffy. I remember the play-fights we used to have all over the house and in the garden. I remember her playing with her frisbee, ball or rope. I loved her tricks she would do such as shake-paw when receiving a treat. I'll cherish the walks we had on the slopes of Table Mountain and on the Common, as well as the cold winter mornings when she would come into my room and jump onto my bed to keep me warm. I'll miss her spinning around in circles at the prospect of a walkie. I'll miss her bark signalling the arrival of the day's post. I'll miss Scruffy, my friend, faithful companion, and very much a part of the Crawford family.

I'll miss you so much my Scruffy-dog.

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