Today marks the hundredth day since Hero left us. That fateful day is still fresh in our memory... and we miss him every single day.

Hero was admitted to the hospital for observation as he was having diarrhea and also he was feeling lethargic, due to his chronic kidney failure condition. He spent two nights at the veterinary hospital before he came home. He was happy coming home on that day, tail a wagging and excited as ever. We duly gave Hero a warm bath followed by his meal in the evening, and he retired to bed early on that fateful evening.

The clock was about half past ten at night when I went upstairs to check on Hero. He was sound asleep on his bed when I came into the room. As usual, I went about with my nightly routine of finishing some work with my laptop sitting on the sofa, facing Hero as he slumbered peacefully across the room. Not too long after, out of a sudden, I was startled by the sound of someone gasping for air. Hero was having difficulty breathing. As I watched helplessly, he went into a brief convulsion and remained motionless thereafter. In a panic stupor, I rushed over and shook him frantically, hoping to wake him up from his sleep. As I began to realize what happened, I was definitely not ready to accept reality, and reality came biting hard. The realization that Hero has been taken away from us at that very moment. That he had a heart attack in his sleep. We spent the rest of the night with Hero, gently stroking him and gave him hugs before his body was taken away. Hero was cremated the next day.

Since Hero's passing, there were many happenstances that reminded us of his presence. Bird feathers started dropping into our house from the ventilation grill above the roof, his name appearing everywhere we went, chestnuts (his favorite snack) falling onto our path when we were in London, and many more little signs that Hero gave us during the short period after his passing. He wanted us to know that his soul was still with us, looking out for us from above. Our little guardian angel.

Hero making sure we noticed his presence.

Even in faraway London, his presence was felt.

Life is never the same without Hero. We will always be grateful for the indelible journey he took us on over the last seven years where our lives were filled with fun, adventures, loyalty and unconditional love. Hero really left paw prints on our hearts and he will forever be our heart dog. Reminiscing our time together, here is a poem for an angel in Heaven. Rest in peace, Hero.

Paw prints on sandy beaches
Chestnuts and sandwich kisses
Wet licks with murmuring growls
Wagging tail with excited howls

Long walks at faraway park
Joyful rides we duly embark
Up the hills we would go a hiking
Down the streams we go a wading

Colorful rainbow over the mountain
Beautiful sunrise across the ocean
Reflecting on our adventures together
Sweet memories we will keep forever

For now, you may be far away
Until we meet again some day
Together again and never apart
You will be forever in our hearts

For a short video in memory of Hero, please click here.

Rainbow Bridge

Hero the Shar Pei
6th September 2006 - 14th September 2013

Tis evening on the moorland free,
The starlit wave is still:
Home is the sailor from the sea,
The hunter from the hill.

A.E. Houseman: XXII - R.L.S

Thank you for giving us seven amazing years. We will continue with our adventures when we meet again at the rainbow bridge one day. You are the best dog ever.

Love forever,
Koko, cheche and meimei

Kidney Failure

This is koko here writing an entry on this little blog... a blog that has sort of gathered dust over the last couple of months. According to Google Analytics, many returning readers would still drop by occasionally, and for that we thank you for remembering us. 

Life has been pretty crazy for cheche and I, especially with a hyperactive toddler and a not-so-well dog constantly requiring our undivided attention. Hero was diagnosed with kidney failure in April, something that is not unexpected ever since we knew he is suffering from FSF, a form of congenital disease in the breed.

It all started when hero had a kerfuffle with a stray while taking a night walk. In the heat of things, he had the misfortune of tearing a tissue on his front leg, at the carpal region. Due to the swelling, hero was on anti-inflammatory medication which resulted in him vomiting and having bloody diarrhea for days. We took him in for a blood test and that was how we found out about his kidney condition. Hero was at stage three of kidney failure.

While we are fully aware of such possibility, we were not prepared for the news. Since then, we have worked out a treatment schedule and made all the necessary arrangement. In addition to conventional medication (Azodyl and Ipakitine), we put hero on special diet and also holistic treatment, such as herbal remedy and acupuncture sessions. The hardest part is the daily fluid therapy, i.e. subcutaneous injection, where he would be most uncomfortable with the poking of needles, but we do give him a treat as a reward for his patience.

Hero sleeping with his favorite toy.

Canine renal disease cannot be reversed and it is slowly taking its toll on hero. We are working hard to keep hero with us as long as possible during this difficult path. Thus far, hero has been admitted to hospital twice, with each visit having to spent a couple of nights on intravenous drips. He seems happily engaged for now and we know he is a trooper although he is losing strength by the day. Taking care of a dog with chronic kidney disease is physically taxing and mentally challenging. The constant worrying and roller coaster emotional feelings can really put a strain on the most upbeat of souls. However, having said that, we would still do it many times over, for the joy he has brought us ever since we had him is priceless.

Hero and meimei staring into the open sea.

In a month’s time, hero will be seven years old. We still have many planned adventures to go, mountains to hike, food to taste, rivers to cross and most of all, meimei is looking forward to hero walking her to her first day of school next summer. With so much yet to be done, it is difficult to imagine hero not being a part of all these. Sometimes, life just seems so unfair.

I guess Dr. Seuss was right when he said "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened".

Our Favorite Beach

Under the clear blue sky, meimei and I had some sandy fun by the beach.

I gave meimei's sandy truck a quick wash when she's not looking.

We're back at the beach later in the evening for more frolicking under the sun.

The next morning, we walked along the beach with cheche whilst the sun rose lazily over the horizon.

I listened attentively to meimei singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, as she saw a waning moon in the morning sky.

It was such a blissful day, we sat down together at the beach and watched the world go by.