Dog Dylan Is Dead
There is no twist to this tale. I’ll tell you the ending right from the start: My dog, Dylan, best dog ever, died today.
Dylan and Marley, cheekily known as Bob Dylan & Bob Marley, or simply, the Bobs, came into my life the year I got engaged. Their master was leaving for a big job opportunity in New York and we were the lucky new parents. The Bobs were approximately six years old, Dylan being slightly older. While they were both English Pointers, they were not from the same litter of hounds. At the that time, we lived with my in-laws with a sprawling garden. Dylan adapted immediately. He was inquisitive and lively, often dashing after birds or an unfortunate frog.
In the four years we lived in that house, the Bobs witnessed significant milestones. Notably, the Bobs stood proudly by us in our wedding that was held at home. Dylan comforted me when I stayed home through troubled pregnancies and was there to welcome every baby we brought home. In fact, many friends who yearned for dogs but couldn’t have them, would bring their toddlers over to play with the Bobs. The Bobs were very good with babies, much like Nanny in Peter Pan.
Tiong Bahru Chronicles
When we moved to our pre-war apartment in Tiong Bahru, the Bobs were a popular sight on their walks with the helpers. Friends in the area for the famous traditional curry rice or bak kut teh would send me selfies if they encountered the Bobs. Others camping out in any of several chic cafes would send me a text asking if I would like filter coffee and an artisanal cupcake… oh and could they come play with Dylan?
In fact, photogenic Dylan was featured in several articles in diverse media like motherhood blogs and The Singapore Tatler. See our family shoot in https://sg.asiatatler.com/style/santa-s-little-helpers.He was always ready to take direction and would stay perfectly still until the shot was taken. A true model dog, in every sense of the word.
Although we loved the apartment, I noticed Dylan ageing rapidly. So after another four happy years in the achingly beautiful neighborhood, we sought a house in the suburbs that he could roam comfortably in.
Every Dog Has Its Day
Most people move to be near primary schools for their kids. I found a house that had enough space for my dogs, was near parks and a stone’s throw from a vet. In the past four years we have been here, Dylan has made several trips to the vet for various health issues associated with ageing. In a new routine, I found myself rushing back every New Year’s Eve to hug him in case it was his last year of New Beginnings And New Endings.
Undaunted, he still had the energy to bark vociferously at strangers, notably pesky lions that prance around the house during Chinese New Year. On the other hand, with guests, his notoriously frisky demands for hugs gave way to mellow hellos. Often he would gently come up to guests, and then fall asleep as they shook his paw. At recent photo shoots, he would pose elegantly but nod off whilst the cameras were still clicking furiously away. In response, I laughed nervously and rub him on his bony head. What a Silly Billy Bob! I would exclaim fondly.
All Dogs Go To Heaven
On Saturday 25 July, Dylan appeared languid but no worse than usual. I spent the morning in my living room in dynamic discussions over zoom with peer coaches and my book club. From the corner of my eye, I observed Dylan pacing about the house. Once, he paused to rest at my feet. However I was locked in a bizarre discussion about my degenerate past and paid Dylan little heed. Mara darted about and kissed him with her big pink tongue as she was apt to do whenever he was weak. Absent-mindedly, I stuck my foot out to rub his back but was for most part, absorbed in my meetings.
The next morning, I woke at 7am to the news that Dylan had died overnight. I rushed downstairs and found him on his bed. He appeared to be merely sound asleep but when I touched him he was stone cold. One by one, the kids woke up to the ghastly news. All cried, with the older ones shedding quiet tears, and the younger ones howling. Little M6 in particular broke down several times, once midway upstairs, his small body wracked by huge sobs. My helpers who were Dylan’s true caregivers were inconsolable.
As for me, I held it in as much as I could until I got to the hospital and then I cried a river worthy of any best friend.