On New Year’s morning Dillie and I howled after Karim’s death. It was Dillie that got me howling for two reasons. He thought if we were loud enough Karim could hear us and our howling would be a good-bye we never had the time to say. Secondly, we were so sad it was as if some instinct made us howl. It just took us over.
Dillie, Bob and Fay’s West Highland Terrier told me he had heard many neighbourhood dogs he had seen and known on his walks had died and he had felt sad but to see Karim dead before his eyes was something he had never seen so he was just as shook up as I was.
New Year’s Day was one of the longest days in my life. It was damp, overcast and freezing rain started in the afternoon. When a dog is sad and distressed such gloomy weather only makes your heart heavier with grief.
One of the BBC documentaries I saw was an interview with Tara Brach a famous mind doctor for humans. Her theory was called “Radical Acceptance”. If you can accept what has happened and move on you will be healthier than if you refuse to accept it and constantly think about it in a negative and hurtful way. I used this philosophy to deal with the execution of Anwar my first master in Egypt and me being thrown out into the street. I could not change what had happened to me but it was a long process.
I can accept what happened to Karim but all of us in the house need to know why Karim died. Dr. Murray at the animal hospital said he would see us on January 2cnd in the morning and that we were to bring Karim’s body with us.
Bob took Karim’s body in the garage to keep it cold until we went to the animal hospital. When he left with Karim’s body Dillie and I barked furiously. I grabbed his pant legs and I think he got the message that this was to be the last ride of the Rat Pack. Bob put us in the back seat and put Karim’s body in the middle. This was to be a ride of honour and tribute.
We arrived at the animal hospital and we went into Dr. Murray’s examination room but when we saw Karim’s body so cold and lifeless, we started howling again. Dr. Murray knew he should do a private examination. He returned 30 minutes later saying they had done an MRI on Karim’s brain and determined it was an aneurism of his brain that killed him. I am not sure what aneurism means so I listened carefully to Dr. Murray speaking to Bob and he said it was a rogue blood clot and that no one could have predicted it. Well at least it was not caused by Dillie and I and the fact it was not preventable made all of us feel much better.
But we left Karim behind for cremation and again that enormous feeling of loneliness swept over our hearts. Bob would pick up Karim’s ashes in a few days. Bob was unsteady as he walked back to the car and cried for many minutes before we went home. It was cold and miserable and that night without barking we went upstairs to sleep with Bob and Fay. I started shivering although I was not cold. Fay hugged me tightly and spoke to me softly saying she was so sorry…so sorry…so sorry and I fell asleep. Two days later we picked up Karim’s ashes and we all went to a golf course up the street as the snow fell. Karim had loved walking in this park with no one around so we went to a place where Karim knew there were squirrels and he loved barking at them thinking they were some type of Canadian rat. There are no squirrels in Cairo just rats. We scattered his ashes and had a long walk. It was a quiet ride back to a home that was missing one of its beloved dogs.