Gabby died on the first day of Chinese New Year. He was only 6 months old.
The neighbour called my dad, saying that he saw a black dog being hit by a car on the highway in front of his house.
My brother and I hurriedly drove to said highway, praying really hard that it wasn't one of our dogs. Gabby was indeed the only one who wasn't there wagging its tail, greeting us at the front porch.
As soon as the car got to the highway, I was a little bit relieved that there wasn't any dog on the road. That maybe, the neighbour saw it all wrong.
As soon as we parked the car at the shoulder of the road, I did see a black dog lying on the grass. Still praying that it wasn't mine, my world shattered as I saw a green collar on it.
It was my Gabby.
I prayed he would still be alive, just maybe severely injured.
When I reached towards him, my heart broke like it never did before.
His eyes were wide open.
Yet very much lifeless.
My baby is dead.
Gabby is gone forever, and the little burial ground behind my house will always be a painful reminder that there is one puppy less greeting us with an eager face and wagging tail.
It will be painful because he was the only one who would give us the most sympathetic puppy dogs eyes. There will be no more forlorn eyes looking at us from the backyard.
It will be painful because he was the most pampered one. He loved giving and getting hugs, and I'd give anything to hear him yowl during feeding time when he grew impatient, or when I needed to carry all 13kgs of him towards his eating spot, 'coz he was just that pampered. Hence his nickname, Gabby Baby.
It will be painful because he was the only one who got Sookie's looks. He was the only one, damn it.
It will be painful because he was the one whom I'd like to bring if ever I move out from my family house. I'd always be missing something, my heart void of a little black furball.
And it will be all the more painful because we will never see him grow up. We only had 6 months with him.
There were probably coincidental 'signs' that foreshadowed his demise. There were 6 bowls to feed the pups, yet one broke. It hurts now to think that I don't have to replace that broken bowl. Mom also saw him nibbling on a bone alone like there was no tomorrow several hours before his death. Turns out he really didn't have another day. And within all the devastation of finding out that my baby is really dead, I had a dejavu when I saw my mom petting his lifeless body, crying, while his siblings and mom consoled us by licking us all over. I dreamt about that exact scene before. Who knew it would really happen.
When I fed him the day before, as I untied his chain, he placed his fore legs over my arm and laid his head on my chest. He would usually do that, but it lasts until I get the chain off. But even when I unchained him, he still wouldn't budge and I just let him hug me for another minute. Maybe he knew that would be the last hug he'll ever give me.
It's been two days and I still can't believe he's gone forever. Reality hits me when I round up the puppies, and only 5 comes to me. And one is buried further ahead. It aches real bad.
Gabby has left us devastated, 'coz we still have so much love to give him, but he just had to go. But I truly believe that he is now in doggy heaven, where he can run all day long in the meadows, have bones anytime he wants, play in a pool and bask in the sun. A place where there are no flees and no fireworks. Just rainbows, sunshine and bones. He might also truly become our guardian angel, as he was named after St. Gabriel.
But I still awfully miss him and would look over the horizon, wishing he would come running back home, lick my face and give me a big hug.
Rest in peace, baby. When I call your other 5 siblings, I know you will be right there with them too.
You can never be replaced, or will ever be replaced.