Have you had a friend like this??

Jan 5, 2012 | Views: 506
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Farewell Soo, loyal companion and dear friend.

THERE was great sadness in my home last week. Soolam, my senior service dog, was put down. He was 13. The decision to euthanize Soo, as my other dogs and I fondly knew him, was not at all easy.

The move  was quickly reached when the Golden Retriever could no longer stand or walk. He could not even eat his meals without throwing up.

However, everything about Soo’s final journey on earth turned out to be as intriguing and uncanny as the day when he first arrived.

He was  barely two months old then. The pup was a gift from a couple who were  doctors. The purpose was to see if a retriever could make a good service dog.

 

Friend for life: The writer spending precious moments with Soo before he was euthanised.

He needed to be fed as many as four times a day. I had to clean up after a dog that seemed to have an endless supply of poo.

The most difficult part, however, was to grab the pup and put him back in  his crate. Fortunately, his senior canine partners literally lent their  paws to solve the problem.

Soo had a knack of chasing the big dogs around the house. One of them would cleverly use the situation to  dash back to me so that I could grab Soo.

The experience of  raising and training Soo helped to psyche me up. And as for Soo, he went on to become a service dog that was parallel to none.

He was the perfect companion to attend meetings with. He’d been to church numerous times and even stayed completely unnoticed at government meetings. Some of the chairpersons discovered his presence only after the event.

He has helped me in unusual places, too. These include in the toilet at  the United Nations building in Kuala Lumpur (when my shoe was out of  reach and the soap fell on the floor).

He also sat through a serious discussion with people with AIDS at the Malaysian AIDS Council.

On top of all these, Soo had appeared scores of times in the media which  included newspapers, TV and radio. He was the main star of a special  video which featured my service dogs.

Once when I was caught in a 30-minute thunderstorm in a forest, Soo chose to get drenched with me  in the heavy downpour rather than seek shelter elsewhere.

In his  more than a decade of service, Soo relished his car rides the most – so  much so that I became his private chauffeur. We must have travelled  thousands of kilometres over the decade and only once, in all those  years, did he throw up in the back seat.

Once our adventure led  us all the way to Penang on a grueling 24-hour trip where Soo performed and wowed several hundred people at a dog event with his service dog  skills.

On that fateful Sunday morning, an extremely feeble Soo  looked straight into my eyes. It was as if he was telling me to be  strong for him and do the right thing to painlessly end his suffering.

He never once whimpered or flinched. He took every opportunity to lay his  head on my shoulder or hands whenever I was by his side.

Despite  the pain, Soo remained resolute and dignified in the back seat of my car during his final journey to the veterinarian. He was on my lap with his head held high as I wheeled into the clinic.

I made sure that my hero fell asleep before he entered into eternal sleep. The clinic  didn’t charge me anything for putting a great dog down.

Another doctor, who is an expert in dog show winning breeds, offered to bury Soo in his yard at home.

My king, I’m proud to say, is now privileged to be the only retriever laid to rest with other national and international champion Doberman and  German Shepherd Dog breeds that have crossed over the rainbow bridge  before him.

Even more amazing is the fact that Soo is buried in  the home of the mother of my latest and youngest service dog candidate,  Dobe Ace Zhar the Doberman.

Last Saturday, Zhar and I were at an  international dog show in KL with more than 200 dogs from all over Asia. And although I was the only person in a wheelchair there, Zhar stuck  close to me much like Soo used to do during happier days.

And by a very strange coincidence, Zhar kept climbing up on my lap several times as if to say: “Don’t worry, you’re safe now. I’m with you.”

Angels don’t always come with wings; sometimes they have tails, even if it happens to be a rather short one.

 

Thank you.

 

 

(This beautiful story was sent to me by CK Liew, the original story is from The Star… thanks for the story… very touching and painful.)

 

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20 Responses to Have you had a friend like this??

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  1. Edward ooi on Feb 23, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Dear Rinpoche, I don’t have a friend like that but I do wish for one. My mother promised me that she is going to buy me a golden retriever when we can afford to buy my mom’s dream house!!! I can’t wait to have a dog!!!

  2. Beatrix Ooi on Jan 3, 2014 at 12:20 am

    This is very touching, I think that Soo passed away in peace. At least his life partner treated him very well, it’s sad to know that he had to die this way. May Soo take a good rebirth and be reborn as a human. Thank You for sharing Rinpoche, this is a very great story.

  3. Vinnie Tan on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    It is definitely a touching story of how strong and deep relationship between a owner and their dog. The loyalty of the Soo is strong. Soo has such a caring nature for a service dog. I am really happy that the writer of the article has such as dog that accompanies him. It is just heart warming that the connection between the two of them are so deep and endearing.

    Although by putting dog Soo is the only way to end Soo’s misery, but I do not agree that we such end the animal’s life like that. They should be given the opportunity to life all the way till their life ends by itself instead of us as owners to say that it is times up for the animals.

  4. tenzin llhamo on Nov 21, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    This is such a touching story. Soo is such a loyal companion and although he was in pain, he stayed loyal till the end. I could never euthanize my pet if I was in such a situation. I would rather spend the time to take care of my dog till he dies. I often think that animals are better companions as they will be at your side no matter what happens. Such a beautiful story to remember…

  5. beatrix ooi on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    This is a very touching story. How many friends or family do we have like Soo? It’s so sad that they have to euthanise him, but I think it’s a better way for Soo to leave without any further suffering. He is such a wonderful friend. Thank You for sharing Rinpoche.
    Love, beatrix.

  6. Julien Roth on Nov 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I love how no matter how hard it was to take care of this dog. They still did everything they could to love and care for him. This story was very painful yet touching. Its sad that the dog had been in so much pain. He couldn’t even eat his food or walk. Thank you for sharing Rinpoche.

  7. Sheryl KH (JB) on Jun 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    A really very touching story indeed! I love especially the last line – that ‘angels dont always come with wings; sometimes they have tails, even if it happens to be a rather short one’

    Dogs are loyal breed of beings. And I am glad I have one such angel with me.

  8. Yoke Fui on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    People usually think it is out of their love for the pets that they put their pets down.

    Is it truly so ?

    Could it be we can’t stand the sight of pain and suffering or we refuse to confront these feelings that we choose to put the animals down in the pretense of being kind ?

  9. Karen C. on Feb 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I always believe the existence of real friendship between human and animals, especially dogs. Dogs are known to be loyal and faithful (if you treat them well). This is such a touching real story that just happened in our neighborhood, it’s not a story that made up by newspaper just to attract the viewerships. Dogs are really man’s best friend and dogs will never betray us.

    Here’s a link where it talks about dogs that saved their owner’s life and etc:

    http://theweek.com/article/index/217815/the-phenomenon-of-grieving-dogs-the-ultimate-loyalty

  10. Adeline on Feb 1, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Facing such situation is very difficult to decide in this case,for some people it is better to endure short pain rather than long pain. To me in this case the owner is on wheelchair,may be he has to choose euthanasia for his dog.But i feel from buddhist point of view,no killing, if u have more people in the house who can take turn to look after the dog,it is better to let the dog die a natural death.

  11. William on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    This is such a touching story! Animals are caring and loving too as seen from Soo. It is love and loyalty from start to the end. I’m sure that Soo would have been reincarnated to a better place since he has taken care of his master during his lifetime and created a lot of merits for himself. I’m also happy that the owner manage to get another dog who is equally loving and loyal to him. A heart warming story.

  12. susan on Jan 18, 2012 at 12:11 am

    gosh… i feel for this man. So fortunate to have made such close bond with Soo, but the pain of losing such a companion is beyond words.

    Last year in August, I lost two of my beloved dogs Jannic and Abram, strangely…just one day a part from each other. Both died due to old age.

    A few weeks before Jannic died, she had so much health complication. She finally couldn’t lift herself up even to go poop or pee. So I had to clean her each night when i got home. She tried to muster up the strength to be cheerful though she couldn’t move much. After being cleaned, she’d put her head on my lap and her paw in my hand. She never ones winced.

    Abram (cocker spaniel) had been with me since he was a little puppy, while I was living in the US and we had journeyed together to many places and even flew on the plane with me when I return back to Malaysia for good. I was with Abram the day he died,…saw him finally stopped breathing, stroking his head gently while reciting prayers. But I couldn’t get home in time to be there for Jannic when she passed away the very next day after Abram died.

    It crossed my mind if it would have been an act of mercy to euthanize Jannic when I saw she was in so much suffering. I couldn’t and didn’t want to euthanize Jannic. It just wasn’t an option for me. The vet finally gave up talking any sense to me about the option to euthanize Jannic but relented to making Jannic as comfortable as they can and to do their best so Jannic doesn’t have to experience so much pain. Jannic died at the vet, surrounded by the veterinarians and their staff. I was told they all prayed in their different faith for Jannic!

  13. Wan Wai Meng on Jan 17, 2012 at 3:58 am

    I had to put down one of my cats that was having kidney problems. I called her mummy she had a litter of three kittens at my house. She was very sweet cat. And It was running through my mind, did the doctors do all they could before deciding to put her down. Animals can become our good friends through many situations. one should not underestimate how close we can be to animals.

  14. comel loo on Jan 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Hi, please find attached 10 tops dogs of 2011 that I find truly inspiring and wish to share.
    http://www.cesarsway.com/newsandevents/dognews/Top-10-Dogs-of-2011

  15. Thierry Janssens on Jan 5, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    “Angels don’t always come with wings; sometimes they have tails, even if it happens to be a rather short one.”

    Oh yeah… And so do Buddhas too!

    One thing seem to be sure is that Soo has created causes to take a rebirth in circumstances that are even more conducive to practice compassion and care.

  16. Margaretlee on Jan 5, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Seeing a loyal friend slowly dying, be it a human or animal is heart wrenching. I could have probably made the same decision like the owner of Soo as well, who wants to see the pet suffer everyday??

    But having learnt the law of karma and understanding that basically we do not have any right to end the lives of any being, I would do my ulmost to give Soo the best treatment and take care of him until his last breath.

    Another simple way to help our pet to take a good rebirth, is any form of prayers, we can do “Om Mani Peme Hum” every day for 49 days and dedicate the merits to the pet for his swift and good rebirth. The passing of an animal and a human is the same. And Soo is definitely a very special dog, his loyalty to the owner could surpassed that of a human.

    I lit a candle for Soo and may your kind soul take a very good human rebirth!

  17. su_zan on Jan 5, 2012 at 6:34 am

    thank you for sharing the story. I is sad that such decision has to be made. It is not easy to make such decision after spending years with Soo.

    May Soo rest in peace n have a good rebirth.

  18. Mc on Jan 5, 2012 at 3:43 am

    This story certainly tugs at my heart strings. Some of the best moments I have had, a lot of the happy ones, and a fair share of sad moments have been spent with my best friends who just happen to be dogs. They are always there with only one purpose ie to comfort. They have always been there for me. I, on the other have not always been there for them and this post is a timely reminder for me to make time for my furry friends. And good quality time at that.

    I read the post and I can see clearly the image of a man caught in a storm in a wheelchair and his friend deciding to be by his side, not minding some water. Not a lot of human friends would do that. It takes unconditional loyalty, and real friendship. These two sums up love.

    In my kiddish mind, I always feel that animals who come and spread so much joy without making demands should surely just earn an automatic great rebirth. They live with only one purpose…ie to love, to please and to comfort.

    Those friends like Soo, deserve so much. So, so very much.

  19. bengkooi on Jan 5, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Very touching story about Soo. It is never easy when deciding to euthanise a beloved pet, let alone a service dog where the bond between dog and owner would be even stronger from years of reliance and trust. How do you decide when is the right time? How do you know when to give up hope? Is it really better to euthanize than to allow the natural lifespan to be lived out, especially in Buddhist philosophy?

    Anyone have any thoughts to share?

    • Mc on Jan 5, 2012 at 3:58 am

      It always seems “easier” to euthanize the dying and suffering. BUT easier doesn’t make it right. What seems “better” may in a very subtle way, be due to our selfish reasons i.e. it is easier for us because we cannot bear to see them suffer. In the bigger picture, all life must live-out their karma to completion even if that completion is difficult to see and experience. I wonder whether by cutting short a being’s suffering, we could be denying them the opportunity to work out their karma and by so doing, force them to take rebirth into another life where they then also need to work out the rest of the suffering.

      Whether as a man or a dog, if I have to live horribly and suffer terribly before I die, my hope is that all the bad stuff are exhausted then and I can move on to better things.

      The best we can wish for a friend is an excellent rebirth or even better ie totally out of samsara. The second best is that they die without suffering. I prefer my friends to have the best.

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CHAT PICTURES

18 hours ago
Before Beraveament Puja starts. The Puja Team pay respect to the deceased. By Puja House 5 July'15
18 hours ago
Torma are prepared for today's Kechara Forest Retreat Puja. 5 July'15
18 hours ago
Puja House team setting up for today's Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat. 5 July'15
18 hours ago
Beautiful torma offering did by Puja House team for today's Puja in Puja House. 5 July'15
24 hours ago
Today Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed our monthly animals liberation activity with 50 kilograms of cat fish released into the lake at Gunung Lang, Ipoh. We have dedicated our Medicine Buddha mantras, H.E.Tsem Tulku Rinpoche's mantra and prayers for Rinpoche's long life, for the growth of Kechara, for our friends and family. Kin Hoe (KISG)
yesterday
Medicine Buddha and Dorje Shugden Thangka will always presented during bereavement Puja. By Puja House 4 July'15
yesterday
Pastor Yek Yee doing last rite. By Puja House 4 July '15
yesterday
Puja team setting up altar for bereavement Puja . By Puja House 4 July'15
yesterday
Beautiful altar set up for Drolchok Puja. By Puja House, 4 July '15
yesterday
Puja House staffs gathered to do blog chat. Blog chat is another way of learning Dharma. By Puja House 4 July'15
yesterday
A Sponsor sponsored Drolchok Puja dedicated for herself able to have good partner for marriage. By Puja House 4 July,15
2 days ago
Love the deep and soothing sound from this colorful instrument. Stella
2 days ago
IM4U, 1Malaysia for Youth, is an initiative of the Malaysian government that encourage volunteering among Malaysian youth. They are collaborating with Kechara Soup Kitchen to distribute food to our city's homeless and urban poor using their food truck for 4 Saturday nights during Ramadan. DR.
2 days ago
What could three pretty Kecharians be doing on one hot afternoon in Chamang waterfall? Look out for billboards on our highway in a couple of months to find out why. DR.
2 days ago
Visitors to Kechara Forest Retreat queuing to pay respects to HE Tsem Rinpoche's throne and to receive blessings. DR.
2 days ago
28 Selangor MCA leaders visited Kechara Forest Retreat yesterday upon the invitation by our Minister of Transport YB Dato' Sri Liow Tiong Lai. They were in awe of what we have built in this 35acres. DR.
2 days ago
At 4am yesterday, the dedicated volunteers of Kechara in Kechara Forest Retreat were still offering gold leaves onto our wealth box to have it ready for a puja soon. DR.
3 days ago
Puja Team focus on listening to the dedication and generate mind of compassion during Puja. By Puja House, 3 July'15
3 days ago
A new opening shop owner Sponsor Puja for smooth operation of business. By Puja House 3 July '15
3 days ago
Medicine Buddha Puja sponsored for the beloved whom passed away. By Puja House 3 July '15
3 days ago
Making torma for Puja. By Puja House ,3 July'15
4 days ago
Medicine Buddha Puja was sponsor by a sponsor for her illness to heal fast. By Puja House, 2 July'15
4 days ago
Dorje Shugden Puja is highly demanded by sponsors. Some sponsor have even sponsor Dorje Shugden Puja for every month. By Puja House, 2 July'15
4 days ago
Dukkar Puja was Sponsored by a Sponsor dedicated to her daughter. By Puja House , 2 July'15
4 days ago
Setrap Puja did today for Sponsor dedicated to their kids. May the negative disturbances that influence their kids can be pacify. By Puja House, 2 July'15

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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