Today, we say goodbye to our old friend, Amber.
Some days ago, the discovery and diagnosis of splenic mass (tumours of the spleen) was a little too late. She started to bleed internally.
Amber entered our lives in 2000 as a young dog.
My parents had a knack for finding and bringing home lost dogs. I remember that afternoon where my father got word that a pet shop he knew had a dog that nobody claimed. We drove over to see the dog. It was a scrawny golden retriever, and a young one. At that point, there was Lucky - that scruffy, smelly and messy ShihTzu - that my parents recently took home, but my father was sure he wanted this goldie. For once, I agreed to this decision too.
I remember being excited when the young dog jumped into the car with us. I was also given the task of naming this dog. Naming the dog was not difficult at all. Amber, it had to be. The name 'Amber' was not original at all. It was a year earlier, when I visited a friend's home in the UK: the family dog was this gentle old Lab/Retriever named Amber. She had the signature position of resting her head and just-that-one-paw on the person next to her. She was a sweet dog.
Our Amber, Burbur, or Bur for short, used to fight sleeping space with me on a single-sized mattress. She was overweight, and probably weighed more than I did at that time. How I had to run into the room before her to get the space before she did... I always, always lost. That dog... Oh the snores and farts and twitches.
She was an odd swimmer, too. At the beach, Amber would rush out to the shore, dig her muzzle and chest into the wet sand and call that a good swim. That funny dog...
Hardest hit by this piece of sad news is my sister.
When I got married and moved out of home, Amber (and Lucky) became my sister's charges. Did she teach Amber loads and loads of tricks and showered them with the best dog beds and best pet care available. The dogs were her babies...
I remember how, in my last trip to Singapore last month, my mum had told me Amber was getting on with age and she wasn't mobile due to arthritis. I needed to see and pet my old pal once again, just for one minute. So, there we stood at the door of the house, not expecting the dog to show up after calling out her name. She did. She brought smiles to our faces.
Goodbye Amber. You are a really good dog and friend.