Today, 31st August 2023, my furry son and lovely boy, Sprocket, passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was fifteen and a half years old. He will be cremated at the Island Sanctuary later in September.
This article is a tribute to my special, beautiful boy.
It has been a year and a half of ups and downs for him healthwise and these last two months, were heavy. He stopped eating so I fed him with a syringe. He wore nappies although very rarely did he do his necessities in them. He became home-bound and these last two weeks, I had to carry him around as he lost complete function of standing, walking and keeping the balance. He was used to do his necessities in the yard so even though he was lately nearing that day when he leaves this earth, he still showed me that whenever he needed to pee or poo, he had to be in the yard. Often I had to hold him. In other times, he showed me he just wanted to lie down and he did his necessities lying down.
How did he show that he needed something? He was a very vocal boy. Anything he wanted, you hear an ‘Awu’ or ‘Awu, awu, wuf, eblu.’
Sprocket was part of a litter born to the Armed Forces of Malta in Hal Far.
We calculated that he was born around 8th March of 2008. A son of a colleague of mine had took him home but at that time, they were not in a position to keep a pet. Thus, I adopted him from her. His personality came out immediately. He was highly intelligent. I also took him everywhere: camping, Gozo, Comino, round Gozo in a day on foot, runs and he even ran a few President Fun Runs.
During the ’round Gozo in a day on foot’, we got lost as it got dark. Sprocket walked a bit futher in front of us, took a path, stopped and looked back at us – as if to tell us ‘Follow me. I know the way.’ Surely, he did. We were at the harbour in no time.
He was also very adventurous and highly energetic. He ran fast as he could and he enjoyed valley walks, fields, and the beach. His favourite game was ‘catch the ball’.
He loved playing with children and was very patient with them.
He liked to cuddle close to me during winter times and having the heater on, was a must. He was also very sensitive and anytime he felt me upset or whenever I was crying, he looked at me with sad eyes. At times, he cuddled close or came to lick my face, as if telling me that everything will be fine.
He was Tinker’s, his other companion and my other furry son, hero. They were inseparable and the bond was out of this world.
When Tinker passed away two years ago, Sprocket was distraught and we two struggled. The dynamics changed and Sprocket could not stand to be by himself. So, everything had to be shuffled. Yet, slowly, we built ourselves up. And then Max was brought home, an unwanted six-year-old American labrador and he and Sprocket became friends. Now, it is Max and I.
Sprocket passed away peacefully in his sleep today. Last night, I held him in my arms and reminded him how much I love him and that I will always love him. In the last hours, he could not pee and poo and he also cried the cries of death. Seeing him like this, not being able to move and stand, not being able to breathe well, was very difficult. Seeing him lying peacefully in an eternal sleep, made me thankful that he is no longer in pain. It is only the body which failed. It is as if Sprocket knew that I was struggling to decide to have a vet putting him to sleep, albeit this morning I had called the vet and the plan was there. But Sprocket spared me the decision. Sprocket is now running and jumping as before.
Fly high Sprocket. Run fast Sprocket.
As I used to tell you when I unleashed you “Go, go, go, Sprocket” or “Ballun, Sprocket.”
Last night I held you in my arms like a baby and hugged you and told you how much I love you.
Like Tinker, you passed away in August, the month of my birthday.
You passed away two years after Tinker’s passing, and you were two years old when Tinker came into your life, our lives.
Now, you are spiritually together. Enjoy, my furry son.
Do not take heed of my cries and shrieks. Just enjoy in spirit form, what you once were. Because these last two weeks, your body failed you and you turned into someone you are not.
Thank you for your intelligence.
Thank you for your beauty.
Thank you for your adventurous side.
Thank you for your energy.
Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for your warmth.
Thank you for your love.
Thank you for helping me pull through when Tinker passed away.
Thank you for your ‘Awus’, your vocality.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I love you Sprocket. Forever and ever.
The house feels so empty without you. I will never be the same without you. I will rebuild myself to now live without a dog that was meant to be in my life by God’s divine power, and that is you.
I will have to rebuild myself without you and Tinker. You two were meant to be together. We three were meant to be together.
My website will be inactive until Sunday, not because I will be healed or happily walking around by then. Grieving for a pet for me is more profound than grieving for a human. For me, it is the loss of a non-judgmental source of love. I am inconsolable at the moment especially since I am single and childless and Sprocket [and Tinker, who I will write about in the future] served as the main focus of my life. I hope that by Monday I can restart focusing and concentrating on writing and publishing. I apologise to the readers.
The reality is that I will grieve forever. I will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one, in this case, of my Sprocket. I will learn to live with it. I will heal and rebuild myself around the loss I am suffering right now. I will be whole again but I will never be the same.
God bless you, Sprocket. Thank you for everything. Until we meet again, I love you.