Its amazing how life can turn on its head within a few hours. Within a space of 9 hours, my life has gone from that of someone on top of the world to someone completely shattered. My dog Tequila died yesterday. For those who prayed for her when she was seriously ill, this may come as a shock. Tequila recovered from the most serious of illnesses and was growing to be a strong, healthy, happy dog. As I've mentioned earlier, she had as qualities everything I hold so dear - her "never say die" attitude, her persistence, her spirit and her stomach for a fight. Its almost tragic that her death came at the peak of her health. In a freak accident, Tequila strangled herself to death while trying to escape from her crate, when her collar loop got stuck in one of the spots on the enclosure. By the time I was back home, it was all over.
To think that Tequila would have perhaps died because of a sudden series of events pains me deeply and I'm struggling to recover from the shock. At 1430, my neighbours put Tequila into her crate as they usually do. At 1730 when my dog walker came home, he found her stone dead, her neck was twisted and her collar was so tightly stuck in the crate that we had to cut her away to even get her out of the crate (This was when I came back at 1815). Those who know me will know that I love my dogs like my children -- to see Tequila lifeless, cold and to not have her jump up and try to kiss me has been the most heartbreaking experience. I can only imagine how she would have struggled in her last moments and thought of me perhaps to come and save her. A few days back when she got really scared of a little stray pup, I'd promised that I'd never let her come to any harm. In a way I broke my promise to her and am perhaps the reason for her death.
A couple of things that I've learnt the hard way and I hope all dog owners can pay heed to.
- Dog Collars: Please, please, please if your dog is unattended, then take off his/ her collar. In retrospect, the difference between life and death for Tequila was perhaps her collar.
- Dog Crates: I never thought this was such a big risk until yesterday. Avoid dog crates with meshes and hooks. They are an accident waiting to happen and are the next level of risk to your dog. At the least, your dog could injure himself/ herself, by brushing against the mesh/ hook. At the worst, they will kill themselves as Tequila did. Please use the reinforced aluminum crates like the one here. They are not only more secure, they mistake proof your pet handling to a huge extent.