My dog Arslan passed away on a Thursday afternoon after battling with cancer for half a year. I am Cassia Kouyoumdjian his people parent, wishing his loving soul the best of the best wherever he is now, for he was very sweet, loving, kind and brave. |
I had taken Arslan out that night, across the street from our apartment building in Vienna, Austria. It was quite dark but many owners were still walking their dogs along the river channel. Out of no where, a huge dog appeared, he was twice as big as Arslan in size. He was not interested in getting to know my dog but walked directly toward me for some reason. I had never ever been in a situation where my physical self was threatened in any way before so I had no idea how Arslan was going to react. He immediately took over the situation and blocked the other dog's path, keeping his body posture up high. I almost heard him telling the other dog "What do you want from her? You deal with me."
Then there was the time when my husband had arranged for a worker to come to our house to fix something on the patio, while he was at work. As soon as the worker approached the doors leading to our patio, Arslan began barking, growling and clenching his teeth. I could tell he felt threatened from the unusual entrance of the stranger on our property. That moment, it dawned on me, how protective he was of his own family.
When my second daughter was born, the minute she woke up crying from her sleep, Arslan would appear next to her crib waiting for me to take care of her.
One of the funniest things that Arslan did was when he began howling as I began singing at home and hit the high pitched notes. He placed quite a bit of emotion in his howling when I sang depending on the mood and nature of the song.
I adopted him when he was a puppy tied up at the back of a house where I visited my best friend every Friday night. I saw him for several weeks before I made a decision to adopt him. I was quite apprehensive at the beginning, him being an American Staffordshire Terrier Pit Bull. My friend told me that pit bulls are great when they are raised properly as they are very sweet, loving beings. How right she was! In time, I learned that I had met the sweetest being ever! At the time I was living alone in San Pedro, California. Arslan soon became my baby, best friend, companion, and guard. On my vacation time, we drove through the whole State of Oregon twice together and had a wonderful time. He was very friendly with people, children and walked away from aggressive behavior. When we met unfriendly dogs during our walks, he always ignored their barking. He loved running at the beach, playing in the snow and had a great sense of humor. He knew when I was kidding with him and played along. He was also a great jumper and loved to jump the stairs leading to the backyard garden, in style. When he did that, he resembled a deer so I called him Bamby at times. Arslan loved running as well, he was an excellent runner and very athletic. Whenever he was out in our garden, he would run around the house like he was in a rally and would do it with such great joy.
When I got married, he moved with me to Vienna and was a silent witness to all the happy moments as well as the difficult times that this kind of change brings into one's life.
Last April, they removed his entire spleen because of a bad tumor which then spread during the month of August. One of the things that I will never forget about him is the fact that he never whimpered from the pain or discomfort of his illness. I just knew he was not feeling well. Toward the end, I was not sure, who was trying to take care of whom as he was struggling with his illness. It felt like he was keeping up because he was concerned about leaving me behind. The last three weeks of his life, he was still trying to run, bark, and do all those things that healthy normal doggies do.
Arslan, I am going to miss you very much, it will not be easy without you but I am happy that you are not suffering any more. I thank you for all the days you have been in my life.
I love you.
-Last Saturday, I had the gardener plant a magnolia tree right near the spot where you sat this summer as you enjoyed the fresh air in the garden.
Sunday August 7, 2011
In twelve days it will be exactly one year since your passing. I want to let you know how things have been on this end.
I have thought about you every single day wondering where you are, if you have met Archoug my top cat and what the universe has in store for you. Also, Leah has often remembered and talked about you since then. Daddy told me what a special dog you were and Ariella... I think she is still too young to put all this information together. The magnolia tree keeps on growing and had so many pink flowers during Spring. It was very beautiful! In fact, the garden where you loved to spend your days, has blessed us with countless fruits, vegetables and herbs this year. Daddy and I also planted many shrubs along the fence.
My little baby, all I want you to know is that I still miss you very much. You are very special to me and will remain so through eternity.