once upon a time, there’s a very sweet dog named Romppu.
he’s my husband’s uncle’s dog, but he sometimes came over to our place and let us take care of him for a while when his owners were going out of town.
his favourite past times were sleeping, smacking his tongue quietly (so that he wouldn’t disturb others nor drool to the floor), and looking out the window to see the sceneries.
he was a quiet dog, and he’s always excited whenever we came back from going somewhere outside the house. he even got so excited to see me coming back from doing our laundry downstairs.
he was never interested in any other dog. whenever we went to take him out, if we met some other dog, he was more interested in the owner (especially little kids) than the dog.
he was always hopeful to get a few extra bites. whenever someone opened the fridge door, no matter how deep his sleep was, he would get up and start walking towards the fridge.
he was old.
and as years went by, he became more and more ill, the kind of illness that came with getting old. he became slower, a bit blind, and could no longer do much of anything else but sleep.
three weeks ago, we were told to be prepared to lose him. he had quite a painful tooth infection that needed to be operated, and yet because of his heart problem and old factor, it’s almost sure that when he’s put to sleep for the operation, he wouldn’t be able to wake up anymore. so the option was between the operation or putting him to sleep for good.
that night, as i was lying in my bed, my husband sleeping beside me, i suddenly heard the familiar dog-nails-on-the-floor sound from our kitchen, tip-tip-tip-tip, coming closer to our bedroom. i was surprised to hear it, i didn’t remember having Romppu at our house. my husband also woke up and heard his footsteps. and then Romppu appeared in our bedroom, excitedly running to my side of the bed, and i happily brushed his head and said “moi moi, Romppu!” (which could mean “hello” or “goodbye” in Finnish).
and then he ran again to the other side of the bed, where my husband was, and my husband petted his head as he also said “no moi, Romppu!”.
and then i got up from the bed, and felt like i knew what to do next. i went through the bathroom that connected our bedroom to the area of our apartment’s entrance door, knowing that Romppu would follow me. as i reached our apartment’s entrance door, i opened the door and said to Romppu, “you’re free to go now, Romppu. i’ll miss you, but just go now.”
he looked at me and then at the open door, and ran out a few meters… but then he turned around and looked back at me again. i kept saying, “bye bye, Romppu,” but he started running back towards me.
finally i knelt down and hugged him, and told him, “i love you, Romppu.” i stood up afterwards, and again said goodbye to him.
this time, he walked away and didn’t come back.
it was just a dream, but a very realistic one, that when i woke up, i knew it was my heart saying goodbye to him, and who knows… maybe it was also Romppu saying goodbye to both of us.
Romppu passed away last Thursday.
goodbye, Romppu. i hope you are at peace now, with no more pain.
i miss you already.