My new friend and constant companion, Ollie, died on Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 3:00pm. He was a 7 week old, red-and-white Siberian Husky. I bought him in Xining during my first week in China when I saw his baby-blues peering out at me from a cage on the street in the Remin Gong Yuan. Ollie weighed about 6lbs when I brought him home, bathed him, and curled up with him on my bed to keep him warm during his first night with me.
In the weeks that followed, I watched Ollie turn from a wobbling, weak puppy into a playful and aggressive little dog who proved a fortuitous friend when he allowed me to meet the Mathis family in Xining, or when he opened up lines of contact for some of the more shy girls here at the Sengcham Drukmo Home.
Ollie was well-loved, well-cared for, and was an inseparable part of my daily (and nightly) routine. I usually woke up around 2am to take him outside (puppy bladders are very little) and he would antagonize me into feeding him at 7am. Whether he was chewing on my fingers, or hanging out inside one of the girls coats, Ollie was an adorable addition to my experience here, and I was looking forward to bringing him home with me as the best souvenir a girl's ever had.
On Saturday, he woke up around 3am whining as though in pain, and I held him for a a few minutes and put him back in his kennel. When I woke up in daylight, he was very sick, and his condition worsened hourly while I frantically googled his symptoms and tried to figure out how to help him. There was no vet in town, and Ollie was gone by 3pm. It was not an easy death, and I not only feel acutely his absence but the pain of his departure.
I am thankful that I was able to be with this puppy for a month, and will remember him as a special part of my journey and as a furry and friendly chapter in my life.