Search MAFLOnline
Subscribe to MAFL Online


Contact Me

I can be contacted via


Latest Information


Latest Posts
« New Year, New Season, New(ish) Website | Main | Finding What's New On The Site »

Vale Chi

I really didn't think he'd see the Grand Final of 2013, but he did - not that I think he cared much for the outcome.

Yesterday, a little after 3pm Sydney time, I watched while MAFL's first and only mascot, Chi the Absurdly Determined, laying blissfully on my wife's lap in our vet's surgery, a study in zen-like non-attachment, went limp and then peacefully disappeared forever from our lives.

As some of you know, the last few months of Chi's life have been especially difficult, probably moreso for us than for him, as his bingo card of ailments and pharmacopoeian list of treatments grew more numerous, the best of 21st century veterinarian medicine pitted against, amongst other things, his murmurous heart, his failing eyesight, his arthritic body and his demented brain (though, truth be told, he wasn't doing much with that organ anyway). Our vet likened the situation to propping up a tent from the inside using only your hands while it's collapsing at multiple, random places, all around you.

It was, I truly know - and as my amazing wife and our amazing vet knew - the time to let go, or as near to that time as anyone could reasonably estimate but, regardless, it's hard to quell an uneasy feeling of betrayal; he made it so difficult. 

Even early on his last morning he was, in his own mind, purposeful in heading towards the kitchen, backdoor, water bowl - who knew, given that his chosen path involved a plainly unnecessary detour via the TV in the lounge room. And then, throughout the remainder of the day he was as keen of appetite as ever, finishing most of a breakfast of eggs and ham, devouring the few, small coveted pieces of banana that were offered him, and then contentedly melting into whatever lap was available. If he knew nothing else on his last day, it was that he was loved.

One small comfort is that we never got to the point where all that was left of Chi forever spoiled our memories of all that he was.

And now, he's no more, and I feel sharply aware that, like the as-beloved pets before him, he's destined to become a blurry memory. He does have one thing in his favour though: he's easily the most photgraphed pet we've ever welcomed into our home. Should anyone ever decide to do a retrospective on him they'll suffer from no shortage of contemporaneous material.

It's cliched, I know, but if you have a pet - something, someone you love - be mindful in their presence and be thankful for the brief time you'll share together on the planet.

See you mate - and thanks.

Reader Comments (2)

I cried when Ben (my Labrador Shepherd, with whom I spent seventeen years) passed. Permission to do the same.

December 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenis

Thanks Den. I remember Ben well.

(I didn't even make it out of the vet's surgery.)

December 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterTonyC

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>