My partner had just returned from her three day teaching stint in the Vietnamese countryside, and as much as we wanted to make the most of our time together we unfortunately had to spend the weekend moving. The people we rented our room off of wanted to become Airbnb hosts and rent our room out to travellers who would most likely pay more than we were currently paying. We couldn’t afford to offer them anymore money and so the only option was for us to move out, thankfully however we discovered the perfect place.
Just five minutes from where we were currently staying was a room situated within a homestay, it was a little over what we were paying at the time but the space on offer was too good to turn down. We met with the homestay’s organiser, a lovely Vietnamese woman who really made us feel at home and genuinely seemed happy to have the three of us moving in. We were to stay in the same building that she, her parents, and a rather kind and informative American gentleman occupied. Everything was perfect and we were looking forward to hopefully now calling this home for the remainder of our time here. This would become our 5th and final home during an unsettled five months in Vietnam, because within just days of moving in we were leaving again. Our little world was about to be shattered.
During our time moving those past few days we noticed something wasn’t quite right with our little dog Princess, she was quite sluggish and had little of an appetite. I assumed that this could be down to the confusion over moving house again, making her unsettled and out of routine. However it was in the early hours of one morning in our new room that I was awoken by my distressed partner informing me that our poor little rescue dog had been sick, something that she had never done since we had rescued her some months ago. We kept an eye on her and as soon as we could we took her to the vets in the hope that they could shed some light on what was wrong with her, we had everything crossed that it was only something minor, a stomach bug perhaps.
As the vet was checking Princess over she once again threw up, and at that moment I could see the real concern in the vet’s face. They decided to take her for observation and put her on a drip in order to get some fluids into her and aid the recovery process, and within an hour we were picking her up with much more hope and promise than when we brought her in. We were told to bring her back the next day for further checks and to simply keep an eye on her for the next 24 hours, which we did like concerned parental hawks. However overnight Princess did not improve and again she was bringing back up what was probably given to her via the drip, we were back to being extremely concerned.
Morning could not have come sooner, we had both hardly slept due to worry and so we were straight to the vets once again. The vet took her straight away to be put on the same drip that she had been placed on 24 hours prior, and we went off to do some shopping unbeknownst to us that we would never get the chance to hold our little Princess alive again. We returned with hope that there was even the slightest chance of improvement from our strong little girl, but the distraught and mournful face of the vet told us everything that we needed to know. Shortly after we left to go shopping we were told Princess took a turn for the worse, her body started to shake uncontrollably and her body was in the process of shutting down. When we arrived we were given the news and my partner defied the strong requests of the vets not to go into the treatment room, but there was no stopping her and I’m glad there wasn’t. We got to see a glimpse of her lying there on that table fighting with everything she had to stay alive, but that would be the last time we got to see our beautiful Princess take a breath.
We were told to sit and wait, to see if there was any chance of survival, but despite all of our hopes she was gone. I will never forget the moment that the vet, almost in tears, broke the news to us that Princess had passed, I didn’t want to believe it, I didn’t want to know the truth. My partner, in her distressed state, once again burst through to the treatment room as one of the nurses was taking all of the breathing equipment and so on off of our sheep like ball of hope. It was one of the saddest sights of my 26 years on this planet seeing Princess, lifeless but with her eyes open and tongue out, being cradled by my inconsolable partner. I tried to hold in my emotions for her but there was no holding them back now, we sat there with our little girl sobbing for what felt like hours but was mere minutes. We would have done anything to suddenly bring her back to life, back to full health and wagging her tail in excitement.
The day she died felt like one of the longest in memory, we took Princess home and simply didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We just layed there with her still even hours after her last breath wishing that she would wake up, that perhaps this was all a dream and soon the three of us would wake up together again ready to resume the rest of our Vietnamese adventure. Sadly our worst nightmares were in fact a reality and through all of the heartbreak we knew we had to somehow compose ourselves and figure out what to do with both ourselves and Princess……