Crested Gecko, Alisha No more

The reason I resisted having pets for a long time in the US, even though my children wanted a puppy, is that I had many heartbreaking experiences in the past. Losing your best pet is like losing one of your family members. I had witnessed my pet dogs died on me. It was absolutely heart-wrenching to watch them die followed by horrendous feelings that would engulf me when I had to say goodbye. I had shed countless tears for my lovely dogs.

Today, one of my crested geckos died on my watch. I couldn’t breathe well and choked upon seeing the lifeless body of cutie Alisha. I tried to revive her but her motionless body was unresponsive. I carefully checked her entire body to see any signs of life. It was devastating longer I held her in my hand and saw her stiff legs and body and sunken eyes. She was the fiercest and playful among the other two cresties. She was not as shy as her sister. I do not know what went wrong in the vivarium. She showed no signs of illness. Food and water were always available for her. Heat and humidity level was at the optimal level. Yet, something killed her. I dug the ground to bury her while my children were also shockingly watching me the whole time. All of a sudden, S. Grace left the scene and went inside the house. She came out with a piece of paper in her hand that had her handwritten note, “Else” for Alisha [Note: S. Grace thought that was the correct spelling]. She put the handwritten note on top of Alisha’s grave and put a rock on it so that wind would not blow it away. Then, she picked some flowers from the garden and put them nicely on the note. I knew she missed Alisha badly since she named her Alisha and her sister Anna from the Disney movie, Frozen, and was very good at handling her.

I held my tears back as long as I was with the children. Once I got in the house and away from children, streams of tears rolled down my cheeks even before I noticed. I thought grown-up men don’t cry over an animal that could be easily replaced by another, but that was not true. The feeling of losing Alisha in 5 years was awful and traumatic. I never knew until she passed away that she had deeply captured my heart that I still feel such a heartache which brings back the memory of losing my best dog more than two decades ago.

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