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A few days before we left Taiwan, Anette contacted me to say that Malva had fallen ill with canine piroplasmosis (Babesia canis). Although this parasite-transmitted disease normally evolves during a number of days, Malva became acutely ill and quickly started vomiting blood. Despite immediate medical care, there was nothing Anette nor Madougou the vet could do to save her. Malva fell asleep on the veranda and that was it. Our little blackridged watchdog was gone.

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Just days before, Malva was prancing around as usual with the rest of the flock, playing with her mother, uncle and siblings. As Arne’s departure from Taiwan became a reality, Malva fell ill and died. Sometimes in the heart of Voodoo-land, our pets fall inexplicably ill. This happened to Wendy who died in 2006 and Aslan who died in 2008, and now Malva in 2010.

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Malva, I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you. I’m sorry you had to be the one who had to go. You were such a sweetheart.

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I will never forget when you were born. Miss Biyar, the restless one. The tomboy. Our blackridged girl.

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You grew into a fine little lady.Always on the lookout, always ready to tell your brothers to wake up and start guarding. You were your father’s daughter all the way through.

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Alert and determined, and always eager to investigate.

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You picked Anette as your human, and the two of you shared a special bond. I’m so sorry you both had to go through this. I really am. You were a precious addition to our lives, Malva. We will never forget you.

Rest in peace, Malva. Our very own Sheba’s Miss Biyar of Baghera.

The loss of a loved one in the heart of Voodoo land is my world this week. For other (hopefully lighter) stories around the world, click here.