IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
Perhaps this piece will appeal only, if at the very least, the most to dog people such as myself. I was born, and raised into a family of dog lovers, and dogs have been a part of my life ever since day one. So much so, that I have never really known life without. I remember when I moved to the States for college, every time I would see a dog in the street, it would make me so happy, and make me long for mine back home. During the pandemic and lockdown, their presence kept me sane, and perhaps, they were happiest to have me home all day long. I decided to write this piece because as of late, a number of family and friends have lost their dearly beloved furry ones. For one, my dad lost his 14-year-old German shepherd, and then a week after, a good friend lost her 14-year-old shih tzu, whose sibling followed just the week after. The heartbreak is inexplicable. The pain maybe even of moving forward is harder to grieve simply because we tend to be more reserved when it comes to the loss of a pet. There is more hesitation perhaps given that they are not “quite people” – and I say it this way because if you have a dog, then you know the connection, and sometimes, they can just be like one.
There is a reason that dogs are known as mans best friend, or sayings like “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a puppy and that’s kind of the same thing” (Unknown) exist. You do not always know you need a dog in your life, or that a part of you was missing until you actually have one. While they are a part of your world, we take for granted the fact that we are their entire universe, and their days and lives revolve around us, humans. They long for nothing more, but our time, love, and affection. This is the very reason also why in as much as getting a dog can be likened to buying unconditional love somewhat, it is also a big responsibility we must not take lightly. The efforts and love however we channel towards our furry friends never go unnoticed, and is always reciprocated. In fact, many times over, I find myself questioning if I indeed am worthy of their unconditional and unquestioning love.
The connection between human and canine is a strong bond, and one that cannot be put into words. It is a symbiotic relationship that dog people fully understand without needing to explain. But just like people, each dog is also different – physically, in character, habits, and temperament – even if they come from the same litter. Which is why, undeniably, some dogs will appeal and resonate with us more than others. Some of them definitely have us under the spell of their paws, and hold a bigger part of our hearts than others do. Do doggie soul mates exist? I have always wondered that. But what I can tell you is that there is definitely that one special one. The one that you dread the day of goodbye. That one you will do anything to prolong the life of. That one who just knows what you need, and what you want. Who anticipates, knows your unspoken words, and whose sheer presence gives you comfort and calm. The one whose demise changes your life, and your days, forever.
But just like the movie, we console ourselves with the fact that all dogs go to heaven. They deserve it after all. So to our furry friends, and constant companions who we can never seem to thank enough, we can only hope that the love, time, and affection we give them compensates, and fills their hearts, as much as their presence does ours.