This is a story of girl meets dog, but you should know upfront, that this is a love story.
I have been in a relationship with Kippy, my dog, for ten years. That’s one decade. That’s one freaking half of my life.
He was there when I first got my period.
He was there when I fought (and still fight) with my dad.
He was there when I fretted (and still fret) over boys.
He was there when I needed a break from work.
He was there whenever I needed him to be while I, on the other hand, always wasn’t.
I was never really home during the week partly because I’m a dormer, and partly because during the rare times when I was home I was always out.
I stopped taking him for walks or jogs around the village, partly because I was lazy and partly because he was getting old and he couldn’t keep up anymore.
I took him a bath about once a month or once every two months, partly because I would forget and partly because it’s really such a chore.
I would forget his birthday a lot (March 10!), partly because generally I’m not a date conscious person and partly because I would just well… forget.
Perhaps I wasn’t the most responsible pet owner, but he wasn’t a saint either. Trust me, Kippy has gotten me into A LOT of trouble in the past.
Being the matapang and alpha-male dog that he was, I got the flack whenever he attacked another dog and defended him whenever my mom threatened to give him away.
Being the makulit and adventurous dog that he was, I had to run after him whenever he would bolt out of the gate and carry him all the way back to the house (sometimes barefoot) afterwards.
Being the intelligent and street smart dog that he was, I had to be the one to wash his mouth whenever he killed a rat or suffer my mother’s wrath whenever he would snatch a cooked chicken from the dining room table.
Being the matakaw dog that he was, I had to be the one to clean up his vomit whenever he ate something he wasn’t supposed to but was curious enough to.
Perhaps we both weren’t perfect but our relationship worked. When I give, he bites. When he gives, I forget. But now that he’s gone and can’t give me any more trouble and I can’t give any more excuses, that mostly just makes me sad.
Honestly, I still can’t get over the reality that he just won’t be there to greet me when I go home this weekend or keep me company while I watch TV, go online or do my homework.
I can’t get over the fact that it was so unexpected.
I can’t get over the realization that when I was crying a couple of nights ago he wasn’t there at my bed side to comfort me like he usually would or the sad truth that now he never will be.
I can’t get over my frustration that I wasn’t there when it happened or that he’ll be buried by the time I get back home.
I knew Kippy would die eventually but this is definitely not how I pictured he’d leave me. I wanted to be there with him when it did, his paw in my hand. You can’t tell me he’s happier in doggy heaven when he wasn’t suffering on earth to begin with. Well, at least not yet or I don’t think he was.
I know he was just a dog and people may think it’s silly how worked up I’ve gotten over it, but he wasn’t any old dog. He was my dog you know? He was my dog for ten years.
I’m not the most affectionate person and it’s not often that my sometimes apathetic heart cares more than it should, but now that he’s gone and I’ve cried myself to sleep, his death made me realize my own capacity to love.
Death may be the absence of life, but it’s also the presence and reminder of love, but in its crudest, most heartbreaking and suckiest form.
What I learned from him is that genuine love doesn’t discriminate whether it’s between a man and a woman, a man and a man, a woman and a woman, or in this case between a girl and her dog.
I miss you Kippy. Thank you for teaching me how to love.
* Read my sister’s blog entry/ eulogy about Kippy here. Credit goes to her for some of the pictures