Potchi chose to go without me being by her side
I didn’t see the signs or perhaps I denied them. I slept late last night because I was busy nursing my dog, trying to make her feel as good as possible and to let her know I’m always near her and she could call me whenever she wants. I comforted her, telling her that it’s okay to leave me and the family and that everything she did for the family will always be remembered.
She became more and more scared I guess. She was increasingly becoming more aware of how much time she may have left and so her screams of agony and pain weren’t merely such; they were more of fear. How do I know? To tell you the truth, it’s a gut feeling and it’s the kind that only people who share a certain bond with their pets have. I could also tell by the fact that she would stop crying and just sleep when I’m rubbing her neck or simply putting my hands on her, making her feel warm and not alone in what she had to go through.
I slept at 1130 PM. I woke up to her cries at 0217 AM. I went back to sleep at 0300 AM. I then woke up again to her wails at 0445 AM. I went back to sleep at 0510. I officially had to wake up at 0600 AM for breakfast and work. I nursed her for 20 more minutes before I left. There were moments wherein I just wanted to ignore her because I was so sleepy but I fought them with thoughts of how much my dog needed me and that she would do the same if we exchanged places. I was really tired throughout the whole day but I knew it would be worth it. And now, I wish I didn’t sleep nor leave at all.
I had that feeling she’ll be gone today but I never really did accept it as truth but more on excessive worrying and depression. I saw the signs. My officemate asked me how my pet was and she misheard me when she thought I said Potchi already left. I saw a dead puppy along the way, tossed aside from the road. I felt nauseated and more fatigued than usual.
I was told at 0630 PM about this news. She died at around 0830-0900 AM but her lifeless body was found at 0930 AM. by my brother. I was informed so late because my family knew how distracted and disheartened I would be if I received this news at such an early hour. And I was conducting very hard today and I needed all the focus I could muster. She died in one of her favorite places today. It was just behind the garden bench. It was one of her favorite places to sleep because walls surrounded the area and no one would notice her sleeping, let alone disturb her from a quick nap. It was also a nice place to sleep in because it was away from the heat of the sun.
I was relieved at the first. Relieved at the fact that Potchi’s suffering is over and that she’s gone to a better place now. I was praying day in and day out for God to take Potchi away already and so Potchi and I can just be relieved of each other since we’re both tired of fighting the inevitable. Then I remembered flashback after flashback of memory about those times where she really did make me and the family happy. I wanted to cry right then and there. I was riding on a service car when I was notified of this. I was with people from work and my boss. I struggled to just think of the happy thoughts and not the fact that she’s gone now.
I will probably miss cleaning her and after her. I’ll also miss the way she would know I need someone by my side and that she’d walk towards me without me saying a word. I’ll also miss her stubbornness and how she often refuses to obey my commands. Then again, I realized she obeyed my command for the first time today and that’s to go on ahead even if I’m not with her.
She died with her eyes open. I imagined she wanted to see me come home at the very last moment, staring at the front wall of the house, imagining me walking just at the other side, about to open and the gates and rub her neck as I always did. It must’ve been hard for her to do that. I saw how her eyelids were bleeding, as if she was crying blood. Her eyes were so red…
I figured she died of a heart attack. She had heartworms and the slightest bit of stress could trigger an attack. My brother said, being today his rest day before tomorrow, his graduation day, he saw how Potchi couldn’t hold her urine anymore (after 2-3 days) and she released it. She never urinated in where she was and I guess it made her uncomfortable. Uncomfortable of the fact that she did it in a place she knows I’d hate for her to do it in and the fact that she may have felt humiliated by this. Maybe it put stress on her which finally gave her heart out. She was so proud of how properly potty-trained she is. I also think the fact that she hasn’t eaten anything since Saturday gave her so much unbearable pain to bear. I had to feed her through dextrose. I wanted to feed her forcefully but that would be wrong. And I didn’t want her to suffer when she would excrete solids as well. She bled from that too.
I was supposed to buy 3 more pairs of painkillers for her today. I was also supposed to have her put to sleep this Saturday as well. I figured she didn’t like me spending too much money on an old and sick dog like her so she just did what I wanted her to do and finally rest. I also would like to think she didn’t want me to be with her when she went simply because she thought she would die such an ugly way that I would probably be disgusted with her. If only she knew I didn’t care how dirty she was when Ondoy struck when I still hugged her even if she wreaked.
I imagine how lonely her sister must be. She’s not showing it now, though. Probably because she knew it too and maybe Potchi was telling her to make sure I stay happy after she left. She’s acting as if nothing really happened. But she knows Potchi’s gone. She no longer waits at the gates. She does this when Potchi escapes outside to run around for about 15 minutes. I promised Potchi that I’d take care of her little sister so much.
I won’t have to worry about eating bony meat in pairs or in even numbers now. I always did that so the two sisters would always have equal amounts of food and there would be no jealousy or favoritisms whatsoever. I’ll miss Potchi’s way of anticipating lunch or dinner by being 20 minutes early at her eating place, waiting for me to go outside and put food on her bowl.
I didn’t see where they, my dad and brother, buried her. I actually didn’t want to anyway. It was the same way with Barkley and Cable and it will be the same way with Patchi one day. I guess I know deep inside that I’ll probably look for their sites and visit them every now and then if I ever saw where it was they were buried; that I’ll hate the houses being built on top of their graves. I don’t want to know where their bodies lie. I know the area but not the exact place. It’s a beautiful area filled with trees and grass and I know I’d want to be buried in some place as beautiful as that. I guess I just want this feeling that where ever I go in that place, I would always say that “this is where my dog is buried” and it could be anywhere. I then wouldn’t have to be so mad about houses disturbing their grave sites and such.
If there was one thing I learned from all of this, it’s that you’re not too old to cry. It’s just that when you’re old, you’re supposed to know when and where to cry. I know I do. And it’s hard.
Potchi loved sleeping near the gates so she could guard us even when she’s asleep. I know that wherever she is, she’s probably guarding us right now. I wish she knows how much I miss her and that she’ll always be that one dog who saw me grow up for 11-12 years; more than half my lifetime. I cut up pieces of her fur last Sunday afternoon so that I’d have something to hold from her. And that when I would touch and smell the fur hairs, I’d be reminded of what she actually smelled like and how beautiful and soft her hair was.
I’ll probably look for her all around the house and outside of it. I’ll imagine her running endlessly with me whenever I take my morning jogs. I’ll always imagine her running towards the gates when I would come home and whistle to them, and she’ll always be the first one to greet me with all the barks of a pet angry at her master for not taking her with him. And I’ll reminisce on these sort of things on and on.
Rest in peace my little dog. Know that you’ll always have a place in this house, in my memories, and most specially, my heart. See you one day. I hope you would greet me when I get there. And we can play with you and the rest of my dogs endlessly, with the family you always protected and loved.