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Farewell, my furry friend

Our home used to be less quiet, but now it feels completely dull. Even though I enjoy the peace, it was never the same after our family Aspin dog, Dessa, passed away a week ago. It was the saddest day of my life, and I’ve never cried so hard since my last heartbreak.

Before her death, she was bedridden for three days. She wasn’t eating, drinking, barking, and wagging her tail. However, the most common symptom of her undiagnosed infection/illness was that her urine had a maroon color. We didn’t have money to take her to the vet, so we only assumed that she had a bladder infection. Or perhaps, it was Parvo or hemorrhagic gastroenteritis — we will never know. I still wish we had taken her to the nearest animal clinic, so we could say that at least we tried to save her. But it was too late.

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On her last day, she was whimpering in pain. Her ears were yellow and her body temperature was high. She could no longer stand or sit. My dad and younger sister syringed electrolytes and food in her mouth, in hopes that she’d still survive. I thought about asking for donations and shelling out my own money, but again, it was too late. She was already dying.

At 6:38 a.m., she stopped breathing and instantly died with her eyes wide open. I saw it right in front of me and it all happened so fast. She was only five years old, which is equivalent to 35 human years. But still, she died too young and too soon. I locked myself in my bedroom and cried, as I tried to absorb the fact that my best friend is forever gone.

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A few minutes after her death, we decided to bury her properly. I found the chew toy that I bought for her two years ago. She rarely played with it because she preferred chewing our slippers, especially Kuya’s. I considered keeping the toy as a memory of her, but I decided to tuck it between her paws instead. I kissed her forehead one last time and told her I love her. While my siblings and I were wrapping her in a bedsheet that she had used as her bed, my dad started sobbing loudly. And I knew exactly why: He was the one who adopted Dessa from a close friend.

Dessa was mostly a quiet dog, but she was also kind, adorable, and funny whenever she was hyper. There were times she escaped when our gate was open, but she was a well-behaved dog. She only went to the living room whenever she’d see us eating. Dog treats and boiled eggs were her favorite snacks.

We never taught her how to climb up the stairs, but she knew how to during thunderstorms and New Year’s Eve. The buzzing sound of motorcycles would also make her tremble. But once she finally calmed down, I’d carry her downstairs because she didn’t know how to.

If this was a eulogy, this is the part where I’ll explain how much I’m going to miss her, because I surely will. I’ll miss her welcoming me whenever I came home from school and work. And despite her weighing 28 pounds, I’ll miss how I carried her like a baby. Not to mention the cuddle sessions, the belly rubs, and the cute sleeping positions.

I wish she had puppies and that we allowed her to play with other dogs. I wish we walked her outside more, got her professionally groomed, and bought her a Starbucks puppuccino. There are so many things I wish she was able to experience because she was a great dog and she deserved the best.

But there we were in a vacant lot on a sunny Tuesday morning, digging a hole for our beloved furry family member. My dad and older brother took their turns digging. After half an hour of work, we returned to our old, melancholic home that was once full of life. I cried for three days straight and watched dog movies to cope. The most gentle dog I’d ever known had now crossed the rainbow bridge. I like to imagine her frolicking with the other dogs in heaven so that I’ll no longer be sad.

Dessa taught me friendship, loyalty, and, above all, unconditional love. She also reminded me of how short life is—to seize the moment and make each second count. I now understand why dogs are called “man’s best friend.” We may speak different languages, but we will form a strong and genuine connection that we won’t ever get from another human.

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Isabelle Isidro, 23, is an aspiring content creator and entrepreneur. She advocates mental health, skin positivity, and animal welfare.

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TAGS: farewell to a pet dog, Isabelle Isidro, Young Blood
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