Dogs are the extension of our heart and soul. They are the purest form of love and happiness. Today, I lost my happiness.
It happened again, the thing I dread the most. I had been Marley’s nurse for the past two weeks, closely monitoring when and what he ate, calming him when the tremors got worse and he seemed to be panicking. I saw how strong he tried to be.
Some dogs when they are sick, they show it. Sam is like that. She likes the attention she gets when she’s sick and she is transparent when something is wrong with her. Marley was different. He went on with his usually playful self even when he couldn’t run anymore. Like he didn’t understand or accept the concept of illness. After all, he was only a baby at four years old and had never been seriously sick before. That’s why it pained me to see him struggling but I admired him for being strong about it. He was such a brave boy.
For the past two weeks, we had become closer than ever. Every day, when I woke up and greeted him, he would wag his tail albeit weakly, just to show me how happy he was to see me. He would follow me around the house as I went on with my usual morning routine, then he would go to his spot under the dining table to show me that he was ready for his breakfast. I loved him for trusting me the most to feed him and take care of him. I felt privileged, so I took my role very seriously.
Today, though, I had to go to General Trias and stay here overnight. I didn’t want to leave him because he needed to be looked after practically every minute. Perhaps it was denial or hope that made me believe it was okay to leave him for a day. I should have known the curse would happen to me again.
I sent a text message to my brother at around 2:30 PM, reminding him to give Marley his late lunch. He told me instead that it didn’t look good for Marley. I responded back that it was impossible because this morning before I left, he was still playful with me. He was wagging his tail, requesting a belly rub and following me around the house. Plus, I told Marley that I would be coming back after a day, it wasn’t a big deal. My brother didn’t respond back. I knew I was doomed.
So here I was, alone and far away again, totally helpless, crying my heart out because I couldn’t be there for Marley when he really needed me the most. My mother texted at 7:16 PM to say that Marley was gone. The moment my phone beeped, eve without reading the message, I knew what it was about. I just couldn’t believe that it happened to me again. Why am I always away when loved ones die?
Maybe it was a curse to name him Marley. Part of me knew from the moment he was born that he would cause us major heartbreak. And that he was going to be something special. He wasn’t exactly ill-behaved like his famous namesake. He just really loved to play with everyone all the time. He never ran out of energy, especially when he got bigger and heavier. I found it adorable that he never had an idea about how big he was; he would jump at us to try and lick our faces, bump into walls trying to chase Boomer, bark his heart out because he was too excited for a bath.
He never failed to make us happy. He was so excited all the time and always made his presence felt that I knew that there would be a gaping hole in our hearts when it was time for him to go. But we didn’t care, partly because I thought we were going to have more than four years of him running around the house causing havoc. We didn’t care because you never think about when your pets are going to finally leave you. You just care that they are the most adorable things in the world and that if angels really exist, they would look like dogs. We loved him so much. He was our first baby, the first puppy to be born and raised at home.
And how he’s gone, and I’m away and alone. Again. I will never get used to the feeling of being heartbroken, no matter how many times I go through it. He was our baby. He wasn’t a pet. He was family. I feel like a part of me died today. Like Dementors decided to hang out at my house and follow me around.
My happiness is gone.