I’d wanted a dog ever since I could remember. My mom even has photos of me feeding random dogs on the beach with my hand. However, she was very much opposed to getting a dog. She complained that she would wind up taking care of the dog, not us.
Eventually, my dad’s friend recently had puppies. He gave one of the puppies to us.
I named her Pochichay.
(I was in third grade, I don’t know what I was thinking either)
She’s a mix between a labrador and a dalmatian. She had chocolate brown fur, long legs, and a white spot of fur full of tiny black dots on her chest. I still remember driving to the house to pick her up. She was walking right beside her mom. The night lights were orange and she just stared at us.
I tried to pick her up but my hands were clumsy and she ended up wiggling a lot. So my mom picked her up instead. We got her into the car and we drove home.
She was so quiet. I petted her head and she just leaned into my touch. My heart melted immediately.
Apparently, my mom’s heart melted too. As she sat on my mom’s lap, Pochi squirmed in her seat so much. At the end of the car ride, she immediately jumped out and peed on the floor. We laughed, thinking maybe she’s so smart to know not to pee in the car.
On the first night, she whined so much. She probably missed her mom. I ended up waking up so early just to calm her down and give her milk. I gave her a hug and lots of attention.
I even learned how to train her to sit on command. I fed her. I walked her. I played with her. I gave her lots of hugs.
At some point, she got really sick. I cried so much. My dad had to bring her to the vet to stay for a few nights. She ate something bad. I visited her at the vet. I looked at her through the cage. She had a needle running nutrients to her. She looked at me listlessly and leaned her head on the cage. I patted her head. I whispered that it was going to be okay.
Eventually, she came out of that one. She was back to her old puppy self. She was a wild, active puppy. She ran around everywhere. She loved getting our slippers and running off with them. I would chase her around and she’d tease me a bit. She would stop running, look at me, and wagging her tail.
I loved those moments with her. She grew up. She became big and strong, but remained a gentle creature. We were afraid that if robbers came to the house, she would end up playing with them instead of barking at them.
She had babies. Two batches. The first time she gave birth, we sent her to the vet. The second time she had babies, I was right there with her. I opened up the placenta to let the puppies breath. I cut their umbilical cords. She would look at her puppies, lick them all over, and walk around some more. She trusted me to look after them.
She was a very loving mother to all her puppies. She looked after them every single hour of the day. Whenever they whined for milk, she would come lie down for them to drink from her. She was also a very strict mother. When they grew up and they were noisy, one tiny growl was all it took to keep them quiet.
Eventually, I had to go to college. I ended up only seeing her on the weekends or semester breaks. I didn’t have that much time to play with her.
But she always remembered me. She would always be waiting in the backyard, wagging her tail. Even with her old age, she would always come up to meet me. When I went to the backyard to greet her, she would come up first. I’d give her a big hug. Her fur had white streaks all over. Her mouth was white all over instead of the chocolate brown fur. Her one eye was already blind. She couldn’t hear as well as she used to.
But she would always answer my call.
I remember that day vividly. I was on exchange in Brazil. I was alone in a weekend trip I planned for myself. It was raining that day. My mom messaged me on Facebook. Pochi had complications with her stomach. Even with surgery, they weren’t sure she was going to make it because of her old age.
So we had one last Skype call.
She was just laying down on the floor. She looked like she was in so much pain. She looked at the camera and responded to my voice. Even then, it looked like she was struggling to even get up.
I tried to talk to her cheerfully. I actually managed it. I don’t know how I managed it.
My mom told me they were going to put her down a few hours later.
These shitty photos are the last I have of her. My blackberry link won’t open and I don’t have the old phone anymore.
She was part of my whole childhood.
I was all the way on the other side of the world. I wasn’t even there for you as you passed away.
I couldn’t have asked for a better dog than you.
I love you, Pochi-girl. Rest in piece. It sucks that I don’t have that many photos of you. I hope you’re having fun in doggie heaven.