By Manik Rege
Dear Doggo spirit,
I still wake up at 4.30 A.M to the sound of mellow woofs and pillow-scratching.
I often forget that I don’t need to take you out for your ‘early morning rituals’ anymore.
I try my best to go back to sleep but I end up staring at our photos and crying for hours.
You’re long gone and yet the typical mushy smell of your hazel coat continues to haunt the house, its furniture, and its people.
Mum still cleans your bowls and fills them up with fresh water every single day.
Dad still plans our picnics only after confirming that the hotel allows pets to stay with their owners.
Little Isha still runs straight to the backyard after school, hoping to get her daily dose of slimy kisses and warm hugs.
She misses you the most. She’s so heartbroken and hurt. But she’s not alone in the darkness. I share her pain. I understand how she feels. After all, she’s not the only one who’s lost her best friend…
Last week, when I heard her crying, I rushed into her room and tried my best to calm her down. We ended up crying together all night. We hugged each other tightly and decided to let it out once and for all.
When I was wiping off her tears, I looked deep into her eyes and stared at the emptiness of her soul. I saw the big hole you’ve dug out in her heart. I saw how much you meant to her. I saw how much she loved you. And I swear, I haven’t seen a more innocent, more powerful form of love till now.
I never thought it was possible to love someone so deeply and so selflessly. You’ve taught us so many things without saying a word.
You’ve changed us into completely different human beings, and now that you’re gone, we feel so lost and confused about our very own existence.
This needs to stop at some point of time. We can’t live like this forever or we’ll all go mad. We really need to move on. So we’ve agreed to take a big decision for ourselves and for the good of our dear baby Isha.
We’ll be adopting a dog today. He’s a pretty huge guy, desperately in need of love, just like us. His name is Chandler. The folks at the shelter thought it was the best name for him because he continues to laugh and play even after everything he’s been through.
Chandler has faced abuse and torture for all his life and he really needs someone who can teach him to trust and love again. Isha needs a friend to pick up the pieces, too. So we really think this is the perfect match. We’ll know for sure in the next few hours…
We’re leaving to bring the big boy home. Isha’s very excited because she knows something is up. We haven’t told her because we want it to be a surprise, just like last time. And I’m sure, just like last time, this surprise is going to change her completely and teach her to fall in love, all over again.
Of course, nobody will ever be able to replace the hollowness you’ve left in her heart but at least, she’ll get a chance to move ahead. It’ll be a hard painful transition because you’ve leashed us so tightly, that none of us has the strength or the courage to let go.
But, you have to learn to say goodbye, right?
So, today, I’d like to say goodbye to my best friend. I’ve not been able to say it even after you passed away. I’ve been holding you back and I need to let you go.
This goodbye doesn’t mean that I don’t love you anymore. It means that I’m thankful for all the love you’ve given me and I’m finally ready to pass on that love to someone else in need.
It means that no matter how many dogs I share my home and heart with, you will always be the most special soul I’ve ever seen.
It means that I’m honoured to have known you as my best friend.
It means that I will always be your Hooman, and you will always be MY GOOD DOG.
Yours in frozen strawberry yoghurt,