Immigrating to another country means that I leave all my loved ones behind. It was a battle, and continue to be. There will always be a part of me that I left back home in the Philippines. One day, in the midst of my depression, my husband left me with his senior dog, a female black Labrador named ‘Jinx.’
I was never a dog person growing up. Once, when I was about 10 years old, my dad got us a small mini pinscher. She was the cutest thing. We named her ‘Lala’. After a week, I got bored. My sister ended up taking care of her. Back then, I didn’t understand animals. I thought zoos were great, not understanding that these animals were not in their proper habitat.
So, when my husband told me to hang out with his dog, I was surprised. This dog and I just ended up staring at each other. A little nudge here, a little slobber there. She was trying to tell me she wanted her butt massaged, probably thinking how stupid I am not to realize – after all, she has wiggled her butt into a blur. Over the years, I have fallen in love with this dog. I’ve learned that she is great company.
And so, fast forward to now, we are a family of 2 humans and 3 dogs. I have spent my days off speaking with my dogs, telling them stories and asking them questions. I usually end up spending more time with them than I do with humans. Call me the ‘crazy dog lady’ but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
These dogs have taught me how to be compassionate, sensitive, understanding and patient. (A lot of patience) They have made me laugh, cry, scream out in frustration. They have embarrassed me in public. They have made me proud, LOL, nauseated and happy. They have kept me warm on cold nights and have kicked me hard in the stomach when it’s too hot. They’re not very subtle.
Now, I can’t imagine my life without any of them. Hey, it’s messy, there’s dog hair everywhere, (It has followed me all the way to work in my lunch box), they eat disgusting stuff, they step on their own poop – it ain’t a pretty picture. However, it has also given me a purpose in life. Here is a living breathing living thing who relies on me to eat, breathe, sleep and survive. In exchange, they give me all the love and trust in the world. They have helped me cope with sadness, depression and anxiety. They have also been there through all the successes, happiness and celebrations.
I got your back, girls. Through thick and thin. Thanks for all the love.