Dear Baby Boy,
I can’t believe I can’t hold you anymore. Even when you were sick I looked forward to having my hand on you, or stroking you. I know every part of your body. Know when there’s something wrong. So it’s so difficult for me right now that I can’t hold you anymore. Now I don’t have to watch out for our cables. Because you won’t be around to gnaw on them anymore. I remember when you chewed up Tita Cara’s brand new Blackberry Curve and she threw it at you, screaming, “Chew it! Chew it!” You were so frightened.
Since you died, I can’t stop thinking about the time when that typhoon and the habagat came, and you were submerged in flood water both times. I’d woken up, oblivious that the floodwater had seeped into the room, I put my foot down, felt water and panicked. Called your name over and over while switching on the lights. Then Tita Cara called, “There!” pointing to the corner near the door. You sat there shivering and you did not even wake us up because you didn’t want to bother us. That’s the kind of sweet boy you are. I don’t know how to begin living without you. Before, even if I was alone in the house, I was fine, because I had you and Max. Even when you were sick I could still see your face.
Until the very end you were looking out for my best interest. I asked God to let me have until Christmas day and He let you stay. I told you you can go if you need to but to make sure that I was right there. And you did. Just you, me and Max. You spared me the difficult decision, when the time came, of having to put you to sleep via injection. I don’t think I could’ve done that, but I would have had to if you were in pain. When I look at Max I can imagine his pain. He’s so uncharacteristically quiet. When we leave him for just a minute he starts barking. It took him so long to get used to you but when he did, boy did he love you. Who is he supposed to play with now? I think he’s lonely without you.
Now the room feels like it’s closing in on me. The last time I felt this way, it was during a break up. But I had you and Max to keep me sane. Mostly you because you were the one who looked at me with those big doe eyes and used them to tell me that things would be just fine. Now who is supposed to do that for me. Not Max. You know how he is. Tough Love is his motto. But you. You were the one who cuddled with me, put your head on my chest, gave me a sweet look and made me feel that things were going to be alright.
Everywhere I look I think of you, Clyde. The Fort, Eastwood, Omakase where you and Max would sit with us as we ate, UP where you would run a full oval lap. Especially in the car, when you really loved to look at all the motorcycles whizzing by. You were so full of life. So full of positivity and cheer that you were happy enough for all three of us, nega Mum and groucho Max. I want to run off to my haven – the beach – but then I’ll remember you too because you hated the water but loved the sand. You loved running. Most of all, you loved a good SANDwich. Your tongue would be wrapped in it. I’m glad you got to do that one last time about a week after you fell ill again and had to be admitted. Running with the wind, I mean. I was too sleepy to witness it, but Dina told me all about it. How you ran with the wind and pulled her along instead of the other way around. It was windy and sunny and the wind was in your face, your tongue lolling and your ears flying back. What a sight that must’ve been.
Baby you are my little angel. It really is like that. You came here temporarily, for a very short time. You changed my life and made me a better person. Then when your job was done, you left.
Today while putting away your stuff in your memory box, I had to open some drawers. And I remember how you used to peer into those drawers evrytime I would open them. When I’d open my “pambahay” drawer you would literally poke your nose in and touch the ones you wanted me to wear. Everywhere I look I remember you. The trash can where you always pee when you can’t hold it in anymore because you’re too polite to demand to be let out, the big empty fenced in area I set up for you because you keep going into every dirty corner of the house, Curious Clyde. It’s a good thing we don’t have spotted cows here, otherwise, I would bawl everytime I see them.
At my worst moments I ask myself if I could’ve done more to save you. Should I have pushed for a different treatment plan, asked them to address your gradually decreasing RBC and hematocrite instead of focusing on your creatinine? Did that last pill I give you kill you? Were you choking on that when I thought you were just retching from the acidity of your stomach? But then, with the help of my bestie, R., I realized that no matter what I did, if you were meant to go, you would’ve gone because that was God’s will. I can’t kill myself trying to think that any human could’ve done anything more if God wanted you to be with Him na.
There are so many other things I want to say about you but I always remember them when I’m away from the computer and forget once I’m ready to write. So let me do it this way. Show what I love most about you through photos. I documented most of your everyday life anyway, especially your quirks. Here goes:
Look how furry and fat you are. I remember your groomer called you Biik because even when all your hair was shaved away, he was surprised to see that you were siksik. He thought it was just the fur. I miss having you on the bed with Max. Now, it’s just Max and he’s sleeping in a corner, mourning your loss. If you were alive, you’d be nudging my arm right now, keeping me from typing. Or chewing on my hair. Look how kagigil you are here.
I came home one day and found your face like this, like a drowned rat. Turned out you had played with your water bowl and got your face all drenched like this. Look at that guilty look on your face. You knew you did something wrong.
You’re the only dog I know who splays out his arms like wings whenever lifted up high. Then you would press your head against me because you were afraid of heights.
You loved going out for walks because you were so curious. Kuya Max didn’t like it as much because it meant he’d have to get some exercise.
Everywhere you went, you met someone new. One time, at the Fort, you went up to all the humans and their pets sitting on one of the ledges there. It was like you were saying, “Hi my name is Clyde. What’s yours?” And you so loved big dogs. And they loved you too. Look at this big guy, slinging his arm over your shoulders.
You always looked so adorable when you were sleepy or newly woken up. All squinty eyed and pouty. I’ll miss your expressive eyes and gigil pout the most.
This fan broke because you chewed the wires through! I bought a new one right away because I knew how hot you used to feel. Like in this picture, you were todo tapat sa fan, only inches away!! So who is going to use your new fan now?
I loved your bond with Max. Wherever he was, you were.
What’s this trolly owl’s name? Kurby? Tita Cara and I found it so funny that you were deathly afraid of him.
Aside from your hair pulls, I loved your massages the most. I’ll miss you stepping all over me in the middle of the night and doing the downward dog on my back.
Right before you had gotten sick, you were so patay gutom (which was good) that you tried to steal this piece of bread right out of my mouth! And then all of a sudden, wooosh, your appetite was gone. I wonder what triggered that? Why was it so sudden? What were you feeling that one day when you woke up and stopped eating?
This is one of my most favorite pictures. Whenever we were in the car, you would be hopping from one window or another, peeking at the motorcycles, which were your favorite to watch. You liked how they zoomed by so fast when Mum hated them so much.
Look naman how lambing you are. Who wouldn’t fall in love with that?
One day, Tita Cara returned from the shower and found you had pulled this bag onto the floor and climbed into it. Were you going to run away baby? Loko loko ka talaga.
You were always so happy that I couldn’t help being infected with your joy as well.
You and Max had grown so close that I’d often catch you guys in poses like this. Like you were planning something mischievous.
Tita Cara always greeted you first. She loved you so much and I’m not surprised why. I rarely see her this attached to anything or anyone. I know your death on her was hard, too, but she’s trying to be strong because Mum is in shambles. This photo reminds me of your scent. I love your scent. So fresh and clean. I always used to clean your very dirty ears everynight. I’m going to miss doing that. I’m going to miss snuggling and sniffing you like what Tita Cara is doing here.
I never could understand why you love this post. You’d do it even while asleep.
You were afraid of many things. And funnily enough, ever time I’d try to get you to lie on your back you would start wiggling like a worm, or a cockroach on its back, trying to get back on your feet. So I absolutely adored it when I’d catch you lying like this, exposing your fat belly. Rare moments.
Snuggling is my favorite activity especially when with you and Kuya Max.
Look at those big soulful eyes and cute cute gigil snout.
Caught you again!
The first time you were confined. I love your tongue. So soft and thin and shaped like a heart at the tip. Gigil!! One of the things I’ll miss most is making you gigil.
One of your many quirks. You used to love squeezing into a corner or underneath the bed in dark corners. Why kaya? Even here in the hospital you found a corner to squeeze into.
You looked so funny and tamad here. You didn’t even bother to get up and drink water. You just drank from it where I had put it down.
Doctors found it cute (and a good sign) that you were still grooming yourself even when you were sick. I guess you picked that up from Kuya Max, who is forever grooming himself.
When you started feeling better, you started taking walks around the confinement ward. This was during your first confinement. How ecstatic I was at your recovery.
“I’m going home Mum. You stay here if you want.”
See what I meant about being so friendly? He loved following Tiger around. I’m sad that his second bout he did not recover. One of my most painful memories was the day we admitted him the second time. He kept climbing back into his carrier. I would take him out and he’d climb back in, as if to emphasize how much he did not want to be there.
Soon after his first homecoming, he got so well that he started wrestling with Max again.
And fought me for his squeaky bone.
And shared secrets with Max. This is one of my fave pics of them. Look how he’s got his hind legs resting on Max’s arm. And how Max is comfortable splayed, listening to what Clyde has to say.
Rest in peace baby boy. Today, during your cremation, it grew so windy and so cold. It was the perfect gloomy weather. I know you would’ve loved it. Right now, as I type this, it’s raining outside. It would’ve been the perfect weather for all three of us to cuddle in bed. Max and I will imagine cuddling you instead. I miss you so much already that I feel like someone is clawing at my heart. I feel like the whole world is going to collapse on my without you here. I never in my wildest dreams, imagined it would be this painful. I almost didn’t want to have you cremated, almost wanted to get you stuffed so that I could still hug your body for as long as I wanted. But I know that it would’ve been unfair to you and it wouldn’t really have been you. Run free and as wild as you want up in heaven little boy. I wanted so much more play time with you. I didn’t expect that you would die of an old dog’s sickness. I haven’t had enough of you yet. I miss you. I miss your scent. I miss you so so much I can’t say it enough. You and Max were enough for me. All I needed were you two (of course God is first). I never ever took you boys for granted and I’m glad for that. Watch over me little boy. Visit me sometimes in my dreams so that even if just through that I can be with you again.
I love you to the moon and back.