How sad is it that my first entry for 2018 has something to do with loss? I’ve had ideas lined up but can’t seem to put them together. And now it has come to this. Writing my heart out after the loss of my first and oldest dog.
If we’ve met and you know me personally, you’ve most likely heard about my precious furbaby, a pug named Kendo. He was born on August 2006 and has been with us since January 2007. We’ve been to road trips, had food trips, went to late night gimmicks, out of town and beach trips. We were inseparable for the first 3 years. I would take him to school (college) sometimes. He would just sleep on a chair while I took care of enrolment. I’ve also taken him to church, where he also just slept. He slept beside me for the first few months until he realized who the real mother was.
For the first 3 years he was almost always by my side. Sometimes I would skip school because I didn’t want to leave him home alone. He was my constant companion and friend. I trained him to do tricks such as sit, lay down, high five, shake hands, and kiss. Sometimes it has become too much of a routine that he would sit, skip the tricks, and go straight for the kiss. He was also trained to pee and poop outdoors, but sometimes when he’s being naughty he would pee somewhere he’s not supposed to.
He learned to love taking a dip in a basin of water after a long walk. He would sit there for a while until he feels refreshed, wiggle his body to dry himself up, and then resume walking. When we go to parks and he gets tired, he would look for a source of water. Oftentimes this leads to taking a dip in a fountain, like this old video of him in Serendra:
2 week ago, after coming home from Batangas, I noticed he was barely moving. He just sat in a corner and watched as I cleaned the house. He yelped when I carried him to his chair while I cleaned. I didn’t think much of it but he would yelp whenever I touched him. I was getting a little worried because he started making crying noises and couldn’t stand up to walk. It was around 3am. I told him to rest and that we’ll go to the vet in the morning. I could tell he wasn’t comfortable. I was like a mother watching her baby sleep. I was uneasy.
Around 6am I decided I would head to the vet around 7am and wait till they opened at 8am. I couldn’t stay at home because he was uncomfortable with all the other dogs barking and sniffing whenever I make sudden movements.
I sat outside the vet’s building from 7am until they opened. Around 830am he was finally checked up by the vet. I told her Kendo’s medical history, having diagnosed with osteoarthritis at 4 or 5 yrs old — taking glucosamin everyday, to the recent incident with Jiva where she bit him on his right cheek area. The vet said the bite didn’t have any effect whatsoever but she couldn’t get a proper diagnosis. All she said was that he was experiencing some paralysis – probably from his osteoarthritis and old age – and that the only thing she could give him was supplements.
During that time, Kendo was just crying, wanting to stand up and go to me. My heart was breaking as my mind instantly went to the worse. Did I have to have him put down? I don’t want him to suffer any longer but at the same time I don’t want him to go yet. All the while I was also praying that it was just a temporary thing and that he’ll get better eventually.
After paying for the supplements, we headed home, but his condition was only getting worse. I set him down on a dog bed, tried to force feed him with a special recovery food and meds, but he could only eat so much. He was in pain and kept crying. He was kicking his legs as if willing them to stand again. I called my mom because I needed some comfort. But I think it made Kendo feel worse because he cried with me as I cried, and the more he cried, the more I cried. So I pulled myself together and comforted him instead. Telling him I loved him and giving him kisses. I tried to make him as comfortable as I can, but he just kept getting worse. I wanted to take his pain away but there was nothing I could do. Around 8pm, he fell asleep. He was still breathing but he wasn’t moving at all. He didn’t wake up again but I monitored his breathing. I thought he was just resting, trying to fight. And I know he was fighting. When my mom got home around 10pm, we both made sure Kendo knew he was loved, that we were waiting for him to wake up. I kept checking on him, his breathing, trying to hydrate him, but he wasn’t waking up to swallow the water and his breathing was shallow.
My mom and I talked about how we preferred he would die in his sleep than see him in pain. It hurt us both but we’d rather have him leave that way, peacefully in his sleep. Somehow I knew, maybe we both knew, that he wasn’t waking up. We were praying he would, but we also prayed that if he was going to be in pain, we’d rather he didn’t.
January 28 was a very long day for me. I have not had any sleep, I was hurting, I had to keep working, and I had to care for a dying dog. Around 2:30am on January 29, my body was giving out. My mom set Kendo’s bed beside her and while he was still breathing, it wasn’t looking good. I was startled at 3am when my mom called me out to tell me Kendo stopped breathing. She said she was falling asleep when she extended her hand to feel his body — and he wasn’t breathing. I checked on him and instinct told me to resuscitate, just like how they did in movies and tv shows and those youtube videos reviving dogs. But then it hit me. Don’t bother, let him go. It’s his time to go. Oh how it hurt. It took a few minutes to sink in but the moment my mom carried and embraced him and started crying, I gave in.
When she let him go, I held him in my arms. I hugged him goodbye and just let it all go. After I set him back down, I went to sleep because I could no longer stay up. My mind, heart, and body gave out.
When I woke up my mom told me where they buried him. Just across the house in the vacant lot. She said she couldn’t sleep. It was a sad day for us. Thinking back, he was with us for exactly 11 years. We first brought him home on January 29 2007.
We were hoping he would live until we moved to the new house in Imus, so we could bury him near us but it wasn’t God’s plan. All we could do was accept what happened. He would be missed but God always has a plan and His timing is always perfect.
Reliving that moment was hard but I had to write about it to cope. He brought us so much joy. My mom and I are closer because of him. It’s sad that he had to go, but there’s nothing more we can do about it. I’m just glad I took a lot of photos and videos of him. Whenever we miss him we can just watch it over again.
I’ll miss my baby boy as long as I live. While we still have 5 dogs with us, nobody can replace dear old Kendo.