To Tino, an ever loving friend

To Tino, an ever loving friend

Love is a four-letter word — and love can be a four-legged bundle of fur, which can enter your life and change your heart forever into a haven of warm feelings. Yes, Valentino, with your soft, pudgy, baby paws, you entered our home and gave us so much love and joy, we can never repay you in the same coin. Life was not the same after you came to us and life will never be the same after you left us – let me reminisce on the time in between.

For the first few days, you never barked, and suddenly, one day I felt a small yelp coming out of your soft belly as I was holding you in my arms — yes, the first puppy bark came out like a squeal and your bright eyes shone at your own voice. After that there was no stopping. Every nook and corner of our house reverberated with your excited barking, your romping and frolicking – you knew you were in a territory that you owned – no one to stop you from your mischief, no one to train you to behave.

Then you grew up a bit – but not that much to leave my company. Your eyes followed me wherever I went and mine followed every move of yours. What vets call as separation anxiety is actually a state of deep love, a state of feeling helpless without the other. Knowing and experiencing that separation anxiety happening between us, why did you go away so suddenly Tino…  you know how empty my days feel without your breathing sound around, your footsteps rhythmic on the granite floor, your eyes rolling and dancing with any and every gesture of mine.  Who says dogs don’t smile? I had seen you smile at me so many times, your face beaming.

Today, while using the hair dryer, I found a shining golden hair stuck inside – reminding me of the last time I dried you after a bath, you enjoying the hot air all over the golden vastness of your body. You are gone, but your remnants are all over the place – the curtain you always hid behind mischievously still smells of you — I don’t have the heart to wash it, probably I never will.   

In the evening, we both used to settle down on the sofa, you comfortably resting your face on my thigh, once in a while looking up as if questioning me if I was interested in giving you your favourite hot buns or not. Then I would play with you. I would tease you with buns in my hands and you would run after me greedily, my fat boy!

I don’t have the strength to elaborate on the terrifying ordeal of the blood transfusion, high fever, convulsions and so much more you endured — before I could say ‘good bye’ you left us. But I know that you will bless our home from up above. Finally, Tino, let me confess — we gave you love and time that we could spare, but you gave your absolute all in your life and you grew wings and became our guardian angel in your death.