“No, my dog used to gaze at me, 

paying me the attention I need, 

the attention required 

to make a vain person like me understand 

that, being a dog, he was wasting time, 

but, with those eyes so much purer than mine, 

he’d keep on gazing at me 

with a look that reserved for me alone 

all his sweet and shaggy life, 

always near me, never troubling me, 

and asking nothing. 

Joyful, joyful, joyful, 

as only dogs know how to be happy 

with only the autonomy 

of their shameless spirit. 

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died, 

and we don’t now and never did lie to each other. “

-excerpt from Pablo Neruda’s A Dog Has Died

From the moment you opened your eyes November of last year, I knew you were meant to be loved and cuddled. You were always so cheerful when I go home 🏡. You couldn’t stop wagging your tail and you couldn’t stop sniffing me although my sweat and the arid air from Manila was still on me. You loved my hugs and always begged for more. You cheered me when I was feeling down. You listened to me when I was telling you and your brother, Heinrich, to stop biting each other’s head off. I remember laughing so hard when Papa gave you that ridiculous haircut. You looked like a square watermelon. I’m sorry about that. I even recall how sad you were when you saw me laughing so you just kept looking down on the floor. 

Then one day, I noticed you weren’t as cheerful when got home for the Christmas season. I called your name “Kobe!” but you didn’t move. I looked at your eyes that time, there were tears. We immediately had you confined at the hospital. Yesterday, I visited you. And I saw how you were battling your pain. You didn’t move. But your eyes were locked to mine. 

Today, I received a call from Ate. You were in pain, Kobe, they said. They already signalled for euthanasia. You were in so much pain that they wanted you to rest. I wasn’t there, Kobe. I wasn’t. I’m sorry. When they were about to inject you, you gave Ate one last look. Then your heart stopped beating. It’s such a shame how I’ve been given this time to finally be with you then such an awful thing happened. 

You’re a gift, Kobe. You’re family. 

You have given us so much joy. Hope you’re doing fine up there. I’ll see you soon, my boy! xhalo