It seemed to be too much of a responsibility, I thought. We could not do it, I reasoned. The expense will be considerable, I reckoned. Uhm, ah, no, I decided.
So I said, “Sorry C, no puppy.”
I like dogs. I grew up with several of them, in fact. Blenda, Starsky and Stardust, my pre-pregnancy dachshund who bows (promise!) whenever she sees me. But no, not this time, it is too much work, the house would smell and financially, I thought it would not make sense.
But ever since C requested for a puppy as her special Christmas present, the germ of needing (okay, wanting) one had caught on. We had no choice but to capitulate.
On the eve of Christmas, we held a thin, sweet, magnificent, white, yielding Yoyow in our arms.
Alas, the yielding, sweet façade of that magnificent puppy faded with time. By New Year, we had a Maltese who had a mind of her own, commanding the house, owning our hearts.
They say that you can never truly own a Maltese. It owns you. That cannot be truer than Yoyow. I bid her come and she looks at me, lying down, wagging her tail slightly, with her come-hither-yeah-NO-YOU-COME-TO-ME-look and I can only shake my head and walk to her, the brat.
• Maltese – 18,000 (discounted from 25,000)
• Weekly pet food – 350 for a kilo, 2 weeks
• Shots – 3,000
Every night, as I park the car and troop with heavy, tired steps to the house, I would open the door and she would be there with her head cocked, eyes inquisitive and tail happy. She will not stop (I swear) until I pick her up and give her a rub. Sometimes, she would scratch me lovingly but the scratches would turn painful whenever I hug my daughter C. Like she’s jealous, the brat.
And then she got sick. A mute, uncomplaining, puke and poop everywhere kind of sick. She hardly barked, hardly stood, hardly wagged her tail. She looked at us with tears in her eyes and we were off to the vet.
• Hospitalization – 7,000
• Medicines – 500
We saw her every day of her confinement – dextrose in her paw, eyes glazed, happy to see us that she could not contain her barking, saying to the other dogs, “these people are mine, they are here to see me, they love me, hear me roar!!!”.
We got her back healthy and happy. She grinned from ear to ear, yelping and making half-cries, half-delight sounds in the car as we were going home.
She still bites, she still scratches and jumps and gnaws on our photo albums and D’s expensive massage chair. Our slippers would have teeth marks, tissue paper would be strewn everywhere and, at the most unexpected moment, she would dart outside and engage us in a game of catch me if you can.
D says we should return her to Tiendesitas. I looked at him, sharply, and caught him smile.
I look down at Yoyow, who is by my feet as I type way into the night. Some moments, some happiness, some puppies are priceless.
Text by Issa. Painting by C. Videos by D, edited by Ren. Copyright 2009.
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