I’ve been dreading writing this post because it would mean having to finally face my thoughts about losing one of sweetest babies, my chihuahua Nairobi. I never had the time to grieve since I found out about her passing maybe an hour into our 12-hour gig yesterday. How was I supposed to carry on for 11 more hours if I allowed myself to absorb the fact that I just lost one of the few things in my life that give me pure, unadulterated joy? So I had to dig deep, and push down whatever pain I may be feeling, so I could get through the rest of my day.
She started getting sick last Tuesday, but the vet didn’t really see anything wrong. The results of the blood tests weren’t really alarming, so she was sent home. Two days after, we had to bring her back because she wasn’t getting any better. By Friday, they found something in her uterus and they were looking at a possible hysterectomy. Yesterday, between our two gigs, after the fun run and before the sing-a-thon, I passed by the vet to see her before the surgery. What greeted me absolutely broke my heart. She was so weak, she could hardly move. I was calling her, but she wasn’t reacting. Finally, after I kept saying her name, she weakly lifted her head and as if in slo-mo, turned her head to look at my face. She stared at me for a few minutes as I tried to cheer her up with words of encouragement, and she finally rested her head back down. I was heartbroken to see her so weak, but I had NO idea that that was to be our last goodbye. I never thought that I’d never see her again.
Nairobi was our first dog. We had two cats already by then, but when I saw her at the pet shop, I was hooked. I lifted her from their pen, and she instantly fell asleep in my arms. I didn’t like chihuahuas, but I couldn’t put her down. I knew that I’d only put her down, if I put her down in our house. She was our little baby. I guess we loved her too much that we spoiled her to the point that she became pack leader. Our behavior problems with Nairobi lead us to discover Cesar Millan. And his TV show helped us with Nairobi’s aggressiveness, and eventually, after we insisted on assuming pack leadership, she calmed down.
Eventually we got two more dogs after her, Cairo and Siam, and the boys were often too much for her. The two boys tended to play with each other more, and Nairobi opted to generally stay out of their way. Being the tiniest of the pack, she often didn’t want anything to do with the boisterous play of the two bigger boys. She was always closer to us than the other dogs. When she got annoyed by the boys, she would usually jump on my lap to escape the chaos. Although she was not as malambing as the two boys, she was special because she was our little guard dog. When we’d sleep at my sister’s rest house in Tagaytay, the two boys would be fast asleep beside us, but she’d be patrolling the perimeter, checking on any suspicious sounds, and wouldn’t lie back down until she was sure everything was okay.
Times like these, I feel like life has beat the living shit out of me. Obviously, I know that getting dogs would mean having to deal with their deaths eventually, especially toy dogs like Nairobi who only have life expectancies of about 8 years. But no matter how logic prepares you for it, when death comes knocking, and snatches away something so dear to you and so intrinsically essential to your everyday existence, you can’t help but feel defeated. I can’t really do anything about it. It’s like railing against the rain; it’s absolutely useless.
And I know that for some people dogs are just animals, and they find people like us who anthropomorphize pets silly and ridiculous, but to us, our pets really are like our own flesh and blood. Especially our dogs, who are a constant reliable source of unconditional love, I could never begin to tell you how many days, when I felt I was at the absolute bottom of my barrel, and the only thing that could pull me back out of that emotional abyss, was spending time playing with our three dogs. It’s the best therapy ever. Plus, there was never a day in the past six years, with the exception of the days we’re out of town, that we weren’t together.
So to accept the fact that I would no longer hear those pitter-pattering of her little feet is going to be quite an uphill task. If losing a beloved pet like Nairobi is this difficult, I honestly don’t know how I’ll survive losing the others eventually. I don’t even want to think about it.
So farewell my little one, we are going to miss you SO VERY MUCH. Every memory of you is painful only because they were so joyful. I hope we could spend more time with you, but unfortunately, these things are not for us to decide. Instead I’ll try to be grateful for the time we had together, no matter how brief. Our little pack will never be complete again without you, but we’ll try to manage. Sleep well, my sweetest Nairobi, until we meet again.