I never understood the true relationship between me and my dog until very recent. I have a vague memory of my mom bringing a small white fluffy puppy home in the summer of 2007. I was really not fond of the idea of owning a dog and having to stay under the same roof. To be honest, I was scared of dogs. It took me quite some time to adjust my feelings and get used to owning a dog, and as time passed by, we became inseparable.

He had the most beautiful green eyes and a gorgeous looking face. He was the most decent dog I had ever met, so maybe that is why he was everyone’s favorite in the house. He never nibbled our shoes, never made a mess in the house, and just hated food that was not spicy enough (weird, but true). He became my companion for the next fifteen years. There was nothing significant that he did for me, but just his presence and his warm body resting against mine was enough. And then one day he was gone.

I had never thought about my life without him. His presence was so seamless, but his absence was devastating. And now that I think about it, the relationship that we had was so pure. It’s funny how we can understand dogs, and they can understand us, without saying a word. Just the connection of eyes is enough; no words, no gifts, just pure connection, and I feel I took it for granted. And now that he is gone, I understand what he meant to me and my peace of mind. Coming home to an empty house with no barks, no wagging tail, and no jumping up and down excited to see me, it broke my heart. The day after he died everything felt like it went to silent mode. The smallest of things like having a piece of bread (his favorite food), late night sneaking up to the kitchen with a partner wagging his tail, morning snuggles, those memories remind me of all the time a cute little furball would walk behind me wagging his tail, wanting a belly rub.

Come to think of it, no words can describe a relationship between humans and their pets. An outpouring of pure emotions without words is unconditional love. As I rest his body and plant a yellow hibiscus on top, all I could recall were fond memories of him. To me, he was a companion that I grew up with, and all those years would have been incomplete without him. The joy and happiness that he gave to me every day is immeasurable and I will remember that for the rest of my life.

As I see the yellow hibiscus blooming, I feel he is in a happy place now running around and being his handsome self. And as I pray, I ask for forgiveness for not being able to do all the things he deserved.