“Kung pagod ka na at ayaw mo lang bumigay dahil ayaw kitang bitawan, wag mo na kong isipin. I’ll be fine.” These were the exact words I told my Beni last Saturday.
We were both sick and bed-ridden for almost a week. For me, I got a lot better after taking lots of medicines, but that’s not the case for my canine bestfriend. He was with me for 11 loving years and it seems the time has come to finally bid our goodbye.
A few months earlier, our veterinarian found a variety of lumps over his body but the most alarming was the hand-sized cyst on his neck. He was diagnosed with cancer. Of course, I broke down after I heard the diagnosis and our vet told us that he needs to undergo surgery to remove the cyst and also needs chemotherapy afterwards. We didn’t dare to take the risk as it is not practical and the very low probability that he can survive the treatment considering Beni’s age.
I would like to call it a miracle that the lumps eventually subside a few weeks after diagnosis. Even the hand-sized cyst also dried up. I was really thankful for that short-term miracle and that we were given the chance to shower him with love a little bit longer.
But then, 11 years is no joke. His age actually hit him these past few days. It was hard for me to see him so weak. So fragile. So helpless. It came to the point that he could barely stand up, eat, and even take a sip of water. My heart shattered every time I greet and kiss him during his last few days.
After he left us, I realized how selfish I was. I keep thinking, maybe he was really suffering even before but he couldn’t let go because of me. He has always pretended to be strong as he stood before me, even if he’s always trembling due to his frail legs. He has always acknowledged my presence by wagging his tail once just to not make me worry and to give the assurance that he’s still alive. He has always pretended and forced himself to eat so that I wouldn’t nag him for not eating. He made sure that my heart is at ease knowing how paranoid his mom was.
No one is ever mature enough when you are a dog-parent. I thought a day or two would be enough to grieve over my loss, but I think it will take a little more time. Friends, please bear with me. Beni has been with me for almost half of my life. He was more than just a pet nor a best friend. He’s part of my family. A part of my life. A piece of my heart.