It was year 2001 when a stranger knocked on our door and changed our lives.
Her name is Patricia, but she was originally christened by my Mom as Pachuchay which was the namesake of Judy Ann Santos in one of her Teleserye. Most of the time we call her chuchay or chay-chay she never really minds what you call her as long as you are not shouting and scaring her away.
She came into our lives in the most unexpected and weird way. I was not there when it happened but this was the way it was told to me. My father was tending on his business one day; there were times when there weren’t so many customers he would stand by outside the entrance door just watching passersby. It was just another ordinary day but then came this dog so filthy and stinky she stood outside the entrance door where my father was. My father thought she was a beautiful dog if only she was clean and well maintained. My father figured the dog was lost for days and it seemed she was pregnant before because of her swollen nipples. The dog just stood there in front of him like it was telling him…”adopt me!” I don’t know what my father thought but he let the dog in. He bathed the dog and took all the yucky lice on her thick hair. Ah Chuchay might have felt so refreshed after that bath, she always feel good after every bath. Then my father tried to feed her but she didn’t touched the food instead she went to one corner or hid under the table. My father thought “well if she doesn’t eat then she might as well go back on the street”. So he let the dog out and told her to go away. She did not run off like what she does whenever she has that chance of going out the old house (the old house was where we used to have our business and our dormitory) instead she just slowly walked away. My father watched her go when she reached into the corner she stopped and was like trying to make a decision on the crossroad of her life. Looking left and right, my father just watched her then like having reached a choice she went back to where my father was. He let her in again and this time she ate her food and stayed for good.
Chuchay was not my dog she was more like the baby of my younger sister. They bonded more than we did because it took me 1 year before I get to know her and I was always travelling. Having her around allowed us to have happy talk times we would always make funny interpretations of her actions, with matching voice over, her presence made us have fun conversations. Chuchay was also a good companion she was like my body guard when I was alone in the dormitory, very alert. She will warn you when something is about to enter the house whether a thief or a rat. She will not stop barking until they run away. I felt safe when she was around. She was also a good listener when I just want to share something that made me felt so bad without having to be criticized as weak or stupid she just stares at you blankly. But sometimes I felt she understands when I am sad there is that look of sympathy in her eyes or I might just be imagining but nevertheless she stays beside me on my sentimental moments. We have more happy and fun moments though it would take a whole book to write it.
Chuchay had her last breath this afternoon. Before lunch time she was having difficulty breathing her moaning really sounded like she was in so much pain, saliva was gushing out of her mouth and she can hardly raise her head and can’t stand. She was slowly dying my mom told me. I didn’t want to believe it (the stage of in denial when someone is about to go) I thought to myself this is just one those days when she feels ill and she always get better the next day she always does. I wanted to call the veterinarian but my mom said it’s closed since its Sunday so I thought tomorrow I will have the vet come and check on her. I was meeting a friend after lunch when I went out of the house Chuchay was still in a very bad shape but I had faith she will be better I thought…”hang in there doggie!” I went to mass at 5:30pm after having coffee with my friend. During Homily Chuchay came to my mind, I prayed she was getting well, I prayed her pain will go away. I went home right away after mass. When I reached the gate I only saw “Pipoy”, our pup in the garage. I looked for Chuchay she was just lying earlier under the bamboo chair, I thought maybe she was in the kitchen I was really hoping she was. I asked my mom where she was, she said she died and was buried already. I asked what time? She didn’t know the carpenter just saw her lifeless and informed them and they buried her right away. I asked, what time was she buried? She said she was not sure but around 3pm or past 3. I went out of the house a few minutes before 3pm. I thought, did she just wait for me to go and not witness her death? I asked my mom again if my younger sister knew. She said yes she already told her. I went to my room… this may sound funny but I cried and I am even teary eyed right now. Shesh! I know she is just a dog but she is no ordinary dog to me she was a family to us.
Wherever you are Chubby am sure there are lots of foodies! And boundless field where you can run free and play all day and of course a much cozier place to sleep at night. Be good, I know you are because you were always a good doggie. We miss you! So long Chaps!