By Jhudiel Ando
Among all the animals in the world, dogs are the ones I find the cutest. When I was an 8-year-old kid, I wanted to adopt one. I remember asking my mama for a dog and her response is always, “are you willing to clean a dog’s poop?” or telling us that “You guys are still a baby and dogs have rabies”. My mom got a lot of excuses for everything I say. I can’t blame her because she’s a mother and Mothers don’t want something bad to happen to their kids. She was too protective of us.
I remember my sister and I went to a friend’s house, they had a lot of puppies. It was my first time holding a puppy and letting them drink milk. As you can see from the photo, I didn’t hold the puppy as happy as others seem because I felt scared and guilty for my mother too.
This photo was uploaded by my sister’s friend on Facebook and my mother has seen it & got mad at it. It was supposed to be a secret that we went out and play with these puppies. I ended up being emotional and defending myself that I was fine after I played with the puppies.
I may find dogs cute, but I’m scared of them. Maybe because growing up, I was already told that dogs are scary because they have rabies. I remember I was walking on the street when I was a kid and I’m having a hard passing the neighbor’s gate because a dog was barking loudly. It was kinda embarrassing because kids were laughing at me since I can’t pass to that gate. Even when I go to my friends’ houses, my friends witnessed how terrified I looked when dogs try to lick my feet. I’ll just stay still in the corner and not try to run since I know they’ll chase me.
Moving forward, it was May 2019 when Kylo came into our lives. We didn’t adopt a dog, but it was given to us by my sister’s workmate. My family was happy and excited about having him except for me. Everything was unexpected. My mother has no objections about it; probably because she’s not hands-on with us anymore since we’re already old.
Kylo is pretty small when we first have him. He is a dachshund. He’s lively and playful. He likes biting, licking, barking, and running. I think my description was funny since most dogs are like that.
Anyway, this dog is too energetic that sometimes I can’t match my energy with him. Even though he’s kinda small, he pulled through the small but terrible kind of vibe since seeing big dogs on the street, he will start a fight with them.
Even though he’s that small, I wasn’t able to hold him. I don’t know I’m just too scared. I barely go down to the living room because of him. Every time I went out or arrived home, I kept on chatting on the family’s group chat saying, “Hold Kylo pls, let me in.” indicating they need to hold the dog first before I enter the house. This kind of set-up lasts for a year. I was also busy with my school so I don’t have time to get to know him and besides, I’m still afraid of him.
However, deep inside I wish to have a good relationship with my dog like what I have seen in the movies. Owners and dogs are clingy with each other. However, there’s a part of me not wanting to be attached to a dog. I have seen Marshmello’s Happier music video and made me cry into tears. I am the type of person who got easily attached and can’t move on quickly. My friend once told me, that my dog doesn’t deserve the small percentage of love & effort I’m giving to him. Dogs don’t have someone else aside from their owner. That slaps me into a realization that why not give me a chance to get to know Kylo more.
Fast forward to the lockdown because of the pandemic, I can’t go out so I’m just at home. So I tried to face my fears and started playing with him. At first, I find it uncomfortable when he’s licking my hand haha maybe because I’m not used to it. As months go by, I started caressing and talking to him every morning. There was a time that he barely touches his dog food on the pot, I started feeding him, and he finishes all the food in the bowl. So my father would assign to me in feeding him. Sometimes it pissed me off because he’s getting too used to it and that makes him a spoiled dog. My relationship with my dog is not like the other people’s stories in that they’re very close. I’m hostile towards my dog, but I like it when every time I enter the house, he’s there waiting for us. I used to hate it but I’m loving it now. I can say the pandemic made us closer together. It’s a blessing in disguise indeed.
When I’m alone in the living room, I talked and shared my problems with him. I know Kylo won’t give me a piece of advice back. I just enjoy having him there makes me feel I’m not alone.
After lockdown, my siblings and I brought Kylo to the park so he could run and play freely there. It was tiring but fun. Hanging out with him in the park feels like I’m still a kid again. Chasing him as if he’s a criminal haha. I also love how he gets thirsty after playing, I find it satisfying seeing him finish the whole cup of water as if he’ll lose his breath. As you can see in the photos, he’s very playful that we can’t get a proper photo together.
Looking back to archived Instagram stories that show how scared I was made me burst into laughter today. I was a scaredy-cat. If there’s a thing I regret the most it is not getting to know him earlier and not facing my fears as soon as possible. Kylo is our first dog and thinking about losing him since I know dogs can’t live longer makes me go teary-eyed. That would be the first heartbreak. I don’t know yet the feeling of losing someone I’m close with. I am not ready for that but right now. I know it’s terrifying, however, it is nice to create memories with someone while it lasts. I’m enjoying the moment with him. I might be a year late for bringing love, care, and attention but I’ll make sure I’ll create memories with Kylo even though it might be painful later. Anyway, I’m choosing to be happy now. I hope my story would inspire people not to be scared of building a bond with their pets. It will hurt later but at least your pet brings a source of happiness to you in this miserable reality.